Thursday, December 4, 2008

Or, My Treasure (2004)

Dysfunction Junction Teenager Or (Dana Ivgy) wants her mother Ruthie (Ronit Elkabetz)to stop prostituting herself on the streets of Israel, get a different kind of job and just be her mother. Or collects plastic bottles for recycling, she works washing dishes at a restaurant--anything to bring money into the home in hopes her mother won't leave the house that night to walk the streets. Or takes care of Ruthie--validating her, getting her up in the morning, getting her a job, dying her hair. Her mother is the rebellious teen in the equation, who really does not want to stop doing what she's doing. From the beginning you see the smarts on Or. Her mother is a girl in a woman's body. It's lovely and painful to watch how much they depend on each other because even though Or is clearly the adult, she needs her mother, if not to have someone to take care of.

The movie shies away from judging Ruthie for being a prostitute. This way it focuses instead on the co-dependency and guides the viewer through it--you are in it. It's honest and unflinching, but ultimately it is Or who gets disappointed over and over. This is one to see if you are interested in character development. Or is not an action flick. It's about hope and disappointment, youth versus age and loss of innocence. Not a happy ending, but after you see it, you wouldn't want it any other way.

Director and co-writer: Keren Yedaya

Country: Israel

Genre: Drama

Run time: 100 minutes

Scale: 4

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