Joe+Belle

DIRECTOR: Veronica Kedar

Joe and Belle meet when Belle decides to commit suicide in Joe’s bathtub, in this quirky black comedy from Israeli triple threat writer/director/star Veronica Kedar. Set in Tel Aviv during the shelling of the town of Sderot, this film takes an after-school special’s worth of serious subject matter and playfully turns it upside down.

At first, sexy, cynical Joe (Kedar), a drug dealer with ex-boyfriend troubles, doesn’t have the time or patience for the depressive Belle, who’s still sporting her medical ID bracelet from a recent hospital stay. However, the unlikely pair is forced together by a series of mishaps that begin with a gun in a microwave and end with the two on the run from the cops. Belle’s lithium calm proves handy, when she knocks out one of their pursuers and ties him to a Jacuzzi. Holed up with Belle in a fleabag hotel, Joe begins to reconsider her initial reaction to lesbian sex (“yuck!”) and soon is trying it on for size. Could these two mixed-up kids be falling in love?

Joe and Belle flee to Sderot, where they find not devastation but an unexpected haven (including friendly locals who invite the pair to open mic night). In the end, Joe + Belle is more screwball comedy than Thelma and Louise; just under the movie’s bad-girl vibe is a sweet rom-com waiting to come out.

— MONICA NOLAN

In English, French and Hebrew with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F119

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