Last night was the first time I had ever been to a movie heavily guarded by a whole lot of Police. I didn't know whether to feel scared or safe. Luckily Melbourne did not follow suit of the protesting that occurred in Sydney at the Israeli Film Festival 2014. I relaxed with all the trappings on offer (free soft drinks, wines, canapes etc) of Opening Night, thanks to a girlfriend who invited me.
It all started with a boreg (Hebrew for screw) Image courtesy You Tube trailer.
I was really looking forward to seeing Self Made because I was under the mistaken belief that it was going to be about two women who swapped identities and lived under each one's station in life to experience what the other person had to go through in their lives. I was obviously wrong.
Drops the screws to find her way back. Image courtesy of YOu Tube trailer
For more than half of the movie I was quite mesmerised by the close up study of each character as it was quite visually striking, trying so hard to work out the messages the movie was perhaps whispering to me. I think it could have clouted me on the head with a hammer and I still would not have got all I perhaps should have got out of it. It lost the plot for me two thirds of the way down (my friend thought me far more patient than her and her friend, the critic, said there was a lot to get out of the film, so there you go) as I waited for the movie to come together somehow.
I soften up the crabs with music says he. Image courtesy of You Tube trailer
We begin with a broken bed and Michal Kayam the famous Israeli artist falling out of bed and giving herself a bad bump on the head. From then on she remains confused and in a daze throughout the movie. Israeli writer-director Shira Geffen enjoys playing with boundaries of perception where you don't know exactly where you are or if its a dream or not; however this time, I think this perception fell right off the planet and was off away with the fairies. Michal orders a new bed from an Ikea like store and it arrives with one screw missing. On the other side of the story, Nadine a Palestinian woman who packs the screws at the warehouse,gets fired over this incident for putting one less screw in the packaging.
These two women don't actually meet but briefly share a space at the Israeli border checkpoint, oblivious of each other and unaware of the connection that altered their lives. The original title of the movie; 'Boreg' means 'screw' in Hebrew and if perhaps saying 'it is a reference to a missing item in a DIY furniture kit that becomes the key element of blame, reassurance and chaos' helps ones understanding of the movie, that's about as close as I got.
Over the course of the movie, these women's lives journey closer to each others before they pass like ships in the night at the border. Each ones desires the opposite of each other, one confused and the other fully aware and wanting to make the changes, then moving into each ones lives without anyone noticing they're totally different was all too confusing for me. Perhaps it's the cultural divide for me that I could not see the depth the movie was trying to convey.
Michal Kayam (Sarah Adler) Image courtesy of YouTube trailer
If a work of art is trying to say something to me, then the message has to be clear, or its purpose is lost if it doesn't address the understanding of the masses, gathering but a select audience. I want to be entertained when I go to a movie and sitting there nutting things out at the end of a stressful day is not very entertaining to me. This film did not quite do it for me. I'd give it a 5.5 out of 10. Let me know how you felt about it.
Passing like ships in the night. Image courtesy of selfmade