Holy Land, The (2001) - Synopsis

Set in the world's holiest city during the dawn of the new century as fanatical Christians from across the globe arrive in hopes of provoking a confrontation between the many extremist Arabs and Jews, the plot of "The Holy Land" focuses on Menachem Weinbaum ("Mendy"),a young rabbinical student who is restless to learn about the bigger world. On the advice of his slightly demented teacher, Mendy visits a brothel in Tel Aviv so he can be rid of his "madness" and return tohis studies. There he meets Sasha, a nineteen-year-old Russian prostitute, whose dire situation and immense beauty captivates him. But Mendy's world really opens up when he discovers Mike's Place, a real-life magnet for the lost souls who flock to Jerusalem. A place where Arabs, Christians and Jews drink side by side, Mike's Place introduces Mendy to a gun-toting American-born settler, a shady entrepreneurial Arab and a slew of American expatriates, forever changed by the sixties, who act out biblical roles. As Mendy becomes more immersed in this culture of the millennium he begins to wonder if Mike and his band of misfits are as harmless as they seem? Or are they intent on provoking Armageddon?
A story of doomed, passionate love and coming of age in troubled times --set in a world-famous place not unlike Rick's Cafe American or the Cantina in "Star Wars" -- "The Holy Land" explores the underbelly of real life in Jerusalem after the sun goes down and the tourists and Orthodox families go to sleep.