It Kinda Scares Me

It Kinda Scares Me


Reviewed by: George Williamson

In Israel, making a film that has nothing to do with the conflict is no easy task. Funding is difficult and outside interest low.

In spite of this, Tomer Heymann's documentary manages brilliantly. It focuses on a group of adolescents living in Azur, a poor area of southern Tel-Aviv, and the play they write and perform together.

Heymann is the film's director, as well as the youth group's project leader. He instructs them in an attempt to get their lives out of the gutter and to stop them ending up in jail.

It Kinda Scares Me documents the making of a play, without becoming mired in behind-the-scenes backstage banter. It investigates the violence ("He called me a bastard, so I killed him") and sexual politics of young adults in the Middle East.

It is less about the theatre production and more about the actors, their history and how it landed them in this current situation. We are shown an array of motley characters, from Yakov, a charismatic passionate individual, hell-bent on thespian success, to Havior, who doesn't care about the play, just wanting to get on with life.

By the end, you have a clear image of relationships and the social infrastructure. You feel as though you are one of them, understanding the harsh realities, being branded as one of those "fucked up" kids. Almost all have been arrested, or cautioned for petty crimes, which for them is a way of life.

One of the most powerful moments occurs with the director's announcement of his homosexuality, during a game of truth-or-dare, showing the depths at which he is prepared to go to be honest and truthful, how much he is willing to risk for their trust. Although the disclosure shocks the kids, they quickly accept it and continue to work together, stronger than before.

This is an exceptional documentary, due to Heymann's involvement at such close quarters, interacting with his subject as a participant, rather than observer. The only downside is the epilogue, showing that most of the actors ended up in jail, or in military service, shortly after the film was finished.

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2002
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Documentary about a group of adolescents in Tel Aviv.

Director: Tomer Heymann

Writer: Tomer Heymann

Year: 2001

Runtime: 57 minutes

Country: Israel


EIFF 2002

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