I sat down to talk to Dana Ivgy about her incredible performance in Next To Her, vulnerability both on and off the screen and what she looks in the roles she chooses.
This film works so well because of the sparse narrative and incredible cinematography. Given that the character Gabby is mentally challenged the majority of the communication between her and Chelli is down through gestures and noises. Also the film is based on the real life experience of Liron Ben-Shlush whose sister is mentally disabled and who was the inspiration of the Gabby character. Her husband Asaf Korman directed this film with a lightness of touch. The script is wonderful in so far as you are torn between understanding the strain Chelli must be going through and her need for release and love. This is coupled with her fierce, almost primal, protection of Gabby that inadvertently stops Gabby from growing. Even in the moments where Chelli is calling Gabby a moron and fatso you can almost feel the love radiating from the screen. There are so many themes running through this film: shame, vulnerability, love, intimacy, trust, respect and all are carefully explored and developed. This all leads to the final powerful scene that will play on your mind for days if not weeks after seeing the film.
This is the best film I have seen in 2016 – well written, good direction that allowed the actresses to act and space for the audience to take it all in and draw their own conclusions. A must see!
Next To Her was released on 11 March.
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