Often compared to Blue is the Warmest Colour, Barash is one of the best lesbian coming of age dramas in recent years. It opens with Naama, a bored teenager in small town Israel, living with her authoritarian father and well-meaning mother. Family life is turbulent, particularly after her sister – a military secretary – goes missing again (it turns out she’s eloped with her Arab boyfriend – another issue to raise their father’s blood pressure). School is a repetitive, empty place where students spend most of their time sucking down cigarettes outside.
Naama escapes all this by going to dance parties and getting stoned. Her apathetic rebelliousness gets raised to a whole other level when the self-assured Dana turns up. A grittier version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Dana introduces Naama to Tel Aviv’s lesbian clubs, real drugs and kissing girls.
Barash beautifully traces the ups and downs of teenage relationships – the initial infatuation, the sense of discovery, the jealousy, and, ultimately, the endless wondering whether you can ‘do better’.
Runtime: 85 mins
Director: Michal Vinik
Cast: Sivan Noam Shimon, Jade Sakori, Divr Benedek, Irit Pashtan
Awards: Best Script and Best Actress, Haifa International Film Festival
Company Credits: Australian Distributor: JIFF Distribution
Sunday 3 April 5pm