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Jane Enkin Previews Outdoors- Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival-Friday May 31 at 5 p.m.

by Jane Enkin, May 23, 2019



warning: there are two somewhat graphic sex scenes in the film


The first views of the setting of this lovely, wistful film, Outdoors, are of an isolated hilltop, bare ground and grass, a few trees, and a view of rolling hills down into a deep green valley. Yaara (Noa Koler, the radiant star of The Wedding Plan) and Gili (Udi Razzin), a couple from Tel Aviv, are there to finish planning the home that will be built for them.

Eventually we learn that the new home is not totally isolated – it's within a small community. Yaara has a connection to the place – she grew up nearby and went to school with some of the people who will be her neighbours. She is reminded of her parents, who left her the inheritance that will allow her to build the house.

The house is the centre of the film and takes up most of the couple's energy. Gili is a playwright; Yaara answers the question “What are you doing now?” with, “Mostly, I'm building a house.” Each of them, separately and together, drives up from Tel Aviv to supervise the construction. In one lovely scene, they invite friends from Tel Aviv for a party in the half-finished house.

The usual tension arises around something as stressful as home construction, but mostly the two are affectionate and supportive. It's refreshing to see a portrait of the complex love story of a long-established couple. Neither actor has the look of a glamorous movie star; they move the audience with open, deeply felt emotion.










Deceptively simple, the film stayed with me in a satisfying way. Only after the film was over did I appreciate the understated generosity of Yaara and Gili.


The narrative unfolds gently – the visual style of Outdoors provides the real drama. There are interesting details in the camera angle and focus. At one point, when the couple is arguing about whether to change the plan of the house, the camera alternates sharp focus on one and soft focus on the other. There are many beautifully framed scenes of workers, their faces turned away from the camera, as they build structures, pour concrete, and so on. The result is like excellent architectural photography.


Writer and director Asaf Saban has created a visually exciting, delicately moving work.







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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.