TIFF15 REVIEW: Laila Acharon [One Last Night] [2015]

Score: 6/10 | ★ ★ ½

Rating: NR | Runtime: 22 minutes | Release Date: 2015 (Israel)
Director(s): Kerem Blumberg
Writer(s): Kerem Blumberg

“I wish we could stay like this forever”

Despite many aging punk rockers going strong—or maybe they’re the punk poppers—the punk-rock game is for the young. It’s easy to be anti-establishment and anarchist when life has yet to drag you into its tractor beam of responsibility. To party all night and not worry about the consequences an evening in jail brings isn’t something you can sustain into your late-twenties when life replaces fun. Noa (Michal Korman) understands this because she finds herself at a crossroads between following love for love’s sake or contextualizing her next step with what she desires for herself. Orr (Agam Schuster) knows what will bring her personal satisfaction and the fact she’s willing to leave Israel for Berlin to find it without her girlfriend says volumes. But maybe all Noa really wants is Orr. Maybe following her is enough.

This is their Laila Acharon [One Last Night], a hopeful evening of fun and romance to hold them over until Noa can join Orr at year’s end. Whereas the latter’s excited about what the next day holds, the former can’t help feel pained. It alters her sexuality in bed and prevents her from seeing anything around her except the want to spend as much time together as possible. So when they finally agree to leave their local bar for home, Noa is desperate for Orr to ignore an acquaintance named Dima being harassed by the police. Nothing good can come of an altercation and she knows Orr’s interference will merely press pause on the inevitability of this troubled friend’s incarceration. But ignoring isn’t what Orr does—she runs headfirst and worries about the fallout later.

Written and directed by Kerem Blumberg, this short depicts the compromises we’re willing to make to achieve our goals. Whereas Orr seeks to stand up against a government for what she construes as wrongdoing—enough to leave town for good—Noa strives to stand up for the person she loves no matter the damage to others. Whether one is more just than the other is up to you to decide as there’s a case for Orr going home with Noa to move on with their lives as well as one for her to stay true to who she is without backing down. Where things get blurred is when one begins to make the other’s decision for her. The takeaway being that selflessness will always be motivated by selfishness. The question is whether you’re able to accept that realization.

Courtesy of TIFF

2 Thoughts to “TIFF15 REVIEW: Laila Acharon [One Last Night] [2015]”

  1. Kerem Blumberg

    I only now saw that you wrote about my film on your website. It’s so amazing and nice to read about my film like this. I posted it on the fb page of the film, I hope that’s ok.
    Cheers 🙂

    1. my pleasure, Kerem! it was also included in my TIFF Short Cuts coverage on The Film Stage if that’s of interest: http://thefilmstage.com/features/tiff-2015-short-cuts-capsules/7/

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.