Friday, January 14, 2022
Julie and Yuval (Judith Chemla and Arieh Worthalter), a couple living in Paris with their new baby, are parted when Yuval is forced to return to Israel to renew his visa. Thousands of miles removed, with Yuval detained by red tape, they must rely on technology to maintain their connection. Director Keren Ben Rafael’s second feature was made before the COVID-19 pandemic, yet uncannily foreshadows what would soon become a near-universal condition: dependence on screens to sustain relationships over vast distances and prolonged separations. Judith Chemla, the star of NYJFF 2020’s My Polish Honeymoon, brings her deep expressiveness to this engaging and poignant film. Ben Rafael’s screenplay, co-written with Élise Benroubi, captures the bewildering sensation of mediated intimacy, depicting how virtual interactions, seemingly preferable to none at all, can escalate feelings of paranoia and estrangement, erode privacy, and pose as grave a threat to love as time and distance apart.