Many people don’t know that Natalie Portman was born Israel and has dual citizenship between Israel and the United States. The Oscar-winning actress has spread her wings professionally over the past few years, producing movies like Jane Got a Gun and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Now Portman has directed her first feature length movie, A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of Amos Oz‘s memoir of the same name.
It’s not uncommon for actors turned directors to take on emotionally heavy historical films that highlight both their acting abilities and their social consciousness. What seems to stand out about A Tale of Love and Darkness is that Portman is writing, directing, and starring in a drama about the formation of Israel that is entirely in Hebrew, highlighting Portman’s bilingual abilities as well.
A Tale of Love and Darkness opens in select theaters on August 19th, 2016.
The official synopsis for A Tale of Love and Darkness:
A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS is based on the memories of Amos Oz, growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood with Arieh, his academic father and Fania, his dreamy, imaginative mother. They were one of many Jewish families who moved to Palestine from Europe during the 1930s and 40s to escape persecution. Arieh was cautiously hopeful for the future but Fania wanted much more. The terror of the war and running from home had been followed by the tedium of everyday life, which weighed heavily on Fania’s spirit. Unhappy in her marriage and intellectually stifled, she would make up stories of adventures (like treks across the desert) to cheer herself up and entertain her 10-year-old son Amos. He became so enraptured when she read him poetry and explained about words and language; it would become an influence on his writing for the rest of his life. When independence didn’t bring the renewed sense of life that Fania had hoped for, she slipped into solitude and sadness. Unable to help her, Amos was forced to say an untimely good-bye. As he witnessed the birth of Israel, he had to come to terms with his own new beginning.