"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Working Woman by veteran filmmaker, Michal Aviad, is a strong statement about sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Orna is married to Ofer -- they have a wonderful relationship and share in taking care of their three children.  Recently they opened a restaurant and are financially stressed, so Orna finds a job working for Benny, a builder putting up an up-scale apartment tower in Rishon LeTzion with attractive views of the sea.  She starts out as his personal assistant and eventually moves up to director of sales.  But something is wrong in their relationship and the sexual tension is thick and unmistakable. Benny starts out by making comments about her hair and suggestions about how she dresses – and things move on from there.

At a time when #MeToo has become so relevant in every woman’s life, along comes a film about sexual harassment in the workplace, making it extremely up-to-date and relevant.  What woman has not experienced some harassment in her professional life?  Why can’t we be looked upon as professional women instead of sexual objects?  Why have we been afraid to speak out at times of harassment?  Why are we so often blamed for what is obviously terribly inappropriate behavior on the part of the boss?
Working Woman is an extremely effective film, portraying compelling and complex characters, with superb cinematography – all leading the viewer to become an unwitting witness in a realistic and hard-hitting narrative.

During the film, I asked myself why didn’t Orna tell her husband about the increasing harassment at work?  Was she worried about how he would react?  Was she afraid of losing her job?  Or was she unsure of her own role in what was taking place? Why doesn’t she take revenge?  As things become more and more unbearable, Orna realizes that she must take steps to preserve her own self-image and dignity.

The film was produced by Lama Productions and United King Films.

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