Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Israel Film Center Festival Spotlight: The Art of Waiting

I’m pleased to be covering the 8th Annual Israel Film Center Festival at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, which is running virtually June 7th-14th.

The Art of Waiting
Directed by Erez Tadmor
Available June 7 – 14

Having a child isn’t an easy process for every prospective parent. Even if everything works naturally, there are important considerations like cost, living space, and other factors that make the decision to start a family more complicated. Those who aren’t able to conceive right away may struggle with having to choose what they are willing to sacrifice and how much they want to invest to try to bring a life into this world. During deliberation and any necessary treatments, it’s guaranteed that they will receive numerous opinions from those who haven’t been asked to provide their suggestions.

Tali (Nelly Tagar) and Liran (Roy Assaf) want to have a baby. When they learn that Liran’s sperm have low mobility, their doctor (Eli Gorenstein) pledges to help them if they commit to regular tests and affirm that this what they actually want. News that Liran’s brother and his partner are also thinking about parenthood prompts Liran to share their plans with his parents, Moshe (Shmil Ben Ari) and Nurit (Evelin Hagoel), and grandmother (Rivka Bahar), who then need to move in with them when rocket fire in the southern Israeli city of Sderot hits their home. Their unwanted and prying questions are contrasted by the concern expressed by Tali’s father (Rami Heuberger), who worries that treatments will put Tali’s health in jeopardy and lead to her dying just like her mother did in childbirth.

Director Erez Tadmor’s film is a very personal one based on his own experiences with IVF, which took three years each for his wife Moran to become pregnant with their two children. That story is framed here as a comedy, with the influence of the parents quite excessive and unwelcome. Liran wears a Bluetooth earpiece that allows him to move out of almost any conversation without warning, something that both the doctor and Tali observe make him seem less than committed to being a parent. Both Tali and Liran have frequent nightmares that bring to life what they fear will happen even if all this works and they aren’t fit to be the parents they always thought they would be.

Embedded within this strong comedic presentation are more serious themes about the assumptions people make when they hear that a couple is trying to conceive. The response of Liran’s parents is far warmer to the heterosexual couple’s announcement than to the gay couple’s since they get stuck on who the “real” parent will be, and Nurit chooses to share only select details about what her son and his wife are going through that put an undue weight on Tali’s responsibilities while diminishing Liran’s. The entire cast, led by the dependable Tagar from “Zero Motivation” and “Past Life,” performs superbly, enlivening this entertaining and affirming story of sticking together through tough times for the sake of a rewarding future together.



Darshika said...
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Darshika said...
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