July 22, 2016
Natalie Portman Delivers 'A Tale Of Love And Darkness' [Video]

A Tale of Love and Darkness is Natalie Portman's film in every sense of the word. The actress not only stars in the fact-based drama, but she also wrote and directed the film, which is based on the memoirs of journalist Amos Oz. A Tale of Love and Darkness debuted at last year's Cannes Film Festival and proceeded to premiere at a number of festivals throughout the country, but hasn't seen a theatrical release until now. As Portman's directorial debut prepares to hit theaters, World Focus dropped a new trailer for the Amos Oz story.

A Tale Of Love And Darkness Tells The True Experiences Of Amos Oz

In sharing the trailer for A Tale of Love and Darkness, Collider remarks that the film recreates the experiences of Israeli journalist Amos Oz based on the writer's own memoirs. Before Natalie Portman adapted it for film, A Tale of Love and Darkness was a best-selling book, giving millions of readers an inside look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of the 1940s from Oz's point of view. The film delves into the mother-son relationship between Fania (Portman) and Amos Oz (Amir Tessler) by seeking to show how Amos would ultimately become a writer, an activist, and a supporter of the two-state solution to the conflict.
While there can be no denying the impact the teachings of Portman's Fania had on young Oz, it's her death, her suicide, that really affects the way Amos sees the world. Following the loss of his mother, the journalist loses some of the innocence Fania had hoped to preserve, allowing him to act on his beliefs for the betterment of his homeland.

In speaking of Oz's story in A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie, who is connected to the story as a result of having been born to a Jewish family in Israel, says Amos is unique in the way he deals with the subject matter because he seeks to show the humanity in the nations involved. So often, similar stories fail to paint a human face on the nations involved, but Portman says that's not so with A Tale of Love and Darkness.

"[A Tale of Love and Darkness] has been my passion for almost a decade now since I read Amos Oz's masterful book and knew I wanted to adapt it into a film," said Ms. Portman.

Natalie Portman On Her Heartfelt Adaptation Of Amos Oz's Memoir

In sharing an email exchange between Natalie Portman and one of the authors to have influenced her most in her own writing, Jonathan Safran Foer, the New York Times reveals an inside look at Portman's deep devotion to her Israeli home and the troubled history of her Jewish ancestry. Natalie says she could think of no other project as fitting for her directorial debut than A Tale of Love and Darkness because it holds such a deep connection to her own family and the stories she would hear growing up in Israel.

"The themes are endlessly interesting to me, as is the question of how much of the mythology is an accurate reflection of history, and how much is storytelling cemented by repetition," says Ms. Portman

While some facts may have been blurred with fantasy over the passage of time, Ms. Portman regrets that Western attitudes towards the Israeli people is one thing that has not changed with time. If anything, those prejudices have gotten worse.

"I didn't realize it was also a radical choice until I started sharing the film," says Natalie. "Then I learned that if you set something in Israel, even if it is fundamentally a story of love between a boy and his mother, it is 'brave.' Often I wish I was from somewhere inoffensive to anyone, neutral, unproblematic. Like, 'Hi, I'm Finnish.'"

No matter how anyone else feels about them, Portman says stories like A Tale of Love and Darkness, tales that explore the history of her homeland, have attracted her interest throughout her life.

"But I know that Israel — the place and its stories — engages me like nothing else," says Portman.

A Tale of Love and Darkness will debut in U.S. theaters on August 19.

[Image by Focus World]