‘One Week And A Day’ Explores Life Through Death
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Still from "One Week and a Day" trailer/screenshot via youtube

In Israeli filmmaker Asaph Polonsky’s debut feature, a bereaved couple copes with the loss of their son in very different ways

We’ve heard of getting high on life, but now comes the concept of getting high on death.

Such is the unusual path Eyal Spivak forges as he grieves the death of his 25-year-old son Ronnie, in “One Week and a Day.”

In Israeli director and screenwriter Asaph Polonsky’s feature film, comedy and tragedy overlap in scenes that are poetic, heartbreaking, peppered with sarcasm and at times surreal (a middle-aged man hiding pot in the fly of his pants, a couple mistakenly stumbling into a stranger’s funeral, and a woman with misplaced anger getting into a feud with dental hygienists).

Following the shiva period of mourning, Eyal (Shai Avivi) and his wife Vicky (Evgenia Dodina) are no closer to healing — but they cope in drastically different ways.

While Vicky immerses herself in routine by returning to work as a teacher, eager to lose herself in mundane tasks (whether she’s pushing out the substitutes assigned to her class or fighting off stray cats), her husband opts for a more physical kind of escape.

Stealing medical marijuana from a hospice (the very one in which his son died), Eyal avoids his responsibilities as a shopkeeper, and finds himself spending time with the son of his estranged neighbor, Shmuli Zooler, played by Tomer Kapon.

Falling down a rabbit hole of adolescent distractions, Eyal plays ping-pong and evaluates air guitar performances with his new pal, all while getting stoned.

Originally debuting at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, “One Week and a Day” or “Shavua ve Yom,” will make its U.S. debut on April 28 at the Angelika Film Center in Greenwich Village.

American born and Israeli raised, Polonsky departs from the more familiar cause of loss of young people in Israel: the military.

Rather, he focuses on the more universal, and no less agonizing challenges of coping with the loss of a child. As Ronnie’s parents navigate their sorrow from day to day, they encounter external hardships that many in mourning experience: a callous neighbor, a detached gravedigger, an unfeeling taxi driver. Through a series of simple scenes, Polonsky illustrates that even though those who are suffering feel as though the world is crumbling, for most others everything appears normal.

Battling these everyday small tortures and reconciling personal, all-consuming grief with the notion that life goes on illuminates an immutable part of life: death.

Ultimately, the film suggests that there is not only one way to mourn.

Watch the trailer below:

 

 

One Week and a Day

Film

Israeli Film

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