User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4

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  1. Mar 23, 2014
    8
    “Bethlehem” is a German/Belgium/Israeli film which tells the story of an Israeli agent and his Palestinian “asset” and the intense, complicated and involved relationship the two experience. Well directed by Yuval Adler who also co-wrote the film with Ali Wakad, the film stars Tsahi Halevi as the Israeli agent and Shadi Mar’l as his teenage informant.

    More than just an interesting view
    of this relationship, the film attempts to help the viewer understand the clashing cultures among those in the Israeli government, Hamas and the Palestine Authority as the 3 jockey for control and jurisdiction in this troubled part of the world. I give the film and 8 and suggest that it be seen by all who are seeking a better understanding of the almost impossible situation in the middle East and why, in the land of miracles, it will take one to bring peace to that part of the world. Expand
  2. Mar 13, 2014
    8
    One can characterize this movie as a physiological drama or a thriller. Two main characters are Razi, Israeli secret service officer, and his teenage informant Sanfur. Sanfur's older brother is a leader in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, responsible for many terrorist acts against Israelis and as such is wanted by Israelis. Sanfur is struggling with conflicting loyalty: on one hand, he loves his brother and wants his family to be proud of him (and the only way to get such respect is to take part in armed actions against Israelis). On the other hand, there has been an emotional bond between him and Razi who treats him better than his own father. He has to walk a very tight and dangerous rope as a double agent. And he is only a kid.

    Razi's feelings are also troubled: he is sympathetic towards the boy yet these emotions conflict with his professionalism. For Razi's boss Sanfur is only an asset but for Razi he is almost like a son.

    The movie allows us a glimpse into working of Israeli intelligence and, on the other hand, into conflicts among different Palestinian militant groups.

    Overall, the movie is a very strong debut for director Yuval Adler.
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Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 63
    As a story about a war that is unresolved, it seems better suited to a provisional “To be continued” than the certainty of “The end.”
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 27, 2014
    70
    In Bethlehem Adler tries to make some sense of that world, and to the extent that it's possible, succeeds.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Mar 7, 2014
    63
    When it stays with the two leads, one Israeli, one Palestinian, it makes a compelling story.