Over twenty years ago, Nira and Lily were victims of the same rapist. Their attacker was a serial offender who was never caught. A coincidence now brings the two women together. Nira, a single parent, works in television as a commissioning editor, and Lily is a left-wing activist who helps Palestinians during the olive harvest.
Her encounter with the charismatic Lily has such a strong effect on Nira that she begins to reflect on her ordeal all those years ago. Determined to find out as much as possible about their rapist, her research soon turns into an obsession. Although he brutally abused his female victims, the press were inclined to dub him ‘the polite rapist’ because he would talk to his victims throughout the hours they were forced to spend with him being raped repeatedly.
Lily has completely repressed her traumatic experience. For this reason she at first rejects Nira’s attempts to get to know her. But then she finds it impossible to bear the pain any longer. Lily’s anguish puts such a strain on her relationship to her husband, her daughter and son that she realises that she has no choice but to face up to the experience that has so riven her life. And so, together, the two women attempt to liberate themselves from the fear that has connected them involuntarily for the past twenty years.
Michal Aviad mixes fact and fiction in his film. Based on genuine crimes that were committed by a serial rapist in Tel Aviv in 1978, this work also includes contemporaneous television reports and victims’ testimonials. –Berlinale
Not really my favorite kind of film, but I feel compelled to deem it a great debute by Aviad after all. Thought-through script and well executed indeed. Ronit Elkabetz gives an absolutely brilliant performance. The way these rape victims have been treated by the police, justice system and media is outrageous and provokes so much rage in me.