Israeli cinema hardly has any significance of reputation on a global scale. However, it continues to produce impressive low-budget drama. From meditations on the Middle-East conflict in Waltz with Bashir and The Gatekeepers to religiously fuelled dramas such as Fill the Void and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the country has produced some powerful cinema. Asaf Korman’s feature debut, Next to Her, continues the rich tradition of powerful film-making.
Chelli (Liron Ben-Shlush) is struggling to balance her work at a school with looking after her mentally challenged sister, Gabby (Dana Ivgy). When neighbours complain about Gabby being left on her own during the day, Chelli reluctantly has to enrol her into a day care centre. It’s the first time someone else has been responsible for the care of Gabby and Cheli struggles emotionally to deal with this whilst embarking on a relationship with substitute teacher Zohar (Yaakov Zada Daniel).
Next to Her is a powerful drama about Chelli’s emotional turmoil. She has placed her own social life on hold in order to care for her sister and is struggling to abdicate that responsibility to someone else. Constantly on edge about her relationship with Zohar, who is very accepting of Gabby, Chelli is reluctant to cede control of fully trust him. This eventually leads to her downfall.
Next to Her is out in cinemas on Friday.