REVIEW: White Eye [2021]

Rating: 8 out of 10.
  • Rating: NR | Runtime: 21 minutes
    Release Date: 2021 (Israel)
    Studio: Eroin Corp.
    Director(s): Tomer Shushan
    Writer(s): Tomer Shushan

I’m telling you it’s my bike.

It’s one thing to create a morality play that teaches its lesson while leaving everyone better people by the end, but it’s another to create one that actually maintains authenticity. Because let’s face it: lessons often come at a price. And when said lesson involves the police, that price can be a lot steeper than you may have assumed. We therefore know things will most likely devolve the moment Omer (Daniel Gad) calls them to deal with his situation on the record because their involvement will inevitably open doors to issues that have nothing to do with why he picked up the phone. And by the time he finally realizes this truth and comprehends his complicity, it will most likely already be too late to set things right.

Tomer Shushan‘s White Eye unfolds as a single continuous take focused on Omer as he discovers the bike that was stolen from him on the beach a month ago is now inexplicably chained across the street. After recognizing a dent from an accident and a sticker from his girlfriend, he immediately phones the authorities to receive permission to break the lock. Without proof of purchase or a compliant on file, however, they can’t provide that endorsement. The best they can do is drive over the minute he calls back saying the thief has returned. That seems enough on the surface (unless he can cajole a bystander to help “steal” it back by breaking the lock), but it also carries obvious consequences. Maybe the new owner wasn’t the thief?

And when Yunes (Dawit Tekelaeb) says he bought it one week prior, the math makes sense that he wasn’t. When the Eritrean immigrant’s boss (Reut Akkerman) vouches for his character and honesty, we realize this whole scenario got a lot more complicated. Add a Tel Aviv setting, Omer being Israeli, and one of the officers being devoutly religious and you can begin to anticipate just how badly things might get. Go further and add a very specific price point of 250 shekels expertly mirrored so that Shushan can expose the bigoted tendencies of our indignation and you literally watch as Omer’s fierce sanctimony fades in the matter of seconds. Because while he didn’t set out to destroy a life this night, righteous anger rarely requires the brain’s consent.

courtesy of ShortsTV

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