Film Movement allows foreign film fans to see movies they would not normally have any chance of enjoying, not even in an art house cinema. This is the case for Israel's Off-White Lies, the story of a young girl sent to live with her bohemian father in Israel. This Israeli film wants to be a coming of age movie but does not quite make it It is also a little too static and subdued for my taste but I can see why it was chosen to be in the Film Movement catalogue.
Off-White Lies tells the story of Libby, a tweenager from the United States who is sent to Israel to live with her father, Saul. Libby soon discovers Saul is a ne'er do well inventor with lots of ideas but little else, not even shelter. His solution to housing himself and his daughter is to pretend they are refugees from an area of Israel that is being bombed so they can profit from the generosity of people in the south willing to share their home. Saul then spends his days getting papers and certificates for his latest invention in the hope the man who offered him shelter will become an investor.
Libby goes along with her father's untruths or off-white lies for a while but you know things will come crashing down eventually. What is unclear is why Libby does not tell her mother what is really going on; it is not as if it would be a great surprise to her. As to when Libby puts her foot down, that too is not set up in a way you can understand the motivation.
The short feature included with this foreign film DVD is Catherine the Great, a paper cut-out animation. It tells the story of a young woman who leaves Moldova to work in a foreign country and then discovers she is to be a prostitute. Though it is excellent, it is an odd choice to accompany this particular movie.
A very few of the Film Movement titles we have reviewed: