EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Portman’s feature directorial A Tale Of Love And Darkness based on Amos Oz’s international bestseller makes its world premiere on Saturday night at Cannes, and it’s a movie that’s very personal for the Oscar-winning actress, who was born in Israel. A Tale Of Love And Darkness follows Oz’s childhood with his troubled mother, who killed herself when the author was 12 years old. The pic is set during the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. Portman optioned the rights eight years ago after meeting with Oz and took it upon herself to write the screenplay. The film was shot on location in Jerusalem over 40 days.

In this stunning subtitled clip, in which Oz’s mother (played by Portman) tells her son the parable of two monks, it’s immediately evident that Portman has a cinematic tenor that is all her own, complete with lush desert and meadow landscapes from cinematographer Slawomir Idziak (Harry Potter And the Order Of The Phoenix) and a riveting score by Nicholas Britell. The composer is a close college friend of Portman’s and he wrote the music for her feature short in 2008’s New York, I Love You. Pic stars Gilad Kahana and Amir Tessler. Voltage Pictures and CAA are handling sales for A Tale Of Love And Darkness.