God’s plan for a Yeshiva student is disrupted when CPR saves his life. He’s reborn into a surreal, sexual and disturbing new existence that tests his faith and his father’s mercy.
God’s plan for Haim-Aaron seems to end with the ascetically devout Yeshiva student dead in the shower, killed by a slip that results in a brutal blow to the head. But his father, seeing his son’s naked corpse stretched out in the family’s living room, refuses to give up when the EMTs do, and he continues performing CPR until his son — dead for 40 minutes — somehow sputters back to life. Haim-Aaron finds himself reborn and seeing the world — once an austere prison of devotion and books and head-rocking prayer — through new eyes. Almost literally, as he discovers he no longer needs his glasses. He also finds his faith shaken, his family alien and his stifled sexual desires raging. Unable to sleep Haim-Aaron begins hitchhiking from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, where he slowly dares himself to experience the sensual and carnal pleasures of the world.
Avisha Sivan’s gorgeous black and white film walks through a surreal valley of death where talking alligators rise from toilets, boners in the shower bring Yahweh's retribution and a father must consider fulfilling Abraham’s fatal mission for God. TIKKUN brings us into the closed-off world of the Hasidim and Sivan’s actors obliterate the line between performance and reality. Lead Aharon Treitel is an amateur actor who was once a Hasid, while Khalifa Natour, a Palestinian actor familiar from THE BAND’S VISIT, plays his rabbi father. Though it has a touch of PI and a dash of Lynch, TIKKUN stakes out a unique juncture between kitchen sink realism and uncanny supernatural weirdness. A hypnotic and transcendently disturbing examination of piety, destiny and blood sacrifice TIKKUN contains both the most beautiful and the most deeply shocking imagery you will see at Fantastic Fest. It will test your belief — or disbelief — in God. (Devin Faraci)