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Land Mark

Scrip by Miryam Adler & Ohad Domb 

Director: Ohad Domb

Producers: Moshe Edery,  Leon Edery,  Micky Rabinovitz

About the Movie

Hamzi fulfills a dream: together with his wife Dvora and two children, he builds a farm in the west of the Negev. 

As the kids grow up, the challenges of the desert and its dangers force the family to rethink their dream of a house on a piece of land.

The memories keep haunting him. Sharp images, void of clocks or calendars. He returns there. To here. Dvora and he are trying to stabilize a huge fabric in the wild wind. Yaeli, alarmed, is holding he collar of a large dog.  Probably Hawk, maybe Zevik.
Hammer strikes. The beginning of wooden house. Laundry in the wind. Fire in the taboon. Sand.
Yellow wilderness as far as the eye can see.

Here in the Negev Desert, Haim Zeev (Hamzi) and Dvora will build a new farm. They work with: construction materials, date seedlings, one tent, and one dog. Twenty fingers. One vision. The water line is delayed, and god doesn't bring down rain.
The seedlings dry up, the water is limited. Drinking only.
The construction progresses slowly, at nights they take shifts staying up, on the lookout for coyotes and the unknown.
Dvora puts Yaeli on the pickup truck seat. I'm not leaving her here. 
Hamzi is lonely and exhausted. An old man appears before him. Over there you'll find a water hole. I'm Abu-Salah, we will meet again. Hamzi finds the well. 
Dvora returns and finds a new friend –  Suha, Abu Salah's wife. Itamar, a restless baby, joins the family. He isn't afraid of the dark, nor the coyotes, or even Riyad, Abu Salah's older son who is intrigued by Yaeli. 
Yaeli and Riyad compete on horseback, raising a huge cloud of dust behind them. The riders in the desert are two teenagers, a boy and a girl.

Yaeli and Itamar ride into the farm compound. Home. The greenhouse. A small, busy goat pen. Nothing is wasted. Every piece of wood or stone is being put to use. Meals are modest, a sense of plenty and poverty. Yaeli is packing. Hamzi turns his back on her, not willing to say farewell to his forsaking daughter. Dvora and Suha in the pasture. Silence. All the fears have already been whispered out loud.

All the fears that will come true in the future. Itamar and Riyad's first fight. How did it begin? Hamzi doesn't remember and it doesn't matter anymore. It only matters how it ended. Abu Salah passes control of the clan to Riyad.  Suha can't meet Dvora any longer, the mothers lose control over their sons. Hamzi and Itamar quarrel a lot.  Hamzi takes Bedouin workers, Itamar is angry. Itamar provokes the Bedouins, and but is then hurt and wounded. Riyad won't remain inactive.

Yaeli lives in a farm of her own, Hamzi still won't forgive her for leaving, she was his right hand, without her the irrigation system doesn't work, the spices are tasteless and the milk is too thin.
Or, at least, that's how he sees it.

Hamzi becomes withdrawn, working all day and falling asleep in the evening – so that nobody will know how much he misses his daughter. 

He refuses to talk to Yaeli. His beard goes gray, his back slightly bends as he walks. Dvora now sleeps alone in the big bed – Hamzi has taken to sleeping in the living room. That's how he prefers it, alone. And there's a farm to run, and the numbers are worrying. Dvora half mentions leaving.  Hamzi ignores her. The farm's water pipe has been damaged by someone. Itamar cuts the Hamzi family water line. There is a break in to the pen. He didn't fully realize the danger, the fool. He though Abu Salah could still influence Riyad. And he should have prevented Dvora from taking the sheep to the pasture.

As if someone could prevent her from doing anything. Dvora is sitting on a rock. A shadow moves towards her, a knife shines. A dog runs off. Hamzi waits for Dvora to return until he understands. The sun comes up, rays falling on a lonely man in the desert, finding the body of his beloved. Hamzi digs the grave at the edge of the farm area.

The neighbors come to express their condolences, including representatives of the Abu Salah clan. Itamar drives them away. Hamzi slaps him, and then, several hours later, apologizes.  When the seven days of mourning pass, Hamzi gets back to work, but Itamar continues to stir trouble. Riyad threatens him.
The government offers compensation for evacuating  the farm. 
Three horses are missing from the stable, and Itamar is gone.
Hamzi rides, he hears shooting. A commotion at the Bedouin camp. Hamzi calls out to his son, runs, but doesn't arrive on time. Riyad comes out of the camp with his gun in his hand. Itamar hurls a Molotov cocktail.  Hamzi stands facing the flames and falls silent. 
Abu Salah approaches him. They weep together. Another grave to dig. Hamzi looks up to the heavens. Is that how you wanted it to be? Why, god, why?

A woman walks in the desert. It's Yaeli. Hamzi notices she's pregnant. A father hugs his daughter and bursts out crying.

They say god offers consolation. That's what they say.

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