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The unexpected death of the family patriarch throws every member of the Ulman clan off course. Widow Dafna takes to bed for three months and when she finally returns to her job at the maternity hospital, she has little time for her children. Eldest son, Yair drops out of school and adopts a fatalist attitude, shutting out his siblings and girlfriend. His twin sister Maya, a talented musician, feels the most guilt and is forced to act as a family caregiver at the expense of career opportunities. Bullied at school, younger son Ido responds by obsessively filming himself with a video camera and attempting dangerous feats. The baby sister, Bar, is woefully neglected. Preoccupied with their own misery, the family is barely a family anymore. When another tragedy strikes, will they be able to support one another? Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Regardless of it's geographical setting, this is an involving and rather moving little drama
Maya is a teenager who has hopes of someday having a better life through her singing. However, on the night of her first gig she is called home to look after her young brother and sister while her mother goes to a night-shift at the hospital. This is the pattern of Maya's life since her father died about 9 months before her mother Dafna never seems to be around, her elder brother seems to be on a downward spiral of depression while the youngest children seem adrift and distant.
Whenever I sit down to watch a film that comes from Israel, it is tempting to assume that the film will deal with or at least touch on the troubles there. That was the case with this film and I was pleasantly surprised that this was actually a drama about teenage relationships and difficulties. The plot focuses on Maya but draws in the other characters into a story that is rather low-key and small but manages to be involving and rather moving. It's not perfect of course and some viewers may find it's pace a little slow and the insular nature of the drama to be a little folded in on itself (especially if you expected the wider conflicts to be drawn into it in some way). As a teenage drama this is rather touching and is an enjoyable little drama that is based on a well written script.
The performances are also very good and there aren't really any weak links in this regard. Maron is well cast and her Maya is interesting and sympathetic. Banar has a more difficult role but does it well and keeps the audience with her. Gaviratz is good even if his character is the most difficult to get to know; the younger children are also good and rise above the usual cute performances that Hollywood seems to draw from kids on a regular basis. The film paints a small family drama on a little canvas and the good cast are a major part of producing a story that really engages.
Overall this is an enjoyable little family drama that is quite involving and quite touching. The characters are well written and well delivered by a roundly good cast. Short and bittersweet and well worth a watch if you can find it everywhere in the world there are families and teenagers and everywhere in the world they have conflict.
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