set in Israel, but unlike many films made about or within the country
focus intently upon Palestinian conflicts or directly related issues.
the storytelling takes a very different course by focusing upon the
Jewish Israeli teens and their day to day lives. The film makes an
effort to have its audience learn about these characters and the things
that make them tick, tock, and work.
central characters in Vasermil are Shlomi (Nadir
(Adiel Zamro), and Dima (David Taplitzky). Each of these teenage boys
from a vastly different background, and their unique family differences
and explored throughout many sequences. These are not fully functioning
and the realities that surround them seem to haunt their worlds. The
have in their families leads to conflict (especially between any of
father/son relationships) and the script aims to highlight these
moments in a
slice of life style, characteristic of documentaries, but clearly still
within a realm of stylized filmmaking. It seems to represent
Mushon Salmona's apparent aim to craft a hybrid creation, akin to the
filmmakers like Danny Boyle or Quentin Tarantino, combined with what
described as a documentarian approach.
characters are believable,
portrayed be inexperienced actors who are more than capable, blending
youthful characteristics with that of the characters they portray. The
is uniformly excellent and adds to the impressive filmmaking qualities
display in Vasermil. There can be an
unexpected side-effect in experimental independent productions,
dramatic features: the possibility for even more impressive
and performances is higher when compared to other productions because
the directors recognize how to play to actor's strengths even better
the process of working in complete unison with unknown beginning
actors. Vasermil seems to be one such example.
appreciated the sub-plot about the
characters joining a soccer team and working together to achieve group
It was a plot-aspect introduced somewhat late in the story but it has a
significant impact on story. The soccer coach, in particular, was a
character who appreciated Shlomi, Adiel, and Dima. This was a central
unifying aspect of the story of Vasermil.
scenes in the film emphasis the
coming-of-age aspect of the characters in a new way, unfamiliar because
blend of stark realism with newfound dramatic storytelling. These
some of the best in the entire film, and a large reason why it works so
It shines as a story when focusing on the characters growing up and
their lives. The writing is brisk, intelligent, and appropriate given a
but forthright style.
many positive production elements. The writing and direction are
and high in quality. The cinematography appears simple, but has
structure: the colors of the sky and the emphasis on the surroundings
encompass many elements of the story well.
characters in Vasermil find peace by the conclusion,
and the ending is disappointing, because the viewer expects to see
characters reach a point of peace and newfound beginnings. Instead,
pulls the plug too soon and abruptly concludes his film in
Some characters seem to wind up with unresolved stories while the
who do seem to find a finish line are left without suggestions of hope.
As I watched the credits roll all I could think was that I hoped for
unscripted future for these characters, and an unseen ending with hope
intact; alive. Sometimes the audience deserves a happy ending and this
to be one such case.
been presented by Film Movement in its original
theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The film is a low-budget production.
seems to have been filmed using digital cameras instead of any
production equipment. This isn't a negative, per se. Nothing about the
seems polished though, and it does have an impact on its style. Colors
somewhat dull and there is some inherent softness in the image.
audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The
film alternates between 3 languages: Hebrew, Amharic, and Russian. The
quality isn't impressive or particularly memorable but it does a decent
reproducing dialogue and that's a main aspect of the film's style: it
on its interactions between characters while remaining largely without
sound effects and only occasional minimalistic and rock infused music.
subtitles are included.
Monthly Short Film: Transparent Black
(Dir. Roni Geffen) [20 minutes]
short documentary focuses on African refugees
receiving classes in a Hebrew school. The teacher discusses the
for fewer citizens and that the intent of helping refugees is only
and isn't intended as something permanent. The students in class
hopeful futures, goals, and dreams. This documentary covers some
discussion points and moments and surprises with powerful
A Director Biography
and trailers for other Film Movement
releases are also included.
Salmona's filmmaking debut offers interesting characters in a setting
usually ignored in Israeli cinema: a backdrop of Israel while the main
focus is on Jewish Israeli teens
dealing with their lives in every-moment. The
story and performances are worthwhile but
the solemn and pessimistic ending is disappointing. Vasermil
is still worth a look for its unique perspective.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.