Valley of Strength (Gei Oni)

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2010
  • 105 min.
  • Director(s): Dan Wolman
  • Producer(s): Dan Wolman


The best-selling novel by Shulamit Lapid is brought lovingly to the screen by veteran director Dan Wolman. Having escaped pogroms in Russia, seventeen-year-old Fania arrives in Jaffa port with her baby, an ageing uncle and an emotionally traumatized brother. Lost and unable to support her family, she marries young widower Yechiel, and together with other pioneers, they work the barren Galilee land. Brought together by misfortune and mutual need, the young couple try hard to build a new life, but a terrible secret from Fania’s past refuses to leave them in peace.
Weaving the historical narrative with a poignant love story, the film brings to life the period of late-19th century Jewish immigration to Palestine. Beautiful cinematography recreates the physical surroundings, landscape and sun-drenched fields of the new countryside, while the masterful, slow-paced direction evokes the atmosphere of the time, with its pioneering spirit, hardships and great promise of hope.

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Dan Wolman


Dan Wolman


Dan Wolman, based on the novel by Shulamit Lapid


Ran Aviad


Shoshi Wolman

Original Music

Ori Vidislavski


Tamar Alkan, Zion Ashkenazi, Levana Finkelstein, Jacob Bodo, Ezra Dagan, Rotem Zisman, Anabela, Eric Yitzhakov

Original Language

Hebrew, English, Yiddish, Turkish, Russian


English, Hebrew

Festival Highlights


    Special Jury Prize
    Medias Film Festival

    Best Foreign Film
    "The Golden Rooster – One Hundred Flower" Film Festival

    Best Actress - Tamar Alkan
    the Israeli Film Critics

    Best Film
    Berlin Jewish Film Festival

    Best Film
    Strasbourg Jewish Film Festival

Medias Film Festival, Romania, 2010

One Hundred Flower Film Festival , China, 2011

Berlin Jewish Film Festival, Germany, 2011

Strasbourg Jewish Film Festival, France, 2011


  • "Wolman is the proclaimed troubadour of Israeli cinema. For over 40 years he has been making films differently as a unique, brave poet of cinema, forging his own personal way, pure and pristine in expression, in a rapidly changing world (…) one of the phenomena that give our cinema validity, morality and vitality. If our cinema matters to you… we need a lot more films by Dan Wolman"
    - Gidi Orsher, Galatz
  • "It is believable and sad and optimistic and pessimistic and it is the most beautiful love story I have seen in the last few years and the actors are in a reality they are unfamiliar with and it is as if they were born in it. "
    - Yoram Kenyuk
  • "Alkan delivers one of the greatest debut performances in the history of Israeli film (. ..) Vital, effervescent cinema that is full of love (… ) a precious and delicate jewel (…) a fine and even fun film. In short, do yourselves a favor and go see “Gei Oni”"
  • "A fine and complex script, impressive cinematography and assured directing. Four and a half stars."
    - Bidur Vebama