Next to Her

 

starstarstarstar

 

 

A woman cares for her mentally disabled sister in this moving, honest and even funny Israeli drama.

 

This powerful Israeli drama is written by Liron Ben-Shlush who also delivers an illuminating performance in the leading role. She plays Chelli, a dedicated young woman looking after her 24-year-old sister Gabby (Dana Ivgy), who has a severe mental disability. Chelli puts her personal life on hold until she is convinced by a social worker to enrol Gabby at a day centre. Soon after, she begins a relationship with a colleague, Zohar (Yaakov Zada Daniel), and their love blossoms...
 

Next to Her

Beautiful minding: Dana Ivgy and Liron Ben-Shlush

 

This is a labour of love for Liron Ben-Shlush, who based her screenplay on her real life experiences with her mentally disabled sister. It is also a truly family affair as it is sensitively directed by her husband Asaf Korman. The performances by all three protagonists are excellent. Ivgy effortlessly displays the fears and anxieties of the sick woman’s fragile mind while Zada Daniel is a strong presence as Chelli’s lover, who comes on as a breath of fresh air by bringing a much welcome escape from the grim reality of the situation. It is not an easy watch but is a compelling and deeply moving experience. The bleak subject of mental illness is confronted with honesty and humour while Ben-Shlush’s raw screenplay reveals enormous warmth, dignity and a sense of optimism
 

GEORGE SAVVIDES

 

Cast: Dana Ivgy, Liron Ben-Shlush, Yaakov Zada Daniel, Liat Goren, Varda Ben Hur.
 
Dir Asaf Korman, Pro Haim Mecklberg and Estee Yacov-Mecklberg, Screenplay Liron Ben-Shlush, Ph Amir Yasur, Pro Des Ron Zikno, Ed Shira Hochman and Asaf Korman, Costumes Sarit Sharara.
 

2-Team Productions-Peccadillo Pictures.
89 mins. Israel. 2014. Rel: 11 March 2016. Cert. 15.