"Excellent, atmospheric... Tense, smartly crafted and highly resonant, Aliyah is one of the best films so far this year" Los Angeles Times
"Tense and subtle... A marvelous film, stripped of false urgency" Village Voice
"Sincere and engaging... The central relationship between Alex (Pio Marmaï) and his overpowering brother Isaac (Kahn) is beautifully conceived and executed, a Cain and Abel push-and-pull that's satisfyingly subtle and oblique" Screen Daily
Alex is a a fed-up Jewish drug dealer who dreams of getting out of the projects outside Paris. One day Alex hears that his cousin plans to open a restaurant in Tel Aviv, and immediately sees this opportunity as a chance to escape his current life, particularly from the financial problems of his older brother Isaac (director Cédric Kahn in a rare acting role). However, he has to reconnect with his background by "Aliyah"the Zionist concept of ascending to the Land of Israel, a process by which a French Jew becomes eligible to emigrate to Israel. He starts to take Hebrew lessons, tracking down the documents that will officially certify him as a Jew, while also selling more drugs to raise the money that he needs. But unpredictable events and a growing attraction to a new love threaten his plans. With elements of a thriller and a twist of romance, Elie Wajeman's assured debut feature is a moody portrait of a man in search of a new beginning.
Directed by Elie Wajeman, France, 2012, 90 mins. In French and Hebrew with English subtitles.