Tribeca Film Festival: "Zero Motivation"

Photo Credit: Various

My first film at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival was the Talya Lavie directed film "Zero Motivation." The film was a little challenging for me as it is in Hebrew with subtitles, but like any film with subtitles, you just need to adjust. So let’s talk a little bit about this new film.

The interesting, or not interesting part depending on how you look at it, is is how director/screenwriter Talya Lavie decided to break the film up into three parts. Usually a narrative film will have three acts but this is different. It is almost something that you would see Tarantino do as each part is titled and a significant switch happens with character focus, but the stories flow more like a normal three act film. As the three parts deal with the same ten characters or so but focuses mainly on two women, Daffi (Nelly Tagar) and Zohar (Dana Ivgy).

The first part ‘The Replacement’ begins the film with Daffi and Zohar going to their job in administration on a desert military base. Their mundane jobs have broken Daffi’s spirit to the point of emotional breakdown. Her desire to be transferred to the big city will fuel the films plot and direction through act one and act three.  Zohar on the other hand, is deeply jealous of her friend as she is completely consumed by her fears by acting like the constant dream-squasher to her friend. 

In act two 'The Virgin’ you will see the desperation of Zohar without Daffi, and what she is really like after years in this environment. She deals with the fact of believing she is the only virgin in her world and will do anything to fix it. In act three ‘The Commander’ Zohar and Daffi will once again be brought together but circumstances are different for the two and the tension will force the friendship beyond loves limitations.

I gave the film 2.5 stars because the story for me was not as interesting as I would've hoped. Most of the film is centered in an extremely depressing office where no one wants to be, including myself. As a character, Zohar is just a little tough to have to deal with for 101 minutes. I did however, appreciate the style the director took and for taking the chance on pretty much an all-female cast, with the exception of a few male officers.  You don’t see that much in film these days and I think that must have been very challenging for all involved. 

"Zero Motivation" is a pretty good film and if you enjoy stories about desperation, following your dreams, and life for young women trying to find their place in this world.