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Two of France's biggest film stars, Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu, have been in Israel since the beginning of this month shooting the movie Hello Goodbye.
The film is directed by Graham Guit, whose 2003 movie The Pact of Silence also stared Depardieu.
Filming of the Israeli-French co-production started last Sunday at Nebi Musa, a Muslim shrine in the Judean Desert not far from the West Bank town of Jericho. Ardant and Depardieu play Alain and Gisell - a couple of Parisian Jews married for 30 years who make aliya but encounter difficulties integrating in their new homeland and decide to return to France.
The desert scene included encounters with biblical figures and ended as the two recite kadish (the prayer for the dead) at Jerusalem's Mount of Olives cemetery.
Another scene involved extras portraying Ethiopian immigrants at the Mevaseret Zion absorption center.
Israeli actors in the production include Lior Ashkenazi, Sason Gabai and Dana Ivgui.
The shoot is expected to last four weeks during which Ardant is staying in Israel. Depardieu is commuting back and forth to France due to other commitments.
Other scenes will be shot in the coming weeks in Tel Aviv.
Depardieu, 59, is an Academy Award-nominated actor. His most significant English-language productions include Green Card and 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Ardant, 58, has appeared in more than 50 motion pictures. Her most recent English-language film was Franco Zeffirelli's 2003 production Callas Forever, in which she portrayed opera diva Maria Callas.
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