Next to Her…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

August 17, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
Read on for article

Chelli (Liron Ben-Shlush), an attractive young woman, is a school security guard in Haifa.

She lives with and cares for her younger sister Gabby (Dana Ivgy) who is severely intellectually handicapped. Gabby can be violent, both to herself and to her sister.  Chelli keeps the outside world at bay and has created a bubble for the two women to live in.

160x230xisf14nexttoher.poster.jpg.pagespeed.ic.T7EJiF4_9HWhile Chelli loves Gabby she is sorely tried by the demands of caring for her and everyday living can be harrowing. In spite of this, Chelli refuses to put her sister into care and avoids dealing with their social worker. The two live quietly with little outside interaction but when Chelli meets a likeable substitute gym teacher Zohar (Yaakov Daniel), she allows him into their lives.

Chelli reluctantly puts Gabby into partial day care and Gabby appears to like it. The story is about effects that these changes make to their lives. Zohar, a good- hearted man, takes the brave step to choose to live in their closeted world. When circumstances change, Chelli has no compunction in jettisoning her burgeoning relationship.

The performances of the three characters are strong and real. It is hard to credit that Ivgy is acting because she is completely believable as Gabby but never overdoes her performance.  It is an unflinching and uncompromising look at the difficulties people face when an intellectually handicapped family member becomes an adult with adult needs and desires.

The scene in the last few minutes when Chelli realises the enormity of her actions is heartbreaking and powerful. She conveys everything she is feeling without words.

90mins Israel 2014 Hebrew with English subtitles

Starring Liron Ben-Shlush, Dana Ivgy, Yaakov Daniel

Directed by Asaf Korman

Next to Her features in 20th AICE Israeli Film Festival






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