The King Of Ratings

Directed by - Doron Tsabari           
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2001, 80 minutes, Original Language: Hebrew. Subtitles: English, formats beta pal, d.v.d

Anyone wishing to understand the spirit of the times in Israel during the ‘90s and turn of the 21st century, must consider TV star Dudu Topaz. His program, Harishun Babidur, (The First in Entertainment) has led the ratings list for nearly six years straight. He himself symbolizes, for many of his viewers, the essence of the Israeli dream. 66% said they would vote for him for Prime Minister if he ran. In another survey asking who is the typical Israeli man of the year 2000, he came in first place with 12% of the votes. Binyamin Netanyahu took second place with 9% and Ehud Barak, 7%.

Doron Tsabari has accompanied Dudu Topaz over the past five years, during which the latter realized his dream of becoming the most popular man in Israel. We see him behind the set of his show, through the ups and downs of his relationship with his wife, friends, with his children, and during his rare moments alone with his personal struggles. With Topaz, one is never certain if it is all just part of a big show that he enjoys not only starring in and directing, but also viewing from the sidelines. This is a penetrating, funny and sad film about a TV star with no limits, whose love for himself depends entirely upon the audience’s love for him, a man who has succeeded in bursting open the spirit of the times and has crowned himself a post-modern king. King of the ratings.

Jerusalem Film Festival 2001
Silver Award: Worldfest Houston 2002

Photography: Dror More, Gadi Efriat, Gabi Muati, David Zarif
Editing: Tali Halter-Shenkar

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