Sponsor

New Release Review - NEXT TO HER

A young woman struggles to take care of her disabled sister.



Review by Emily Craig (@emillycraig)

Directed by: Asaf Korman

Starring: Liron Ben-Shlush, Liat Goren, Varda Ben Hur, Dana Ivgy, Yaakov Zada Daniel



I can’t count how many times I felt uneasy due to some awkward and uncomfortable scenes, but that’s why I loved this film so much; I seek out stuff that's going to take me outside my comfort zone, and this accurate depiction of real life certainly did so.


Next to Her is a realist Israeli film about two sisters who coexist with each other in a tiny messy apartment; Chelli (Liron Ben-Shlush) looks after her sister Gabby (Dana Ivgy), who suffers from learning disabilities. Chelli leaves Gabby home alone all day, for her to bang her head against the walls, in order for Chelli to live a somewhat normal life at work. The neighbours constantly remind Chelli that what she’s doing is wrong, which leads to Gabby being put in a half day centre, where she can communicate and have fun with others in similar situations to herself.
Director Asaf Korman captivates and entrances the audience in this 1hr 30m emotional ordeal; he is married to main actress Ben-Shlush and the film is based upon her real experiences with her sister. In the film, Gabbi gets a boyfriend, Zohar (Yaakov Zada Daniel), who works as a gym teacher in the school she works at. This seems to be an act of self-destruction in the beginning, as she’s constantly reminding him how dangerous and uncomfortable it is to be around her sister. She is proved wrong however, when Zohar builds an admirable relationship with Gabbi.
The accuracy and realism of the performances is terrific and it’s probably to do with the fact that Ben-Shlush has experienced similar situations, but Ivgy’s performance as Gabbi is outstanding. I actually found the film quite uncomfortable to watch; this isn’t a bad thing however as it is clearly the Kormans' intention to do this. The way the sisters interact with each other in such a small space, having baths together and sleeping on a small couch, is very claustrophobic.
Chelli believes that Gabbi is completely dependent on her, but as the film unfolds we get to see that it’s completely the opposite. Chelli is so used to living her life that way that she believes she knows what’s best for Gabbi and treats her like a toy. The cinematography and lighting really reflects this co-dependency and is used to the best of its ability. I can’t count how many times I felt uneasy due to some awkward and uncomfortable scenes, but that’s why I loved this film so much; I seek out stuff that's going to take me outside my comfort zone, and this accurate depiction of real life certainly did so.
Help support The Movie Waffler by sharing this post





discussion by