Next to Her

A twentysomething Israeli woman in contemporary Haifa spends her days working at an elementary school and all her free time caring for her mentally ill sister; when she meets and falls for a substitute teacher, the new relationship disrupts this delicate balance. Having seen quite a few Israeli movies with similar plots, I expected this to be rigid and sentimental, but it’s fluid, concise, and compelling. Liron Ben-Shlush, who wrote the script, gives a sharp performance as the protagonist, a woman so afraid of her future that she’s unwilling to change her current situation even when it’s obviously destroying her. Asaf Korman directed. In Hebrew with subtitles.