Shira Geffen & Etgar Keret • Israel-France • 2006 • A magical-realist portrait of Tel Aviv today.
It feels like Batya’s life is falling apart. Things aren’t going well with her boyfriend, and she has a dead-end job as a catering waitress that brings her no satisfaction. Working a wedding reception at a seaside hotel, Bayta is distracted by a red-haired child who emerges from the sea, apparently lost from her parents. Meanwhile, the couple being feted remains locked in their hotel suite, unable to travel for their honeymoon. Down the hall Joy, a domestic worker, cares for an older guest of the wedding, subsumed by feelings of guilt for the young son she left behind in the Philippines.
Weaving together the lives of three women whose encounters are imbued with both the serendipity and forlornness of modern existence, Jellyfish offers a magical-realist portrait of Tel Aviv today. Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret’s first film premiered at Toronto, Telluride and San Sebastián; Cannes, where it won the Camera d’Or and the Young Critic's Award; and Bratislava, where it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and a Special Mention. Jellyfish is a New York Times Critic's Pick.