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January 27, 2016 4:01 pm

Israeli-American Actress Natalie Portman Seals Jewish Film Festival With Debut as Director of Amos Oz’s ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A movie poster for 'A Tale of Love and Darkness.' The film is Natalie Portman's directorial debut. Photo:  Screenshot.

A movie poster for ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness.’ The film is Natalie Portman’s directorial debut. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli-American movie star Natalie Portman talked about her debut as a director with A Tale of Love and Darkness, which closed the Jewish Film Festival in New York City on Tuesday night.

“This movie has been such a meaningful experience for me and continues to be now [that] I’m sharing it with you,” Portman, 34, told the audience. “I read [Israeli author] Amos Oz’s incredible memoir almost a decade ago and was so, so touched by his language and his story, of course, and felt so much closeness to the parallels to my own family’s history, especially the almost religion of words and love of language. I hope you’re all moved by the film.”

Portman directed the Hebrew-language film based on Oz’s award-winning book of the same name and also played the lead role of Fania, the author’s mother. It tells the story of Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate and the early years of the state of Israel. Fania struggles to raise her son as she deals with her inner demons, a married life drowned by unfulfilled promises and a world filled with bloodshed.

The Jewish Film Festival is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum.

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