10% My Child (Uri Bar-On, 2014): Israel

Reviewed by Raven Arce. Viewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Oh there is so much to tell about this movie. I guess we can start with its creation. Taking nine years to make, it was a difficult task bringing this film to fruition. Pulling together the money took time and the more time that passed, the harder it was to use their talented star Yali Friedman to play the role as Franny. The performance she puts on is quite amazing for someone her age, keeping you hooked on every like she say as she delivers it with the perfect amount of attitude. The same could be said with her very talented co star Udi Persi who plays Nico in the film. His reactions to Franny’s outbursts and childish fits could only be described as a completely natural performance to a child of a girlfriend.

10% My Child (Uri Bar-On, 2014) focuses around the relationship between Nico and, his girlfriends daughter, Franny. Eager to win the child over in hopes of gaining a better chance with her mom he quickly starts bonding with the young girl who is, naturally, very resistant to the idea of her mom’s new boyfriend. That is especially true since her father is still somewhat close to the picture.

The two grow closer and soon after some troubling news about his first film, Nico decides he wants to make a film of Franny. This film truly strengthens the bond between them as they fall deeper and deeper into each others hearts. Through good times and bad these two learn to be there for each other and remind us all that once you hold a child in your heart, they are yours forever.

What is really unique and something that I absolutely love about this movie is the ‘theater’ of Nico’s mind. Being a filmmaker, Nico sees the world in scenes, quietly and discreetly writing out a sequence in his head. The use of signature pieces of film like an old west showdown or a scene in a lonely diner really help us to delve further into Nico’s mind and start to see and think like him.

This element plays a major roll in the ending, leaving you wondering what exactly you just saw. As you slowly begin to process everything, you finally see what you were missing the whole time and everything fits into place like a jigsaw puzzle. Watching it at the Santa Barbara Film Festival really was a treat and I sincerely hope I will be able to see more of Uri’s work as it comes.

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