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Minotaur (1997)

Alex Abramov is Mossad secret agent looking after some bad guys. He falls in love with young music student Thea, but can not reveal himself and sends her gifts secretly. Thea first thinks ... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Tammuz

Writers:

Benjamin Tamuz (novel), Dan Turgeman | 1 more credit »
Reviews
8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mili Avital ... Thea
Dan Turgeman ... Alex
Georges Corraface ... Nicos
Christine Jones Christine Jones ... Thea's mother
Josh Lucas ... G.R.
Anat Atzmon ... Mother
Mike Burstyn ... Mossad Man
Catherine Kellner ... Kim
Asher Tzarfati ... Head of The Mossad
Gadi Dorfman Gadi Dorfman ... Young Alex
Robert Levine ... Music teacher
Anatol Constantin Anatol Constantin ... Kesler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Cordero ... Tony Cigars
Tony Dalton ... College Student
Sandra Gilligan Sandra Gilligan ... Student Lecture Hall
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Storyline

Alex Abramov is Mossad secret agent looking after some bad guys. He falls in love with young music student Thea, but can not reveal himself and sends her gifts secretly. Thea first thinks that it must be another student, G.R., who sends gifts, and bad guys, knowing about Alex's feelings towards Thea, attack G.R. by mistake. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Thriller

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Details

Country:

USA | Israel

Language:

English

Release Date:

1997 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Minotauro See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart0
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User Reviews

 
A Remarkable Film
31 October 2001 | by Aviewer2001See all my reviews

I discovered Minotaur by accident when it started playing on HBO channels in October 2001. Seemingly unheralded except for an incorrect two-sentence prologue from HBO, I feel it deserves far more attention than that.

The central character is Alex, an Israeli Mossad assassin operating in New York City. Like the Picasso print on his childhood bedroom wall, Alex has become a Minotaur; part beast, part man, for he is also a soulful romantic. Both are legacies from his mother.

Happiness had been out of reach for Alex until he sees Thea. She is a student of classical music and Spanish literature, and a purer version of his mother.

Fearing endangering Thea, Alex watches from a distance but cannot resist moving closer and closer. He leaves incredible love letters and gifts for her in places no stranger could. He includes a book of Picasso prints with "his" Minotaur drawing and a Luis de Gongora poem about two hearts in one body. Thea is deeply moved and cannot understand why he stays apart.

As he realizes much later, he was a coward not to have left his old ways behind when he first saw her --and the more time that passes, the more dangerous the conflicted situation becomes.

The ending, like the events leading to it, echo the Gongora poem and Minotaur drawing, whose symbolism had always held-out more than one possible meaning for their relationship.

The use of art, literature, music, and history to impart deeper meanings to situations is very well done. So is the interplay of shadow and light, down to Alex's stubbled or clean-shaven face, reflecting how far in or out of his dark world he is.

Rather than following a linear time-line, the film unravels Alex's emotions. The story moves between 1963 and the mid-1990s, from a beautiful rural home in Israel (that seems to have once been a Palestinian home) to the buildings, streets, and skylines of NYC.

Mostly in English, Minotaur is an Israeli production based on the book by Israeli author Benjamin Tammaz. The core references to the perils of the deepening chasm between utter brutality and hope speak to the conflicts there and elsewhere more than ever.

The film's star, co-writer and co-producer is Dan Turgeman who used to sometimes use his Sephardic looks for roles in English-language films that negatively stereotyped Muslims. He may have perhaps needed the work as a younger actor, but this is a welcome change.


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