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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hagiga ba Snooker movie review

Hagiga ba Snooker, or "snooker celebration" in Hebrew, is a classic Israeli movie from 1975. Gavri (Yehuda Barkan) and Hannuka (Ze'ev Revach) are two small time pool hall owners and hustlers who try to hustle a former Israeli snooker king and suspected Mafia boss. (Note: snooker is another name for the game of pool or billiards). To pay off the money they owe him, they decide to sell Gavri’s family’s house. But they can't unless they first marry Gavri's twin brother. But Gavri's twin brother is interested only with the rabbi's daughter whom he is madly in love with. Little do they know that the snooker king wants to marry off his nephew to the rabbi's daughter as well. Hilarity ensues.

This movie is both charming and cheesy. Some scenes are embarrassingly predictable, but that's part of the fun which makes it a cult classic. For me, the film invokes the type of low-budget movies which used to be aired in America either at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon or 2am on a Saturday night. It was fun to see a movie with so many Jewish and Israeli references but without those references being the focus of the movie.

Hagiga ba Snooker contains no nudity, violence, or racism although there are one or two swear words both in English and Hebrew. The ending is happy without any deaths or any religious or political message.

One scene that has been immortalized on posters in falafel shops throughout the country is that of Hannuka dressed up as the matchmaker in a black hat and thick glasses stuffing his face full of food.

The movie co-stars Yossi Banai, a well known singer. Alternative titles for this movie include: Hagigah B’Snooker or simply Snooker.

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For an excellent article on this and other Israeli movies visit: