Six Acts

Six Acts


Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

We open on a shot of a VDU, the scanlines forming prison bars around Gili - a new girl at school in a wealthy Israeli suburb. She posts photos of herself to Facebook. Before long, she's attracted the attention of Tomas, a handsome young man. With a non-existent family life, we barely know Gili beyond interactions with her peers - the film doesn't give us reasons or much detail on her outside life to drive the drama.

In an effort to earn social acceptance in the perpetual clambering struggle over class and ever-present gender discrimination and treatment, it becomes clear that Gili is certainly not above using the promise of sex to quell the loneliness and grasp her place in the community. This gets complicated quickly - both with an implicit woman-hating society and immature boys shaped by it.

The title, Six Acts, not only refer to chapters within the story but has secondary meanings. Each act continuously presents sexually-threatening situations. It's a tough watch. Gili ends up passed around the overgrown-boys like a carefully-handled illicit joint.

Director Jonathan Gurfinkel's film rides a deeply uncomfortable societal line between misogynistic conservatism and liberation through feminism. Other girls warn "They're using you." Gili replies: "It's more like I'm using them". Before long, we stop giving Gili the benefit of the doubt; her bodily degradation becomes ever more severe.

The film is very well-made, if thematically difficult; the acting is convincing and the writing feels authentic and organic. Even now, I'm still no wiser on how well it handles its central conceit - the depiction of class and gender privilege and those without it - but it's a compelling film, and worth watching again.

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2013
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A deep dive into the grey area of sexual abuse told through the story of Gili, a teenager who in order to improve her lame social status hooks up with several different boys, all from her new school.
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Director: Johnathan Gurfinkel

Writer: Rona Segal

Starring: Sivan Levy

Year: 2012

Runtime: 100 minutes

Country: Israel

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