23 January 2007
| 8.2/10 |
| Zafrir Kochanovsky
Romie‑0 and Julie‑8, Saints & Sinners, Harina de otro costal, Skin, Westside
A Touch Away (Merchak Negi'aa; Hebrew, מרחק נגיעה) is a 2006 Israeli television eight-episode mini-series set in Bnei Brak, a city to the east of Tel Aviv, within the larger Tel Aviv District, in Israel. It has been described as a kind of Romeo and Juliet story, focusing on the relationship of a young non-religious male Jewish immigrant from Russia who falls in love with a young woman who is part of the city's ultra-orthodox community. Using this relationship as the basis for the story, the series explores the lives of new immigrants, non-religious, and religious Jews in Israel.
A Touch Away (TV) Wikipedia
The series, first released as part of the Haifa International Film Festival on October 12, 2006, and then aired on Israeli television beginning January 23, 2007, broke many Israeli television viewing records, with the final episode garnering more viewers than any Israeli drama up until that time. The series made its debut in the United States at the 2008 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The episodes have been shown as part of a number of other United States film festivals, as well as other festivals and programs in Israel, and other nations around the world, sometimes followed by discussions of Israel and religious themes involved in the story.
According to T.T.V. Television, one of the producers of the series, the drama series revolves around a hopeless love story between an orthodox religious young woman and a Russian immigrant. The lives of two families interconnect in an apartment complex in the orthodox neighborhood of Bnei Brak, just outside Tel Aviv. The Bermans are a strictly religious family, whose daughter Rochale is about to enter into an arranged marriage with a wealthy young bridegroom. But sparks fly when a thoroughly secular family from Russia moves into a neighboring apartment. The forbidden love that soon blossoms between the two young neighbors, and the secrets that each family must hide, threaten the families deeply rooted traditions and challenge individual family member's beliefs.
The series was created by Zafrir Kochanovsky, Ronit Weis-Berkowitz, and Ron Ninio; and directed by Ron Ninio. It is produced by Zafrir Kochanovsky and Miri Ezra (T.T.V. Productions), and aired on Reshet. Dialogue is conducted in Hebrew, Russian and some Yiddish, with subtitles in Hebrew, Russian, and English.Yarden Bar-Kokhva: Lea Berman
Gaya Traub: Roha'le Berman
Slava Bibergal: Sasha Mintz
Henry David: Zorik Mintz
Yevgenia Dodina: Marina Mintz
Lucy Dubinchik: Natalia Mintz
Tzahi Grad: Shmuel Berman
Yehezkel Lazarov: Aaron Berman
Nitai Gvirtz: Arieh Leiv
In 2008, HBO announced that it had secured the rights to the series, and is planning to produce an American version, retaining the Israel location and story. It is one of a number of Israeli shows being picked up for American TV. In addition, HBO is working with Israeli television writers to create other new shows, not previously produced in Israel, to air in America.
Actor Henry David won the 2006 Israeli Television Academy Best Actor Award. Additionally, the series won 2007 Ophir Awards (Israeli Film Academy) including "Best Directing", "Best Script", "Best Actor", "Best Art Design", and "Best Original Score". It also won the 2008 Washington Jewish Film Festival "Special Audience Recognition Award."