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Israeli box office scores big with Monty Python-inspired film “This is Sodom”

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The cast and crew of "Eretz Nehederet" — Israel’s popular TV comedy that constitutes a combination of "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show" — recently took their comedy act to the big screen with "This is Sodom" (Heb. Zohi S’dom).

The film, Israel’s runaway box office hit of the summer, is a satirical retelling of the Biblical story in Genesis in which Abraham and Lot attempt save the wanton city of Sodom from destruction. Directors Adam Sanderson and Muli Segev are unabashed about their having drawn inspiration from the Monty Python crew’s "The Life of Brian" in designing the set, costumes and comedic style of the film. While the film has received mixed critical reviews, Segev expressed his hope that it will one day be canonized as part of Israel’s Independence Day broadcast with a million viewers tuning in.

For now, Segev, Sanderson and the cast ought to be content with 100 thousand tickets sold in the film’s opening weekend and a staggering 309,444 tickets sold from Aug. 5-21 — a blockbuster in Israel, population 7.5 million. For comparison, The Marker notes that ‘Avatar’ sold 79 thousand tickets during its opening weekend run in Israel. So far, the film has grossed nearly $3 million and has been nominated for 5 Ophir awards, Israel’s version of the Academy Awards.

Below is the making-of video for "This is Sodom" (Hebrew only):

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