Coming to virtual theatrical today, Friday, June 19:
PICTURE OF HIS LIFE
Yonatan Nir and Dani Menkin
Doc Edge, Gold Coast, Jewish and Israeli fests in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Virginia, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Austin, Los Angeles, and Chicago
A portrait of a famed underwater photographer’s elusive quest.
Amos Nachoum is an internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, particularly known for his stunning underwater work. One specific shot has long eluded him, however: capturing an image of a polar bear while swimming alongside it. Filmmakers Yonatan Nir and Dani Menkin follow the 65-year-old Nachoum as he takes a trek to the Canadian Arctic to try to finally realize his dream. The film notes the real dangers of his mission, while also filling in the Israeli photographer’s background, which includes a difficult relationship with his ailing father and lasting trauma from the Yom Kippur War. Nachoum is a relatively quiet protagonist, so this biographical information is useful, if not always as compelling or connected to the polar bear quest as it seems the filmmakers believe it to be. While the stakes never feel quite as large as they are portrayed here, the Arctic expedition is beautifully lensed and achieves a satisfying conclusion.