Off-White Lies Maya Kenig

Off-White Lies Maya Kenig
6
Set in 2006, using the Israel-Hezbollah (second Lebanon) War as a backdrop, Maya Kenig's sitcom-premise-made-dramedy of sorts uses a template of white, or beige, lies to suggest that honesty isn't always be the best policy. However, the war itself isn't being juxtaposed to fulfill a greater political subtext or message about the titular Off-White Lies instigating conflict so much as it serves to aid a storyline that requires a logical reason for a long-estranged father and daughter to move into the home of a rich Jerusalem family without paying rent. After being raised in California by her mother, adolescent Libi (Elya Inbar) travels to Israel to stay with her homeless, self-proclaimed inventor father, Shaul (Gur Bentwich). Since well-to-do families in the area are extending domicile courtesies to refugees, the pair tell yet another white lie to get a roof over their head, where misunderstandings and old secrets arise, bringing equal parts laughter and tenderness. As a story unto itself, Off-White Lies is pretty much the standard for contrivance and formula filmmaking. While Libi is initially alienated by her nomadic, chain-smoking father, she learns that her perception of his spilt with her mother, and her mother's disposition, is little more than a delusion on her part. Similarly, Shaul learns to develop some sort of responsibility and live an "honest" life when forced to care for more than himself. Kenig isn't trying to reinvent the wheel so much as she's using an exploitive shell to say something about the ways that human connection can help us grow and perceive reality in a different way. There are a couple of laughs to be had throughout the journey, which is more than can be said for most high concept films. No supplements are included with the film, save the usual Film Movement short film. This month's addition is Anna Kuntsman's Catherine the Great, which uses animation to reiterate the trafficking and prostitution storyline of the superlative Lilya-4-Ever, only with Tel Aviv as the setting rather than Sweden. (Film Movement)