Ten Months

***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Ten Months
"Handheld camerawork helps to generate an intimacy that works especially well in the relationship between Marev and her mother." | Photo: Courtesy of POFF

The paperwork says it all, sheet after sheet documenting the years of failed attempts by Marev (Shiri Gadni) and Amir (Tom Hagi) to have a child via IVF, including the latest. Marev's mother (Idit Teperson) is there for her daughter but she is virtually inconsolable as Amir goes away on business. A month later, however, Marev starts being sick. Thinking the doctors must be wrong, she returns to the doctor.

Instead of having the child she craves, Marev is instead told that she is experiencing a false pregnancy, but with it offering her all the sensation of actually carrying a baby, she finds it hard to give up. Idan Hubel holds the emotional fragility of motherhood up to the light - not just the longing to be one experienced by Marev but the desire of her own mother to help her daughter get through this. The director underlines this a little heavily perhaps by having Teperson's character, who is an actor, take part in a stage version of Brecht's Mother Courage during the course of the film.

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Handheld camerawork helps to generate an intimacy that works especially well in the relationship between Marev and her mother. Touch becomes a vital element, between Marev and her changing body and between her and her mum. The sense of connection between mother and daughter is maintained well between the two actresses, even when they are on opposite sides of a door.

Marev's motivations to at least experience a pregnancy that she's never had, if not a baby at the end of it, are kept believable for the most part. While there is a psychological element to this, the writer/director avoids the suggestion that his character is having a complete breakdown even as her actions become more irrational. The relationship between Marev and Amir is the film's weak spot. Even from the off, the chemistry never feels quite right between the two stars and, at some point, it's as though Hubel realises this as Amir inexplicably falls away from the story at a certain point.

Reviewed on: 30 Nov 2023
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After years of failed attempts, Merav finally succeeds in getting pregnant. But the pregnancy comes with unexpected news.

Director: Idan Hubel

Writer: Idan Hubel

Starring: Shiri Gadni, Idit Teperson, Tom Hagi

Year: 2023

Runtime: 80 minutes

Country: Israel

Festivals:

Black Nights 2023

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