Natalie Portman makes her return on the big screen in A Tale of Love and Darkness at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Academy-Award winning actress Natalie Portman not only stars in A Tale of Love and Darkness, she makes her directorial and writing debut in the Hebrew drama.
Based on Amos Oz’s international best-seller this is the story of his youth at the end of the British Mandate in Palestine and the early years of the state of Israel. The film details young Oz’s memories of growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood with his parents; his the academic father, Arieh, and his dreamy, imaginative mother, Fania (Portman). They were one of many Jewish families who moved to Palestine from Europe during the 1903s and 1940s to escape persecution.
Portman revealed to the The Independent that it took almost seven years for her to get this passion project off the ground.
“Amos is an extremely kind, warm human being and so he didn’t make me feel like I was on trial,” Portman said. “I really had to show him my passion and commitment to the material and all he asked was that I don’t make any sort of simplified explanations as to why she killed herself. He said ‘please don’t do that’.”
Another challenge for Portman was making the film in Hebrew. “It was more challenging than I expected,” she said. “I am pretty good but I still make a lot of grammatical errors, and I had to work a lot on my accent. It was okay to have an accent because my character in the movie is an immigrant, but it’s not OK for her to have an American accent.”