According to Gur Bentwich, Bentwich Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon which causes the sufferers to glorify their family and exaggerate its importance. This zany adventure follows Gur, his wife and co-director Maya Kenig and their young children as they traverse continents to determine whether there is indeed something truly impressive about their family, which is made up of dozens of early Zionists, groundbreaking artists and other nearly forgotten family members “scanning the horizon seeking something more abstract” as one cousin so aptly puts it. In this lighthearted road trip the audience is invited to cram into the back seat and enjoy the ride. Bentwiches of present as well as those long departed come to life through Monty Python-esque animation. Examining Anglo-Jewish life of the 19th and 20th centuries, the birth of Zionism and the power of the patriarchy, directors Bentwich and Kenig join the long line of those suffering from Bentwich Syndrome, a malady which it seems is ultimately something to be proud of.
Gur Bentwich is a graduate of Tel Aviv Univeristy's film school. "Bugs", a short film he made as a student, was invited to Tokyo, Munich, Karlovy Vary, Firenze, Montpelier and many other festivals and was sold to five European TV stations. As his graduation film he made "Planet Blue", his first feature. The film started as an esoteric weekly midnight screening but quickly evolved into a successful cult event and has been shown regularly for five years in front of packed houses. While screening the film at the Calcutta Film Festival, he came up with the idea for "Total Love". Back home he enlisted the help of Etgar Keret, a close friend and popular Israeli author, to help him with the scrpit. Thus began this complex project, two years in the making.