Atalia Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byAkiva Tevet [he]
Produced byOmri Maron
Danny Shick
Shmuel Shiloh
Screenplay byTzvika Kertzner [he]
Story byYitzhak Ben Ner
StarringMichal Bat-Adam
Yiftah Katzor
Yossi Polak
Dan Toren
Music byNachum Heiman
CinematographyNurith Aviv
Edited byRuben Korenfeld
Distributed byErgo Media (US)
Running time
90 minutes

Atalia (Hebrew: עתליה) is a 1984 Israeli drama directed by Akiva Tevet. It was adapted from a story by Yitzhak Ben Ner and mostly shot on location at Kibbutz Yakum.


Atalia (Michal Bat-Adam) is a 40-year-old widow who lost her husband in the Six-Day War and lives on a kibbutz with her adolescent daughter (Gail Ben-Ner). Lonely and feeling outcast, she enters into a forbidden affair with her daughter's classmate, Matti (Yiptach Katzur), an idealistic 19-year-old who had been rejected by the army. Atalia is independent-minded and non-conformist, so when her affair becomes known, the kibbutz leaders have the excuse they need to ostracize her. The slow degeneration of the once-idealistic kibbutz into a puritanical society, the strait-jacket of its conservative view of masculinity, and the conformity of her daughter all provide a backdrop to Atalia's problems.


Significance of the name[edit]

The original Athaliah was a Biblical queen of Judea, whom the Bible presents as a tyrannical usurper and idolater. Used, though not commonly, as a female first name in Israel, Atalia is a secularist name associated with the sector of Israeli society which tends to rebel against old traditions and conventions and seek new ways. This meaning is obvious to Israeli audiences, and clearly has some relevance to the film's themes.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received poor reviews and poor attendance at the box office (only 80,000 tickets were sold).[1]


  1. ^ Judd Ne'eman, "Israeli Cinema," in Oliver Leaman, ed., Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film (Routledge, 2001), p. 243.

External links[edit]