Israel’s Between Worlds is an intriguing film about an unexpected friendship between two women, one of whom uses a false identity. Director/ screenwriter Miya Hatav lets the audience in on the reason for the deception, which adds a note of tension throughout.
A young man named Ulli is taken to a Jerusalem hospital after being seriously injured during a stabbing attack. His religious mother Bina (Maya Gasner) goes to stay with him. It is the first time in quite a while that she has been with her son; Ulli became secular and broke contact with his family.
Bina meets a young woman named Amal (Maria Zreik), who says her comatose father is in a room down the hall. In actuality, Amal is Ulli’s girlfriend and a Palestinian. The “comatose father” is a stranger she picked at random.
The two women forge a bond that could be broken at any moment if Bina discovers Amal’s true reason for staying at the hospital. They also learn about empathy, acceptance, and the enduring nature of love.
Much of the film occurs in Ulli’s hospital room, which means its success rests on how completely the audience accepts the relationship between Bina and Amal. Gasner, who has credits in Israeli films (Anthem) and television (Blue Natalie), gives a fully grounded performance as Bina. Zreik, an award-winning actress who also just earned a law degree, does a beautiful job of showing the conflicts within Amal.
The cinematography (Ran Aviad) and music (Jonathan Bar-Giora) are both essential to establishing the mood of this film. Editing by Nisim Massas is thoughtful and helps to keep the audience invested in the story.
Between Worlds makes an eloquent appeal for tolerance by showing damage that can be caused from its lack.
Theme: Assumed Identities
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