NEXT TO HER
Chelli (Liron Ben-Shlush) has dedicated her life to helping her sister, Gabby (Dana Ivgy), a 24-year-old girl with a severe mental disability. The pair live together in a dingy apartment, existing in an unhealthily symbiotic bubble where everything from toothbrushes to baths are shared.
After a social worker insists that Gabby is enrolled in a day care centre and forges new friendships and routines, Chelli feels abandoned and embarks on a romance with a colleague, Zohar. They fall in love and he moves in, slowly helping her to find a healthy distance from her sister. However, when it becomes apparent that Zohar and Gabby have their own special bond, Chelli’s possessive streak is triggered and the extent of her co-dependence is revealed.
This is a tour de force from director Asaf Korman, who gains remarkable performances from his wife Liron Ben Shlush and Dana Ivgy, in the two lead roles . Next To Her, based on Ben Shlush’s own experience of having a mentally disabled sister, is a stark, moving and naturalistic portrayal of how family ties can both bind and unravel us.