Fire Birds: An Israeli Murder Mystery Film (June 7, 2016)

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Murder mystery writer introduces murder mystery film to murder mystery fans at this year’s St. Louis Jewish Film Festival.

The writer is me.

The film is Fire Birds.

movie_36549[1]And if you’re a fan of the noire mystery movie–a rich tradition that dates back to such classics as The Maltese Falcon and The Third Man while forever reinventing itself in neo-noire gems that include ChinatownBlade Runner, and Blood Simple–then come join us  for the screening of this remarkable Israeli film at 2 p.m. on June 7 at the Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema. I will provide a short introduction before the film’s showing.

As with so many noire murder mysteries, our hero in Fire Birds is a down-on-his-luck detective faced with solving a Fire%20Birds%20_3[1]vexing crime. Specifically, an 80-year-old man’s body is found floating in the river with three stab wounds to the chest and a number tattooed along his forearm. The case is assigned to Amnon, an Israeli police detective and second generation Holocaust survivor who has returned to duty after a lengthy suspension. Living apart from his wife and daughter, he struggles to bring the unwanted case to a quick close.

The investigation leads Amnon to a tattoo parlor and a club of Holocaust survivors with a zest for life who seek solace in romantic recollections of their pre-war world. In the weeks leading up to his death, the victim sought, in the words of one character, a “membership card to the most horrible club in the world”: the club of Holocaust survivors.

As the story interweaves past and present, we witness the struggle of each man–the detective and the victim–to rejoin the society which rejected him.

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