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NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
In a settlement in East Jerusalem, 17-year-old Benny is an outsider because of her red hair and the fact that she is the only daughter of a radicalized Orthodox Jewish father whose wife died giving birth to her. Even though they are close to the Old City, they live in a world apart. Benny is a loner, choosing to indulge in poetry, pot, praying with tefillin and caring for the family’s new sacred red heifer they believe will herald a new age for Jews. When beautiful newcomer Yael arrives in their small community, Benny smolders with a fire that she had not yet discovered and quickly her body and her life become undone.
While remaining specific to its location and community, Red Cow highlights the universal desires of first lust and how the romantic feeling of being alive for the first time can suddenly become the only thing that matters. While certain aspects of a young life may differ according to time and place, the budding spurts of youthful eroticism engender common feelings that know no political, religious or regional boundaries. Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival, this film shows not only the unpredictable sexuality of youth but is also a rare glimpse into an infrequently seen element of Israeli society. —Maya Lekach
Born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1979, Tsivia Barkai Yacov is a Berlinale Talents alumna who completed her studies at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem with honours. Her graduation film Vika screened in the 2006 Generation program at Berlinale. Red Cow is her debut feature film.