An Israeli profiler profiles a recent Palestinian assassin in The Future, leading to some very intense conversations with each other.
The film stars some time after a young Palestinian student, Yaffa (Samar Qupty), shoots the Israeli Minister of Space and Tourism at point blank. This comes as an Israeli spacecraft is on the brink of landing on the moon. Anyway, Dr. Nurit Bloch (Reymonde Amsellem) is brought in to profile the university student to find out why she did what she did. To say that the conversations are intense would not be an understatement. Most of them relate to female identity and motherhood rather than the elephant in the room. Maybe this is something we do not necessarily see in the news whenever such events transpire but why would an assassin not be held in prison? It would make sense for Dr. Bloch to interrogate Yaffa in prison rather than at home, right?!?
Dr. Bloch works at The Future Project and is the designer of an algorithm predicting who is committing acts of terrorism. In any event, the algorithm fails when Yaffa slips through the cracks and assassinates an Israeli minister. One of the reasons why Dr. Bloch questions her is to figure out where the bugs are in the system. Is Yaffa telling her the truth about her past or is she intentionally key aspects of the truth? What leads a student to kill a government official and why? It certainly will not bring about a pathway towards peace. If anything, it will only make the conflict worse. I suppose this is for the audience to decide. At the same time, Dr. Bloch wants to be a mother but the only path forward is either adoption or surrogacy. She chooses Maor (Dar Zuzovsky) to be her surrogate.
The whole algorithm aspect of the film reminds me of Minority Report. However, the big difference between the two is that the Steven Spielberg film takes place well into the future and this does not have a protagonist running from the law. What writer-director Noam Kaplan appears to be doing is using this film as something of a metaphor for the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The only pathway towards peace is dialogue, for better or worse. I acknowledge that this path is not easy. Even though I support a two-state solution, I’ve long accepted the fact that peace is unlikely in my lifetime. Will this change anytime soon? Not with Netanyahu or Likud at the helm. Not when there are actual racists in the Israeli government coalition.
The Future‘s use of a clinical approach in some 80ish minutes may be unique in that regard but maybe Israeli and Palestinian leaders could watch the film and learn something.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Noam Kaplan
CAST: Reymonde Amsellem, Samar Qupty, Dar Zuzovsky, Anat Barzilay, Aviva Ger, Salwa Nakkara
The Future holds its world premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival in the International Narrative Competition. Menemsha Films will release the film at a later date. Grade: 3.5/5
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