Film Review: SIX ACTS (directed by Jonathan Garfinkel / North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on April 27, 2013

in Film

WHO’S USING WHOM?

A formidable debut film by director Jonathan Garfinkel, Six Acts follows the exploits of Gili (Sivan Levy) – a poor, rube-ish, and not very beautiful teenage girl who’s just transferred to a hip new high school – as she is manipulated by the rich and popular boys into becoming a sex toy that they pass around. Or maybe it’s about Gili using the only edge she has over her trendy, attractive, middle-class schoolmates – her promiscuity – to try and find love and acceptance. It isn’t clear which, and this ambiguity is one of the elements that make Mr. Garfinkel’s film a living, breathing Dmitry Zvonkov's Stage and Cinema film review of SIX ACTS, directed by Jonathan Garfinkel.cinematic work (as opposed to a preachy morality play). Screenwriter Rona Segal creates a script that is both realistic and compelling, capturing with precision the politics and characters of older-teenagers – their desperation, power games, selfishness, their cruelty – without ever crossing the border into the grotesque; Ms. Segal has a point to make but she admirably never resorts to caricature to make it. And Mr. Garfinkel’s direction likewise achieves a sophisticated balance of naturalism and drama, especially where performances and camerawork are concerned (cinematographer: Shark de Mayo). Style works in service of substance in Six Acts, so much so that we don’t even notice it, just as we don’t notice that the actors are acting. Refreshingly, we simply see life on the screen.

Dmitry Zvonkov's Stage and Cinema film review of SIX ACTS, directed by Jonathan Garfinkel.

photos © Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Six Acts
Jeremy Walker + Associates, Inc.
Israel – 2012 – Color – 96 min.
North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
for screening times, visit Tribeca

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