Rattled movie review

Posted on 29 January 2011
By Miv Evans
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The milk and honey was flowing a little too slowly for some Israelites in the 1980s and, as if one Exodus wasn’t enough, they left their homeland and made their way to America, curious to see if they could do better.

Amongst the wanderers was Eitan Chiya, 27 years old, fresh out of jail, and convinced that the Promised Land lay ahead, not behind.

Eitan was just 17 when he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ten years later, he received a Presidential pardon and made the decision to continue his life of crime in the US.

Roman was also an Israeli immigrant and criminal, so the paths of the two men soon crossed and it is Roman who narrates Eitan’s story in this documentary, with his own tale juxtaposed, crossing and clashing until they reach their final destination 20 years later.

The points of view in this film move adeptly from Eitan, the crime lord, to Roman, the mid-level mobster, and then cross the line to the dedicated law enforcement officers and the world weary attorney.

Decades later, the lawyer remembers the minutiae of every case and still seems mystified by the Israeli Mafia who, amongst their many other crimes, pulled off the biggest gold heist in New York history.

Everyone has their own tale to tell except, of course, the unfortunates who stepped out of line and were dispatched, in classic Mafioso style, to sleep with the fishes.

As the culture of greed and violence grew, so did Eitan’s empire. Hedonism was the order of the day and, as their wealth became more obscene, so did their vulnerability.

The first casualty was Roman, who is still tortured by the quirk of fate that tripped him up and which, ultimately, was the opening salvo in a renewed battle between the law and the lawless.

It was surprising to learn that the Italian Mafia allowed the Israelis onto their territory, adjusting political boundaries so incomes could be maximized and proving that, if profit margins are high enough, even the most bitter of enemies will become pals.

So, with this business model in mind, why doesn’t someone set up a working arrangement between Israel and Palestine?

Obviously loan sharking and extortion won’t work but skimming off someone like Chevron would be OK and, as long as the shekels keep rolling in, peace would be guaranteed.

This might one day even solve the boundary issues and is, very likely, the only way to get the lion to lay down with the lamb.

New York Premier – TBA
Contact Director/Producer Emilio Roso