Sundance Film Review: Princess

Posted January 26, 2015 in
Adar is forced to grow up all too quickly. Film: Princess, Photo: Radek Laczuk

Sundance Film Festival
Director: Tali Shalom Ezer

Adar (Shira Haas) is a 12-year-old girl who’s reached her period. Her mother (Keren Mor) is a doctor whose boyfriend, Michael (Ori Pfeffer) has recently lost his job. Adar detests going to school amid this flourishing of hormones, but it also becomes increasingly clear that life at home isn’t particularly healthy: Michael plays “games” with Adar that walk the line between fun and, well, downright creepy and molesting. It’s not clear as to whether Adar finds or outright invents Alan (Adar Zohar Hanetz), a roaming adolescent boy, but the magic blossoms once they catch each other’s eye one day as Adar walks the streets—they look like male/female versions of each other. Adar brings Alan to her home, and he becomes a coping mechanism for Michael’s more frequent invasions into her room and upon her body. Her mother, moreover, is in denial of Michael’s transgressions. Adar projects her “eternal self” (as Director Tali Shalom Ezer put it in the Q&A after the film) as/onto Alan, and her meandering of the streets to escape home enchants her psyche and enables her to investigate her sexuality but learn how to push Michael away. Ezer presents an utterly imaginative piece of cinema that plays out as simultaneously empowering, enigmatic and horrifying. The motif of Adar’s and Alan’s resemblance engages the viewer to access and sympathize with Adar’s predicament, and it is with this positioning that Princess is a great success. –Alexander Ortega

Screening Times:
Time: Tuesday, Jan. 27 @ 3:30 p.m. Venue: Redstone Cinema 1, Park City
Time: Friday, Jan. 30 @ noon Venue: Temple Theatre, Park City
Time: Saturday, Jan. 31 @ 8:30 a.m. Venue: Holiday Village Cinema 1, Park City