Film Festival Spotlight: Asia
One of the joys of directing the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival is the opportunity to experience the breadth of Jewish films that are being made each year. Ruth Pribar’s first feature film, Asia, is a powerful film about the relationship between a mother and her teenaged daughter.
Beyond the normal tension that one might expect in a mother/daughter relationship, theirs is complicated by issues not the least of which is health. The acting, directing and cinematography all play a part in keeping the viewer enthralled, wondering what will happen next. Pribar uses silence so beautifully, allowing facial and body expression to deliver powerful messages throughout the film. The film stars Shira Haas, the acclaimed actress who we all loved to binge watch in “Unorthodox” and she is outstanding here as Vika, the daughter. Alena Yiv, plays the title role of Asia, a young single mother and Russian émigré to Israel. Watching her struggle with her own demons and becoming the mother that she needs to be for her daughter, made me reflect back on my own relationships with my children at that age and time in our relationship.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020 and received three well deserved awards. Shira Haas received an award for Best Actress in an International Narrative for her portrayal of a young woman struggling with the normal challenges presented by coming of age angsts, coupled with devastating health issues. The film also received awards for Best Cinematography and the prestigious Nora Ephron Award.
Virtual programming provides us with the unique opportunity to connect across the world with the filmmakers who amuse, educate, and inspire us through their work. Tickets are on sale now for this film which is showing Wed.- Sat., Nov. 4 – 7. And we are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and discuss this film with filmmaker Ruth Pribar on Mon., Nov. 9.
See you at the movies!
– Ilene Uhlmann
Director, Arts & Ideas
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