21 February 2017 | Nozz
Odd pieces that somehow do fit together
Eran Kolerin's previous film, The Exchange, had to do (if I understood it at all, and maybe I didn't) with intentionally attacking the connection between people and their context. In this new one, a man is dislodged from his context-- he retires from his job in the standing army-- and he finds himself a bit of a stranger among his family. His daughter, his wife, and his son all have secrets from him although each of them also reflects an aspect of his own tendencies. The scenes of the film are paced in surprising ways. Some moments last longer than a viewer would normally expect, others are cut off abruptly, and sometimes the film skips moments that we might expect to see. A soundtrack that repeatedly returns to Israeli consensus music, the great Israeli songbook, sometimes sounds ironic against the edgy conflict-ridden situations but also recalls the film's epigraph, in which poet David Avidan remarks that we have nowhere else to go-- meaning not just as a nation among nations, but also as individuals among the vicissitudes of life. The movie leaves some matters unresolved, and it certainly doesn't follow anything like the clean arc of Kolerin's most popular movie, The Band's Visit, but it implies, in a more hopeful way than The Exchange did, that whatever may happen to you or around you, you can decide to define yourself apart from it.