Screen Savor: It Takes the Cake

As feature film debuts go, writer/director Ophir Raul Grazier’s “The Cakemaker” (Laila Films) ranks among the better ones. The bakery café run by gay baker Tomas (Tim Kalkhof) is always the first stop that Israeli businessman Oren (Roy Miller) makes when he’s in Berlin every month. Oren loves Tomas’ pastries and makes sure to bring a box of his cookies home to his wife Anat (Sarah Adler) and son Itai (Tamir Ben Yehuda).

Before long, bisexual Oren is sampling more than Tomas’ baked goods on his monthly trips. After seeing each other for a year, Oren leaves Berlin, forgetting his mobile phone, as well as the box of cookies. Tomas leaves him several voice mail messages at his office, but never gets a reply. When he shows up in person at the office, he gets the heartbreaking news that Oren was killed in a car accident in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Anat is adjusting to life as a widow and single parent. She runs her kosher café under the watchful eye of Oren’s brother Motti (Zohar Strauss). Unbeknownst to her, Tomas arrives in Jerusalem, and one day shows up at her café, and becomes a regular. Before long, she offers Tomas a job. 

After baking cookies as a surprise for Itai’s birthday, he unknowingly risks Anat losing her license because he’s not Jewish and it’s a kosher establishment with strict kitchen rules. However, after Anat tastes Tomas’ creation, she realizes how talented he is. By making some adjustments, Tomas becomes the resident baker and his cakes and other delicacies bring the crowds into Café Paamon. Furthermore, Anat and Tomas embark on a brief, unexpected, intimate relationship.

Sadly, the excitement doesn’t last long. Anat’s café loses its certification. Oren’s mother Hanna (Sandra Sadeh) hints to Tomas of her awareness of her son’s sexual fluidity. And Anat begins piecing together receipts and notes she finds in box of Oren’s things, leading to a discovery that will change the course of her and Tomas’ lives. “The Cakemaker” is in German, Hebrew and English with subtitles. 

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