Will the next big cult film be from Israel? Big Bad Wolves, a revenge thriller film by Israelis Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales has won glowing praise by one of the greatest directors of our time. Speaking at the South Korean Busan International Film Festival last week, during a public question and answer period, the Academy Award-winning director Quentin Tarantino said that Big Bad Wolves, a sadistic film about revenge against a murderer of children, is the best film of the year.
Tarantino said: “Not only is this the best film in Busan, this is the best film of the year.”
Considering we’re already in mid-October and not the beginning of January, this is a very good sign. Tarantino is known best for the cult films Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. His comment about Big Bad Wolves has created a swarm of interest in the Israeli film and Israel in general among Tarantino fans.
One commenter on the official trailer site for Big Bad Wolves writes: “Just saw the film in AIFF [Aruba International Film Festival] last night…This one is like a poisonous candy, you’ll probably enjoy every great directed minute of it, but be warned about the consequences.”
Other commenters say they are surprised that the film is from Israel.
Israel has several, but two particularly outstanding, film schools: the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem and the film school at Tel Aviv University.
Big Bad Wolves has already won several awards at the Ophir Awards in Israel – the country’s version of the Academy Awards.
It was the Official Selection for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) this year, arguably the most important tastemaker festival before films make it to the Academy Awards. With access to film darlings graduating from nearby film schools like NYFA, it is a growing phenomena that Israeli films are grabbing the attention at international screenings and events, especially due to the limited budgets that Israeli filmmakers work with.
A reviewer from TFF writes: “The Israeli horror pioneers have stepped firmly out of the slasher genre with this deftly dark riff on unhappily ever after. An unsettling scenario of men pushed too far in the aftermath of a horrific crime against an innocent child, the film avoids cliché by delivering on its creators’ continued promise of unpredictability.”
While I don’t love revenge thrillers as a genre, and would choose drama or romantic comedy above all (read: chick flicks) I did enjoy the Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, a revenge fantasy about US Jewish soldiers who kill Nazis.
I think that Big Bad Wolves is one Israeli film I will try. Here is the Facebook page for it. Or catch the clip above.