Michael Ward on Tuesday, May 22

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A rather striking Israel film, Death of a Poetess tells the story of two women who cross paths in what proves to be a fateful night in a bar. 

Telling their two stories concurrently, one with 50-year-old writer Lenny (Evgenia Dodina), working through a measured and meticulously structured day, and an Arab nurse, Yasmin (Samira Saraya), undergoing rigorous police interrogation from a heard, but never seen detective (Y. Goldberg).

As Lenny works through her day, writer and director Dana Goldberg and Efrat Mishori, utilize a muted black-and-white color palette to drown out any color or optimism from the story. When Lenny and Yasmin become strangers who become friendly at a bar, there is a warmth which emanates from the screen, before Saraya's strained and tired face returns to the screen with her undergoing intense scrutiny.

What ultimately transpires is a spoiler I will not reveal, however Death of a Poetess steers through a story of release, acceptance, fleeting hope and opportunity, but also racially-motivated intensity.

The film covers a lot of ground, gaining strength in the intermittent openness of Lenny's life, and the claustrophobic and suffocating reality Yasmin suddenly finds herself. 

Starring: Evgenia Dodina, Samira Saraya, Y. Goldberg 
Director: Dana Goldberg, Efrat Mishori
Written by: Efrat Mishori, Dana Goldberg

Running Time: 75 Minutes

May 20 | Ark Lodge | 1:30 PM
May 23 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 8:30 PM