DVD Review: The Slut

STUDIO: Strand Releasing | DIRECTOR: Hagar Ben-Asher | CAST: Hagar Ben-Asher, Icho Avital, Ishai Golan, Yoav Levi, Tsahi Hanan, Stav Yanai
DVD RELEASE DATE: 10/23/2012 | PRICE: DVD $24.99
BONUSES: none
SPECS: NR | 86 min. | Foreign language drama | widescreen | stereo | Hebrew with English Subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

 

The 2011 Israeli film The Slut is a melodramatic tale of rustic justice by first-time feature filmmaker Hagar Ben-Asher, who not only wrote and directed, but also stars.

The Slut movie scene

Hagar Ben-Asher and Ishai Golan enjoy each other's company in The Slut.

Tamar (Ben-Asher) is a single mother selling trays of eggs on a chicken farm in a rural Israeli village. She salves her loneliness through furtive sexual encounters with various local men. Then she meets up with Shai (Ishai Golan), an old acquaintance who has returned to handle his deceased mother’s assets. They embark on a sometimes sexually awkward relationship that, nonetheless, seems, at first, to bring them both a measure of happiness. But a serpent is soon revealed to be coiled in the farmland brush…

Shot on a tight budget with a single camera, the visuals of The Slut are often murky which, along with the Hebrew mumblecore acting style, exacerbates what seems like disjointed storytelling. For those who stick with it, however, the disjointedness eventually makes sense and explodes in a shocking climax that forced me to revisit the whole film.

The Slut also offers a fascinating look at rural Israeli life: The symbiosis between farmer, veterinarian and even bicycle repairman. It’s significant that the only acknowledgement of the state religion is the celebration of the harvest festival of Sukkoth.

An ambitious first effort, Ben-Asher’s The Slut, despite its technical shortcomings, in the end packs an emotional wallop.

 

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About David

David Leopold is an actor, writer and videographer who would take a Sherpa ride up a Tibetan mountain to see an Edwige Feuillère movie.