|Index||2 reviews in total|
The hospital calls that the elderly man in their care, a father and
grandfather, has taken a turn for the worse. The nurse's voice suggests
that it might be a good time to visit.
This simple call begins Things Behind the Sun, Yuval Shafferman's wonderfully detailed and excellently acted family drama. This dysfunctional family manages to stay together and even create harmony within its dissonance because it holds its secrets dear. Didush, the youngest daughter does not reveal her ability to understand the English her parents use in private conversation or that she has begun visiting the hospital. The older daughter, played by the always-excellent Tali Sharon, is so good at concealing her lesbianism that she even hides it from herself. The 30-year-old son pretends to participate in life, but for reasons unclear to all of us but fully accepted by his family, basically stays in his PJs all day. Itzchak, the father, will not talk about the visits he begins with his father, whose death seems suddenly less imminent. The wife, an artist on the verge of her first major show, has neglected to inform her family just how fully she has utilized them in various nude forms as subjects for her art. And no one discusses the reasons why the man in the hospital, once an integral part of the family, has been estranged from everyone for more than ten years.
But as the family members begin to talk to each other, what was hidden is revealed. The process by which the pretenses dissolve is entertaining and fascinating, without a single morbid moment. Every member of the cast has the opportunity to display a range of emotions, with each other as well as in scenes with Hilla Vidor who is delightful every moment she is on the screen, as a self-confident waitress, as the daughter's amused lover, and as the entire family's casual friend. The only politics in this family's world is lower case family politics, as the mother's long awaited debut is scheduled for the same week as the grandfather's death and the family tries to calculate the cost of supporting her with their own images on her canvases.
If forced, perhaps one can make a case that the family is a metaphor for the State, different factions unable to work together for the common happiness of all when crisis threatens, but Things Behind the Sun is peopled with memorable individuals who can stand without the prop of "greater meaning." This is an impressive debut by a first time filmmaker, ably assisted by a veteran cast.
Yuval Shafferman,the director is an emerging young director in Israel
and this is his debut feature. His short film 'Routine', shot while he
was a student at Tel Aviv University has won the prestigious 'Best
Student Film' award at the Manhattan short Film Festival and with it
$250,000 in the year 2003. 'Things behind the sun' is excellent. It is
about Pain in the Family. The Political situation in Israel and the
Middle East is not mentioned at all but the Social Situation is hinted
all the time. Modern Israel with very big Social Gaps. The tense
situation, Materialistic Rat Race, Reminds me of "Knafayim Shvurot" by
Nir Bergman (Broken Wings 2002). Family drama, Yitzhak (Assy Dayan) the
father who hears that his father is dying in a Hospital. His wife has
an art exhibition that opens that same week. The older daughter comes
home after many years of study and Hi-Tec work on her Laptop discovers
that she is Lesbian. Yitzhak has not seen his father in ten years. The
younger daughter is Didush, she is 10 year old and nobody even seem to
notice that she is there. The dysfunction of the family is nicely
brought out in a scene where Yitzhak and his wife are at the verge of a
major fight. They are decent enough to know that they should not talk
in front of Didush. They ask her to leave saying it is time to bed.
Didush says she does not want to sleep yet. Then they try to get around
the problem by speaking in English, only for Didush to say something in
English and leave at the end of it. The parents did not even know that
their own kid speaks English.
All the Characters are played very well. The Script and the Direction are very good. Enjoyed it all-though it is sad and Painful.
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