Shalom Life | November 23, 2014

TIFF Review: Jonathan Sagall’s Lipstikka

Lipstikka is a thought-provoking tale of two women forever changed by a tragic childhood event.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: September 12th, 2011 in Culture » Film » Reviews

TIFF Review: Jonathan Sagall’s Lipstikka

Lipstikka, written and directed by Canadian-born Israeli Jonathan Sagall, is an arresting (and complicated) tale that achieves the perfect balance of subtlety and intense drama.

When I left the movie theatre, a friend asked “What was it about?” I realized in that moment how wonderful Lipstikka truly was. In most instances, this question can be answered with a brief explanation of plot and prominent themes, but Sagall’s story and characters are multi-dimensional, relatable, and thought-provoking. I wanted to tell my friend about the strong performances of the four female leads, the poignant (yet simple) social and political messages, and the stunning cinematography, but I quickly realized that in its core, Lipstikka is about memory and perspective- both individual and collective.

Set in London, Lipstikka tells the story of close childhood friends (and part-time lovers) Lara and Inam. The pair experience a tragic, life-altering incident as teenagers in Palestine that unfortunately sets the course for all future decisions and perceptions- of themselves, each other, and the world they live in.

In the opening segment, we are introduced to an adult Lara (Clara Khoury), who explains in a voiceover that she has accepted her life that currently consists of a suburban London home, a sweet son, and an advertising exec. husband that sleeps in a different bed, and has done so since their child was born. An unexpected knock at the door from the gorgeous, yet frazzled Inam (Nataly Attiya) begins the audiences journey into a series of flashbacks intercut with present day, slowly unraveling the emotional events that brought the women to this point.

Sagall gives the audience information about the climactic event in small pieces, effectively building suspense but also giving us the opportunity to learn about the women as adults, their relationship with one another, and their wildly different attitudes towards life, men, each other, and their past.

Moran Rosenblatt, portraying the young Inam, delivers the strongest performance. The script demands she act out the same scene in two completely different ways. First as sexy, confident, and invincible teenager. Second as a vulnerable, insecure, and victimized young girl. The actress achieves this effortlessly.

This film has the potential to cause some political stir from both Israeli and Palestinian nationalists- the leading ladies are non-conformist characters that are offensive to traditional Palestinian customs, and an Israeli soldier is an unforgiving rapist. My hope is that the true political message of harmony is recognized, but most importantly that the film’s integrity, beauty, and sensitivity are not forgotten amongst the swinging fists.

Lipstikka has one final TIFF performance on Sunday, September 18th at 1pm in AMC 10. I recommend getting in the rush line.

Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Lipstikka’s director/writer, Jonathan Sagall.

Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke TrendingAmy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO] Amy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO] TrendingJustin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy Justin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy Trending
 

The Ten Best Kosher Restaurants In Toronto

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Ten Best Kosher Restaurants In Toronto

We look at the best kosher eateries the city of Toronto has to offer

Read More

Israelis Grapple with Synagogue Safety in Aftermath of Jerusalem Attack

November 21, 2014 | By Deborah Fineblum Schabb, JNS.org
Israelis Grapple with Synagogue Safety in Aftermath of Jerusalem Attack

Rabbis agree that we have to be more "vigilant" at shul

Read More

Israel Antiquities Authority Launches New Game For Children

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Israel Antiquities Authority Launches New Game For Children

With "Dig Quest: Israel," kids will learn about history and archaeology without having to get off their iPads

Read More

Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel

Expectancy for both men and women is up compared to 2012

Read More

Lena Dunham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Adam Sandler Read "Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Lena Dunham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Adam Sandler Read "Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel

Dunham doesn't seem amused by one Twitter comment reading: "Unpopular opinion: lena dunham's boobs are dog noses."

Read More

Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke

The comedian offended many of her Twitter followers on Wednesday.

Read More

Amy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO]

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Amy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO]

Schumer gave a hilarious and heartwarming tribute to the late comedian.

Read More

Justin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Justin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy

Several media outlets falsely reported that Bieber was seeking council from a rabbi in Los Angeles.

Read More

More Headlines