Here's the trailer for it:-
Another international achievement for Israeli cinema:
God's Neighbors, a film by Meni Yaesh has won the Gaul's Society of Authors, Directors and Composers award in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The film is also nominated in the Caméra d'Or category for best first feature film.
God's Neighbors is an Israeli-French co-production by Mark Rosenbaum and Transfax Film Productions and was one of seven films competing in the category.
The movie features a group of young Hasidim in the city of Bat Yam who force their beliefs on the neighborhood's residents. When the group's leader falls in love with a woman from the neighborhood he is forced into a moral and existential conundrum.
From Hollywood Reporter review:
What looks at the outset to be a straightforward vigilante movie about a trio of hot-headed religious watchdogs in Israel turns into a worthy study of personal maturation and growth in God’s Neighbors...the film’s raw power and controversial content make it a good festival item and will ignite strong reactions among Jewish and Israel-minded audiences.
A trio of twentyish skull-capped guys, Avi, Kobi and Yaniv, have taken it upon themselves to police their Bat Yam neighborhood for transgressions against the letter of religious laws. Handy with baseball bats and their fists, they’re particularly hot to go after Arabs who have the effrontery to play loud music and otherwise disrupt the Sabbath, but they’re also rough on more relaxed Jews who keep their stores open too late on Friday nights, don’t dress right and so on (the film’s Hebrew title can best be translated as The Supervisors or The Monitors).
While they pursue Torah studies seriously with a notably inspiring and charismatic rabbi, the boys aren’t exactly exemplars of conservative behavior...The arrival of an attractive, independent-minded woman, Miri, into Avi’s life causes the expected, and resented, disruption in the young men’s dynamic. Ari wrestles with his desires in predictable ways, but where God’s Neighbors feels fresh is in he portrayal of his intense religious struggle...The result causes a moving and entirely plausible growth of character, one spurred—of course, since this is in part an action movie—by a final round of bloody violence. But the final stretch gives the drama a heft and impressive perspective that are not necessarily evident up to that point.
...a scrappy, hard-hitting debut.
As forceful as a kick in the jaw, "God's Neighbors" reps a sharp rebuke of bigotry and
male aggression perpetrated under the banner of religious orthodoxy. Israeli writer-helmer Meni Yaesh borrows savvily from genre conventions to portray a young man's attempts to break away from a gang of religious extremists who terrorize their suburban neighborhood...
As the gang's thuggery escalates, Yaesh vividly captures the men's intoxication with self-righteous brute power ("There's a higher force, and there's an earthly force," Kobi smugly remarks) through raw, dynamic lensing and visceral violence. But the filmmaker also weaves in scenes to remind that they're regular dudes as well, whether dancing joyously to their own remixed songs, playing backgammon or praising the teachings of their rabbi (Gili Shushan).
Their blatant sexism, racial intolerance and eagerness to pick fights are subtly attributed to sexual frustration. This becomes the catalyst for a fallout when Avner successfully courts Miri (Rotem Ziesman-Cohen), the feisty new neighbor whom they initially try to intimidate for wearing skimpy clothes.
...the film is fundamentally about a crisis of faith, its most powerful scene is an introspective one, in which Avner delivers a cri de coeur to God at the beach, culminating in a moving, symbolic gesture.
The pic opens with a quotation from Hasidic spiritual leader Reb Nachman of Breslov: "To the true believer, faith is observation." It also reflects the helmer's artistic mantra as he consistently regards his characters with an observer's neutrality, using extreme closeups to linger searchingly on his subjects' rage and arrogance, as well as their self-doubt and spiritual longing. The entire cast, particularly Assaf, turn in intense perfs, though Friedman and Golan convey little complexity beyond hot-headedness. Ziesman-Cohen exerts a sensual presence amid all the testosterone, and subtly reveals a tender side beneath her no-nonsense exterior.