Shavua Ve Yom (One Week and a Day)London Film Festival 2016
10th October 2016 6.15pm at Ciné Lumière
11th October 2016 9.00pm at Curzon Soho
It would be strangely disappointing if Shavua Ve Yom (One Week and a Day) was to be marketed as a quirky dark comedy. There are certainly quirks, moments of darkness and amusing instances throughout, but still, the quirky dark comedy tag carries certain expectations. This is not to suggest that the feature doesn’t deliver an engaging look at a difficult period in the lives of its characters, and yet it’s perhaps not as amusing as it thinks it is. The movie is tonally awkward in its earlier scenes, but this awkwardness takes shape as the rather straightforward narrative develops.
Shavua Ve Yom begins at the conclusion of the traditional Jewish one week mourning period (sitting Shiva), whereupon Eyal (Shai Avivi) and Vicky (Jenya Dodina) attempt to reclaim some semblance of normal life following the death of their son. Vicky tries to jump straight back into the routine of work, whereas Eyal raids his son’s hospital room to obtain his stash of medicinal marijuana, engaging the services of Zooler (Tomer Kapon), the stoner son of their disliked neighbours to roll the joints and keep him company.
It’s difficult to portray the nature of grief since a person’s reaction to such an event can be highly subjective. Vicky and Eyal verge on being static in their responses, and while there is some naturalism to this, it results in a lack of engagement in some scenes. At times, moments are so underplayed that it can be difficult to register any significance in the proceedings. As Eyal, Avivi works better in close ups when his subtle reactions to the frankly bizarre circumstances of his life can be registered. Avivi’s performance shifts the nature of this piece into something approaching an awkward sensitivity.
This is in fact a deceptively sweet feature, although perhaps sentimental is too strong a word. There are no hokey musical cues or moments of revelation, but this keeps with the often po-faced nature of its grieving characters. Shavua Ve Yom is a film that gently unfolds with a touching lightness.
Shavua Ve Yom (One Week and a Day) does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Shavua Ve Yom (One Week and a Day) here: