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Rockinghorse (1978)

Sus Etz (original title)
| Drama | 1978 (Israel)
Ami Susetz, an Israeli artist, abandons his wife and daughter in New-York, and comes back to his home land after years of absence. Susetz wishes to decipher his constant feeling of failure ... See full summary »


Yaky Yosha


Yoel Kaminski, Yoram Kaniuk (book) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Miriam Bernstein-Cohen ... Mother
Gedalia Besser
Levana Finkelstein
Miriam Gavrieli
Shmulik Kraus ... (as Shmuel Kraus)
Arik Lavie
Rahel Marcus Rahel Marcus
Shoshana Shani-Lavie ... (as Shoshik Shani)
Daniel Wachsmann


Ami Susetz, an Israeli artist, abandons his wife and daughter in New-York, and comes back to his home land after years of absence. Susetz wishes to decipher his constant feeling of failure as a human being, as a family man, as an artist. His best friends were killed in war, his paintings were burned not without intent. He has no past and no future. Back home Susetz reunites with his dying father, with his mother, who unsuccessfully tries to understand her son, and with a childhood friend, Ansberg, now a philosopher/homeless. Ansberg has adopted unusual methods in order to bring love back to Tel-Aviv and expects "conscientious" Susetz to assist him in that. Susetz cannot be a "conscientious", or anything else for that matter, not before he resolves his own personal fate: who is he, why was he born, why does he live. Ami Susetz decides to make a movie, about himself, his parents, his hometown Tel-Aviv, and about all that constitutes the puzzle we call human life. His movie fails in ... Written by Joel Greenberg

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based on book | See All (1) »




Did You Know?


The title song "Sus Etz" was originally going to be sung by Gidi Gov. He recorded it around 1977 but his version wasn't released until 2012 in the 2 CD deluxe edition of his first album "Taklit Rishon". See more »


Sus Etz
Composed by Ya'ackov Rotblit / Shmulik Kraus
Performed by Arik Einstein
See more »

User Reviews

Hebrew dreaming
2 April 2013 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

This was a unique find for me, it may not be a great film but it's rare to be able to see an Israeli New Wave film.

The 'making of a film' device to layer cinematic narrative as part of the life we frame to remember is old and overly familiar now, and it wasn't much novel at the time either. I think all passion went out of the idea as early as Godard's Le Mepris, a sterile container. We have since found much more intangible ways of sliding through cracks of mind. So all the noodling here with cameras and fiction hasn't much to offer anymore, though it is unusual in that the filmmaker is not being overly clever. The focus is on gently surrounding emotional air and much less on intelligent articulation, a good thing. At this, Godard failed all through the sixties, intelligent but never probed into soul.

Okay, the story is that a young painter returns to Israel after a decade in the US to his lone mother and estranged, dying father.

There are primarily two threads here. Israeli everyday life as melancholy wandering around Tel Aviv, goofing, visiting old acquaintances. His father's picture-framing business awaits the man, the association is to putting limits around something. (apparently 'frame' connotes 'limits' in Yiddish)

The other is a film he is shooting, the film as framed imagining of his newly married parents' (both German Jews) journey to Hitler's Germany, his father's music, narrow escape back to Palestine and his own birth. Are these the 'paintings' he has burnt in exile?

Is it all including the shooting of the film being imagined from soulbaring talks with his mother? Is it reconciliation he dreams? Renewed commitment to art and life? A helpful hint lies inside the 1930's film-within, where The Jazz Singer is playing in Palestine—if you're not familiar with the film, nominally the first 'talkie', the narrative focus is on a son's relationship with his mother and reconciliation with his dying father, a cantor in a synagogue. We don't see the film, but hear Al Jolson sing 'Mammy'.

So this isn't a great film, it lacks the truly wonderful visual jazz of memory; but it's a good bit of honest soul. It is an Israeli farewell to old times, extending a gesture of understanding to flawed fathers who abandoned their music for the limits of home.

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Hebrew | English | German

Release Date:

1978 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Rockinghorse See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sus Etz Ltd. See more »
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