One Week and A Day, the Israeli comedy during the Shiva mourning period, is now available on Digital HD from Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Written and directed by Asaph Polonsky, the film stars Shai Avivi, Evgenia Dodina, and Tomer Kapon. Alona Shauloff, Sharon Alexander, Carmit Mesilati-Kaplan, and Uri Gavriel co-star.
It’s a very interesting decision by writer/director Asaph Polonsky to write a film that’s set during the Shiva mourning period, much less make it a comedy. For those readers not familiar, Shiva is the seven day mourning period that starts following the burial of a loved one in the Jewish religion. Those in mourning customarily do not leave the house for a week and hold Shiva gatherings in their home so that they can recite Mourner’s Kaddish. Now that I’ve got that out of the way….
Eyal (Avivi) and Vicky (Dodina) are mourning their 25-year-old son, Ronnie. It’s not enough time to mourn their son and who can blame them. The two of them return to their new normal in very different ways.
For Vicky, a teacher, she’s dealing with removing the substitute teacher who had been assigned to teach her classes. Eyal, instead, chooses to get high with their neighbor’s son, Zooler (Kapon), play ping-pong games, and judge air guitar competitions. Is this Eyal’s way of ignoring the obvious? Quite possibly.
The grieving process isn’t easy and the world’s not going to stop and let them mourn at their own pace. As they adjust to their new normal, the two of them act out in unconventional ways.
“The only way for me to tell this tragic story of a grieving father, who does only what he wants, and his wife, who is trying to deal with him while figuring out her plans, was to revel the absurdity of the situation and show a different take on it, allowing the humor of the human interactions to come out and shine a light on a dark tale,” Polansky says, talking about why he chose to make it a comedy. “Or to simplify it: I love laughing and crying. So I tried to put those two together.”
What One Week and A Day does is give us is a funny and perceptive look at the mourning process for two parents who are not ready to stop grieving over their son.
Following it’s world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Oscilloscope Laboratories released One Week and a Day in the United States on April 28, 2017.