Kayam isn't content to provide would could easily have been a typical run-of-the-mill family drama. Instead she upends expectations as often as possible. Dissatisfied both emotionally and physically at home, Tzvia finds solace amidst the tombstones with her nose in a battered old book. But what is assumed to be religious in nature, turns out to be the work of Israeli poet, Zelda. When the reserved and traditional Tzvia one night comes across a small community of pimps and prostitutes operating out of the cemetery, she forms a strange, silent bond with them in which they allow her to sit and observe in exchange for home-cooked food. Suddenly, the routines previously presented begin to shift and change slightly. Kayam and cinematographer Itay Moram present Tzvia's shifting moods and mental states with subtle adjustments to the look of the picture - colder colours in the home emphasise her changing moods and handheld camerawork seems to become more evident if and when her heart rate is raised. Despite this, Tzvia remains largely inscrutable, and while Klein elicits great empathy with a woman eroded by the monotony of her life, her inner-self never sheds its mystery. This may not be a problem in and of itself, but where her actions themselves are left unknown during Mountain's dramatic denouement, their potential impact is just as elusive.
The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from 10-20 September 2015. For more coverage, follow this link.
Ben Nicholson | @BRNicholson