Shalom Life | October 26, 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.

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO] Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO] TrendingSeth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’ Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’ TrendingMila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You Trending
 

The Ten Best Bagels in Canada

October 25, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Ten Best Bagels in Canada

Our guide to the best bagels across Canada, from Montreal to Toronto

Read More

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

A hilarious video shows Michael Richards asking Seinfeld to take out Netflix and Hulu.

Read More

Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

Rogen and Fox will be co-starring alongside Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Dave Franco

Read More

Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

Adorable dolls featuring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending' are coming out in January

Read More

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

October 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

Read More

Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

October 24, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

Inc. magazine credits Israeli DIY website creation platform with taking a complicated task and making it enjoyable

Read More

‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

October 24, 2014 | By Jason Stack, JNS.org
‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

The Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf-starring film essentially omits the brunt of the Holocaust from World War II

Read More

Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

October 24, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

The eTree is a solar-powered urban habitat that is constructed from metal pipes and topped with solar panels

Read More

More Headlines