Unnecessary Conflict: Our Review of ‘The Other Story’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - July 31, 2019
Unnecessary Conflict: Our Review of ‘The Other Story’

Sometimes there are outside forces that taint our perception on some media, and movies are no exception here. The Other Story sells itself as telling the, well, stories of two rebellious women within Israel’s religious orthodoxy. But it’s really about the man connecting these two women, Yonatan Abadi (Yuval Segal), psychologist and prodigal son. He’s father to one of the women, Anat (Joy Rieger), a video girl who turned to religious orthodoxy.

The reason Yonatan is even coming home is stop Anat’s impending engagement and wedding to Shachar (Nathan Goshen). In fairness, Shachar is the reason why Anat went viral in Israel, that video being a reminder of their sordid pasts. Now, Shachar is both a rabbi and a musician and it’s evident that this is all an act. But now that he’s here, he might as well help out his father Shlomo’s (Sasson Gabai) psychology practice.

This is when the other woman, Sari (Avigail Harari), comes into the picture, as Shlomo and Yonatan’s client. Growing up in a strict Jewish household, she eventually joins a cult of an old Hebrew goddess worshipers. That cult, however, makes it seem to both her husband and the law that she’s an abusive mother. She needs Shlomo and Yonatan to prove that the cult is not going to make her kill anyone.

Director Avi Nesher makes us feel like Yonatan, a man alien to his home country and birth right. Returning to modern Israel, he now finds Israelis who take an interest in the different religions that call Israel home. Watching characters who live in melting pots usually interests me, but Nesher mishandles that here. Every time a character reveals a religious affiliation feels more like a quirk instead of an ingrained character trait.

Nesher also tries and fails to juggle all of these characters and make their viewpoints worthy of sympathy. Sari’s ‘idolatrous’ cult asks their members of a sacrifice, a female version of what God asks of Abraham. Her husband (Mayaan Blum) thinks that that sacrifice is their son, thus the custody battle between the couple. And they deal with said custody battle by telling at each other every time they share the screen.

The Other Story, thankfully, is not just a film that fills itself with insufferable characters who like conflict. Yonatan, ironically enough, came to Israel and its conflicts to run away from another personal conflict in America. But that revelation, just like the useless ones before it, enters like a whimper instead of a bang.

For tickets and showtimes for The Other Story visit https://www.tiff.net/events/the-other-story

  • Release Date: 7/26/2019
This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
Comments are closed.
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-61364310-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');