In 1982, Ari Folman was a nineteen-year-old infantry soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In 2006, he meets with a friend from his army service period, who tells him of the nightmares connected to his experiences from the Lebanon War. Folman is surprised to find that he remembers nothing from that period. Later that night he has a vision from the night of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the reality of which he is unable to clearly recall. In his memory, he and his soldier comrades are bathing at night by the seaside in Beirut under the light of flares descending over the city.
The Israeli Defense Minister Israel Navon (Doron Tavory) moves to a house on the border between Israel and the West Bank, with the building sitting on the Israeli side just next to the dividing line. The Israeli Secret Service views the neighboring lemon grove of Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass), a Palestinian widow whose family has cared for the area for generations, as a threat to the Minister and his wife. The security forces soon set up a guard post and a barbed wire fence around the grove. They then obtain an order to uproot the lemon trees.
The film starts with God (Eyal Kitzis) meeting Abraham (Moti Kirschenbaum) to sell monotheism. After Abraham declines, God promises to end Abraham's theft problem by destroying the city of Sodom, where the thieves are coming from, within three days. Abraham asks God to get his nephew Lot (Dov Navon) out of the city before he destroys it. God replays the command to his subordinates Raphael (Yuval Semo) and Michael (Maor Cohen).
The film contains five story lines, each of which is presented in a non-chronological fashion. Some events are shown multiple times from varying perspectives. A young Israeli Arab boy, Nasri, who lives in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, narrates the film.
Eliezer Shkolnik (Shlomo Bar Aba) is a philologist who researches the different versions and phrasings of the Jerusalem Talmud. He and his son Uriel (Lior Ashkenazi) are both professors at the Talmudic Research department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Shira Mendelman, an 18-year-old Haredi girl living in Tel Aviv, is looking forward to an arranged marriage with a young man whom she likes. However, on Purim, her family suffers a tragedy when Shira's older sister Esther dies in childbirth. Shira's father subsequently delays the engagement so as not to have to deal with an empty house so soon after Esther's death. Esther's husband, Yochay, begins to regularly bring their son, Mordechai, to the Mendelman's house, where Shira cares for him.
Noam, a young Israeli reservist working at a checkpoint while on reserve duty, is crushed when he witnesses a Palestinian woman giving birth to a dead baby; he also locks eyes with a young Palestinian man there, Ashraf. He then gets back to Tel Aviv as he has finished his military service. There he shares a flat with another gay man, Yali, and a woman, Lulu, who works in a soap shop. The three roommates live a generally bohemian life.
Trembling Before G-d interviews and follows several gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews, many only seen in silhouette, and also interviews several rabbis and psychologists regarding their views on homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism. The film repeatedly returns to several characters:
The film mainly focuses on 28-year-old Dave Peck, who is unemployed but prefers the search for the meaning of life to the search for gainful employment. While looking in a magazine, Dave finds an advertisement for a book that will tell him the meaning of life "for the low price of $9.99." Dave, fascinated by this, begins his journey in his Sydney apartment to find the true meaning of life.
L'histoire du film débute en 1945, l'année de la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, juste avant la Guerre israélo-arabe de 1948-1949. Une famille juive d'Europe migre vers la Palestine encore mandataire du Royaume-Uni afin d'éviter les persécutions. Le couple de Fania et d'Arieh Oz ne s'entend plus. Tandis qu'Arieh est plutôt confiant pour son avenir, Fania est traumatisée par la guerre et le fait d'avoir dû fuir son pays. Tous les deux ne restent ensemble que grâce à leur fils de 10 ans, Amos. Il découvre la poésie et la littérature selon un certain point de vue, expliqué par sa mère. Au fil du temps, constatant que la nouvelle vie dont elle rêvait ne voit pas le jour, Fania devient de plus en plus triste et finit même par se suicider, laissant à son fils une certaine vision de la littérature qui l'influencera dans ses écrits toute sa vie. L'histoire se termine en 1953, cinq ans après la proclamation de l'État d’Israël, quand Amos, maintenant âgé de 18 ans, s'en va habiter dans un kibboutz.
Robin Wright plays a fictional version of herself, an aging actress with a reputation for being fickle and unreliable, so much so that nobody is willing to offer her roles. Her son, Aaron, suffers from Usher syndrome that is slowly destroying his sight and hearing. With the help of Dr. Barker (Paul Giamatti), Robin is barely able to stave off the worst effects of her son's decline. Robin agrees to sell the film rights to her digital image to Miramount Studios (a portmanteau of Miramax and Paramount) in exchange for a hefty sum and the promise to never act again. After her body is digitally scanned, the studio will be able to make films starring her, using only computer-generated characters.
The story takes place in the high-security block of the central Israel Prison Service jail. Uri and Issam are the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian prisoner groups, respectively. After a musical performance in the prison, a row breaks out between Hoffman, a Jewish inmate, and a Palestinian. When Hoffman is killed, the security officer initiates a fight between the sides, pinning the blame for the murder on Issam's cell. Doron, the only Jewish prisoner in the Arab cell, is asked to sign a document implicating Issam in the crime, but refuses and commits suicide. He leaves a note saying that his cell was not responsible for the crime. As a result, Uri and Issam begin a general hunger strike, and make personal sacrifices in order not to break it.
C'est l'histoire de loyauté et de trahison entre un agent des services secrets israéliens, Razi, et son jeune informateur palestinien, Sanfur (« Schtroumpf » en arabe), sur fond d'attentats suicides en Israël. Sanfur est tiraillé entre son amitié pour Razi et sa loyauté pour sa famille et notamment son frère Ibrahim, qui appartient aux Brigades des martyrs d'Al-Aqsa tout en étant financé par le Hamas. De nombreux protagonistes de ce thriller jouent en fait un double jeu, sur fond d'alliances politiques mouvantes inter-palestiniennes et israélo-palestiennes.
Ce sont des séries de bobines de films de 35 mm allemandes, anonymes, sans générique, portant la seule inscription : Das Ghetto, retrouvées dans les années 1950 qui sont à l'origine du film de Yahel Hersonski. Ces bobines constituent un « documentaire » allemand sur le ghetto de Varsovie durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Dans les années 1990, la découverte d'une bobine manquante viendra éclairer la propagande qui se cachait dans les premières images retrouvées et le véritable but des Allemands qui réalisèrent ces images.
Yossi (Ohad Knoller) commands a company of soldiers in the snow-covered mountains near Lebanon. In secrecy, he leads a passionate romantic relationship with his second-in-command officer, Lior (Yehuda Levi), who is called Jagger by everyone for his rock star-like handsomeness and his lip-syncing Mick Jagger.