THE ART OF WAITING – A Review by Cynthia Flores
The Art of Waiting is an often-humorous look at the frustrating and not talked much about subject of infertility in Israel. Directed and co-written by Erez Tadnor, who has proven he can do exciting, dramatic films such as 2015’s Wounded Land. But with this new film, he’s gone back to his roots of off-kilter humor nicely blended in with the drama. For example, he used the art of Sumo wrestling to explore being fat in Israel in his 2009 film A Matter of Size.
In The Art of Waiting, we meet Liran (Roy Assaf) and Tali (Nelly Tagar), a married couple in their thirties who want to have a child. They are stressed out but successful at their jobs and now want to start a family. We first meet them as they take their first appointment with their doctor (Eli Gorenstein) at a fertility clinic in Tel Aviv. In Israel, the government subsidizes fertility treatments and it’s covered by insurance, so the clinic is packed. Tali screams at the sight of needles, and Liran is having trouble ejaculating into the sterile cup he has been given. Because of Liran’s low sperm count and slow mobility, they’re told that they will have to undergo fertility treatments if they want to conceive. They are both naively mistaken, thinking this will be an easy and quick fix. The decision to follow through with everything that leads to IVF is daunting. It takes a considerable toll on their marriage and affects both his family and hers.
None of this sounds funny, but the director has done an excellent job in finding the jocularity embedded in the genuine pain most couples go through on this kind of journey. Perhaps that’s because Tadmor is quoted in interviews as saying: “In child-centric Israel, admitting you are having difficulty conceiving is something you feel you have to keep secret.” Tadmor knows what he’s talking about. For six years, he and his wife, Moran, underwent the process of in-vitro fertilization to have their two children.
I give The Art of Waiting a 4-star rating. Because the humor and pain in this film are drawn from personal experience, the mood rings true and gives it a universal appeal.
This film is part of the 8th annual Israel Film Center Festival set for June 7-14, 2020. For more information: https://israelfilmcenterstream.org/festival/.
Directed by: Erez Tadnor
Written by: Erez Tadmor, Roy Assaf
Selig Rating 4 Stars
Running Time: 1hr 31min
Comedy / Drama/ Foreign
Screening at Israel Film Festival (EST): June 9th at 7pm and June 10th at 7pm with a Q+A June 10th at 5pm
Starring: Nelly Tagar, Roy Assaf, Shmil Ben Ari, Eli Gorenstein
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.