White Eye

Another film which was supposed to screen at this year’s SXSW, White Eye still deserves to be seen. Check it out however you can as I guarantee the effort will be worth it.

Immigration and undocumented people are issues the globe over. Because of war, famine, political prosecution, corrupt governments, and other reasons people are leaving their home countries in numbers rarely seen before and looking for places to make new lives. Lives which are safe and in which they are able to provide for their families.

This has led to people being employed illegally. Meaning they don’t have the stupid pieces of paper which allows them to work in a country legally. They want to work they just aren’t allowed. Even a place like Israel which has seen its share of conflict and violence has become a country which people settle in without documentation.

Director Tomer Shushan’s just over 20 minute short film White Eye is about this. A simple story of a stolen bicycle and the owner trying to get it back. A man (Daniel Gad – The Damned, The Dove Flyer) is around the area he works in and sees his bicycle which was stolen about a month ago. Tricky thing is that it is locked up. The police are not interested in helping him out, so in desperation he offers a man nearby 250 to saw off the lock.

When that it is about to happen two police officers show up. He tells them the story and they say while they believe him they cannot allow him to cut off the lock. They need to talk to the person who locked it up and get his story. His frustration grows. After they leave, a young black man comes out of a nearby factory telling him to get away from his co-worker’s bicycle.

The man finally gets to meet the man who says it is his bicycle as he bought it for 250 from a guy. His female boss steps in the middle when it gets heated. The police officers show up again after the owner of the bicycle calls them. This phone call and his attempt to get his bicycle back is going to have bigger consequences than he could have imagined.

A timely story. A film that operates on several levels. Causes you to really think. Wonder how you would behave in the same situation. Would you be able to see the human story behind it all?

One that seems during its first minutes as something rather simplistic. A guy just trying to get his property back. We all are very possessive about our things. But that is all they are – things. There are many things more important in life. We just don’t always see that immediately. Blinded by consumerism and the belief that what is ours is to be defended at all costs is a fundamental principal in life. We are insensitive to the lives of our fellow humans. That owning something is not always what is important. That someone else might need it more.

Well acted and thought out, White Eye demonstrates that Tomer Shushan is a man who not only wants to communicate the human condition through film, but has the talent to have it operate on several different levels.

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