‘All Eyes Off Me’ Review: Scenes of Seduction

A series of sexual and social situations unspool in this portrait of Israeli youth culture.

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By Natalia Winkelman

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“All Eyes Off Me,” a seductive triptych, aspires to offer a window into Israeli youth culture by staging its characters in a series of social and sexual situations. The writer-director, Hadas Ben Aroya, seems interested in how hedonistic lifestyles can lubricate certain forms of intimacy while hindering others, and she conveys this paradox through a series of patient long takes.

The first chapter trails Danny (Hadar Katz) as she wanders around a house party in search of Max (Leib Lev Levin). She finds him seated beside the enigmatic Avishag (Elisheva Weil), Max’s new girlfriend and the chief subject of the film’s next two parts: in one, Avishag explores rough erotics with Max; and in the final, she initiates a flirtation with a staid older man.

Ben Aroya is fond of capturing people in mundane moments: walking dogs, watching internet videos, listening to music. She also frequently fixes her camera on characters as they impassively recount stories of past traumas, such as an abortion and an apostasy; the sedateness of her shots mirrors the dispassion of their accounts.

If the film wants to draw a line between its second and third parts — Avishag’s unruly relations with Max and her subsequent attraction to the modest, middle-aged Dror (Yoav Hait) — it does not wholly succeed. Each section feels more like a stand-alone tableau than one domino in a chain of events. Within this framework, Avishag’s wants and needs are not quite legible enough to trace a satisfying arc, but unspooling under the film’s stylish, judgment-free gaze, her interactions are alluring nonetheless.

All Eyes Off Me
Not rated. In Hebrew, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes. Watch on Apple TV, Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.

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