All Eyes Off Me
by Rachel Willis
Sex can be one of the most (if not the most) intimate experiences in human existence. However, there are things that interfere to reduce or eliminate the intimacy of sexual relations. This is examined in rich detail by writer/director Hadas Ben Aroya in the new film, All Eyes Off Me.
The film is told in three vignettes, and we start the film following Danny (Hadar Katz). She’s at a party searching for Max (Leib Levin). She’s pregnant and wants him to know. Events interfere with her goal, offering our first look at how an intimate experience can be monumental to one person and insignificant to another.
While the first vignette is the shortest, it opens the door to further exploration as we follow Max into the second. He’s starting a new relationship with Avishag (Elisheva Weil), a woman with whom he not only shares physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well, trusting her in a way he’s never trusted anyone. She tries to extend this trust during an intimate moment, delivering an uncomfortable scene full of intimacy but no trust.
This is an especially relatable instance that becomes poignant for a young couple wrapped up in love and lust. Where does one end and the other begin? It raises questions regarding those moments in which lust is confused with love and unveils the outcome when two people sharing these personal moments aren’t necessarily on the same page emotionally.
Avishag carries us into the third vignette. This is the one that brings a certain maturity to the nature of sexual relationships. Sexual attraction doesn’t always result in sex, but that doesn’t lessen the intimacy or the connection between two people.
While the film puts sex at the forefront of these connections, Aroya highlights that this isn’t the only form of intimacy. There’s trust and emotional connection. Physical attraction comes in many forms, often springing from an emotional exploration.
Weil is the most prominent performer in these vignettes; she’s a great focal point, as Avishag is our most relatable character. Aroya has crafted a fantastic, naturalistic film that will make you consider your own relationships. Films that keep you thinking are often the films that stay with you. This is one of those films.