On the surface, this is a story about beings from another dimension who are sent on a mission to take control of a simple street performer's life- perhaps for his own benefit.
Intentionally ambiguous, the goal is to toy with the ideas of free will and determinism- and there are multiple interpretations that are valid. This film is meant to inspire questions and discussion, not necessarily answers.
Nevertheless, I've been asked by a few people to explain the story on a plot level, so here's one way of looking at it: there are angels who can appear in either human or puppet form, depending on their needs, who are given a mission to help the world. One angel gives a report of a street performer who is struggling and G-d then decides to send a whole team of angels to go help the performer out- against his will, to force him into the performance of a lifetime (supernatural even). Once the performer sees the benefits of this help, he willfully joins in and adds his own flair. Finally, when all is said and done, there's a question of whether it was his will or G-d's. The hand tap at the end leaves it open as a question- meant to spark discussion.
However, that's just the story on the surface.
It's best enjoyed by watching it first for some excitement and just to absorb it as a whole. Then go back to understand better what's going on and get at the bigger existential questions as they apply to our actual lives. How much of life is decided by individual choice, and how much if it is affected by external circumstances beyond our control? What if we could affect those circumstances albeit subtly, is it then still an expression of our will? Does belief in either an all-encompassing nature or an all-powerful God necessarily negate the possibility for free choice?
Ultimately, I think the answers to these questions can only be explored by a poetic sort of logic. And that's what this video is truly- a poem, an allegory, a big thought bubble. It's my hope that the viewer walks away entertained, but also intrigued to mediate on paradoxes like this and come to their own answers, frame the question in their own language and dreams- and have fun doing it ;)
Speaking of language... for non-Hebrew speakers, there are only two things you need to know:
1) The lyrics are- "Everything is in the hands of Heaven, except for fear of Heaven." And then it switches to "Everything is in the hands of Heaven, including fear of Heaven". That's it. This comes from a Rabbi known as the Ishbitzer Rebbe who was famous for challenging the conventional notion of free will.
2) The Hebrew sign you see throughout is a single word which means "Theater".
The Hebrew writing you see on the hand is not easily decipherable even to a native Hebrew speaker, so I leave that as a mystery here too :)
David Komer (Writer/Director)
If you're interested in more content like this, please stay tuned to this channel and shivimpanim.org
If you enjoyed the music, please find more of Yerachmiel's music and albums at yerachmiel.com/. This whole video began from listening to his song and getting inspired to create a cinematic companion to it. He's got great tunes in all sorts of genres and styles, I'm sure you'll find something that speaks to you too.
For a highly trained pantomime and an incredible artist, please see more of Ofer's pantomiming and other acts at oferblum.com/. He's the real deal.
If you're looking for deep paintings with the approach of a master, and you liked the backdrop on the caravan, check out more of Yitzhak Ben Yehuda's work at benyehudastudio.net/
Filmed on Black Magic Cinema Camera and Canon 7D (stills/stop motion) - all in RAW. Aside for CGI elements which were created with a variety of software. Please watch in HD.
Behind the scenes photos: flickr.com/x/t/0097009/photos/99569971@N03/sets/72157634858362064/
Blooper reel: vimeo.com/shivimpanim/blooper-in-the-hands-of-heaven
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
STREET PERFORMER AND MIME
EDITING, POST & VISUAL FX
BACKDROP ART - “THE GREAT DAY”
YITZHAK BEN YEHUDA
ARYEH & SARA NAFTALY
CHANA NESSYA KOMER
SPECIAL THANKS TO
HAKADOSH BORUCH HU
PRODUCED BY SHIVIMPANIM
© 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED