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In an old apartment building on the wrong side of the tracks, two women, unknown to each other, live across the hall on the second floor. Galia is an assassin involved against her will with the local sex-traffic mafia. All she wants is to reunite with her little daughter that she left back home in Ukraine. Eleanor is a grocery store cashier and a battered wife. She dreams of winning the lottery and running away from her abusive husband. Galia and Eleanor don't know each other, but as neighbors they share two things: an adjoining wall and a strong need to plan their escape. As Galia disobeys her latest contract, a woman target, and Eleanor discovers that she's pregnant, the two women decide to take action against their oppressors in a fight for survival and freedom. Written by
Being familiar with Israeli cinema and hating it, I have to say that I
welcomed the idea of this movie when it was announced. Among tearful
melodramas, unnecessary and unfair political films, boring war pictures
and idiotic romantic dramas, Kirot stood, at first, as the refreshing
example of the much needed genre cinema in Israeli film industry.
Just imagine following pitch: sexy Ukrainian woman is forced to work as
a prostitute after being threatened and violently beaten. Then she gets
a gun and forced to become an assassin, also becomes involved in a
lesbian relationship with her neighbor. But when she is given an
assignment that she doesn't like, she rises against her abusers and her
former pimps in old fashion bloody revenge.
Sounds great, isn't it. Juicy, violent and gory exploitation flick in
potential. In some places such idea could turn out to be "Thriller: A
Cruel Picture", in others it could turn to be ""Female Prisoner #701:
Scorpion", even "Kill Bill", but for some reason in Israel it turned
out to be "Kirot", which is more an insult than a compliment.
So maybe no one actually intended to make an exploitation flick here
(and really why not?), but this is besides the point. The movie "Kirot"
is a pale shadow of any good expectations I've had about the film.
Instead of daring plot, bold direction and uncompromising violence all
we got here is a boring story with carton characters without any
ability to be liked, crude and dull direction, forceful and artificial
manipulation on the viewer, and finally many rip offs and little
And although camera work is somewhat innovative, sometimes even very
nice (single shots), it feels disconnected and pointless in connection
to the movie itself. Because every part should work together, here each
part is pulling to a different direction.
Lerner is not a good director and even worse screenwriter. His rise as
the next big thing in Israeli cinema is not surprising, because he is
not representing anything new, only an upgrade of the old. You can
imagine how bad the old school is if even the younger upgrade still
fails where the majority of world cinema succeeds for many years.
A viewer should not spend his time justifying narrative flaws and
implausible events, viewer should not be forced to feel sorry for a
female character for a sole reason of her being abused by a man, and a
viewer should not have only that feeling alone towards her. Seriously,
for each character in this film you can only have one single emotion,
so underdeveloped and caricature they are. It's like being back in
kindergarten when they said to you - "a cow goes moo", because this is
the only thing she goes.
Instead of telling a story, defining the characters by their actions,
Lerner decides it is time to play very sad piano music while showing
the heroine walking on the street and crying, for like 3 minutes. Then
to show the depth of her inner desires, wishes and hopes he shows her
painting a sad picture on the wall with black colors. So sad (wiping
tears). Instead of showing characters trying to deal with the world
around them, he shows them escaping it. Instead of showing some kind of
character development, because people do change under harsh conditions
of reality, he decides that his characters will remain the same,
keeping same faces, same attitude, same problems, same idiotic ideals.
The characters are stuck in their private hell, each one of them,
without any ability to evolve and change. And maybe that was the point
of the movie, but doing stupid things intentionally doesn't make them
Which illustrates my point exactly - Israeli filmmakers are simply
unable to change, unable to adapt themselves to the current world of
film goers and filmmakers. All the talking about new approach, new
style, are false statements from someone who doesn't understand what
does it mean to be different and innovative. Same all drama, same old
forced tears, same old unconvincing conflicts and same old dramatic
Looking for a new path, a fresh start, a new wave in Israeli cinema is
still not dead, but it sure will not start with 'Kirot' or Lerner. I am
still looking for a day when Israeli filmmakers will not act like
homeless beggars, going to film festivals just to collect their season
donations. Still looking for a day an Israeli movie will be actually
remembered one year after its release, or at least will have more than
one comments page on IMDb board.
When announcing the film production Lerner said that the movie will be
about two chicks and lots of guns. Far from the truth. More like a
depressing love story about people accepting their fate and unable to
change. How very relevant in that area of the world.
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