Natalie Portman, who directs and stars in the new Hebrew-language film adaptation of author Amos Oz’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” says that even though Oz has a record as a vocal left-wing critic of Israel, her film is not political.
Like the book on which it is based, Portman’s film is about a young boy at the time of the founding of the state of Israel.
“I think the movie is very much about this very particular, specific family story. Of course, it happens at a crazy moment in history, which I think is a big sort of weight on their backs. It’s sort of a pressure cooker for the family, but there’s not really a political agenda behind it,” Portman told the Associated Press on Sunday after the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
“[Amos] Oz became one of Israel’s leading peace advocates, so it’s not the most controversial, I suppose, of political aspects to the film,” she said.
Portman added that making the film in Hebrew was very important to her. The actress was born in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew.
“Someone said to me once, ‘Americans always want to make foreign movies and have French characters or Spanish characters speak English, but with a French accent or Spanish accent and it’s so silly.’ Could you imagine making a movie about George Washington in French and having him have an American accent in French?” she said.