A timely film for the #MeToo era, Working Woman speaks to the problems surrounding a grey area of sexual harassment at work.
Orna (Liron Ben Shlush) recently started working in the real estate business. The place seems to be nice at first. After all, the company are building a nice complex along the beachfront in Rishon Lezion. Unfortunately there’s more than meets the eye with her married realtor boss, Benny (Menashe Noy). Instead of being a respectful peson, Benny soon starts pressuring Orna into having sex. Orna didn’t ask for any of this yet she has to try to keep it all together. It bares repeating but why is it so hard for men to keep their hands to themselves? Never mind the fact that Benny is a married man himself. Surely, his wife Sari (Dorit Lev-Ari) has to be thinking sometime!
As for Orna, her husband, (Ofer), has been working hard to start a restaurant business. They have three children so they badly need the money if they want to live comfortably. The restaurant struggles over the course of several months so Orna feels pressure to continue working for the awful Benny. Because of the struggles, it’s Orna who must bring home the bacon. All the while, she continues to pay the unwanted price in emotional damages.
Mostly known for her documentary work, Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad helms a narrative feature about a strong woman. Aviad is a very feministic director so it makes complete and total sense that we see the film through Orna’s eyes. Aviad is not afraid to take a risk in telling this story.
There’s a few things going on for Working Woman. One of which is the aforementioned issue of sexual harassment in the work place. The other of which are these young families who are struggling to live financially. If one does not have the money to afford a family, should they wait? This seems to be another understated angle that director Michal Aviad seeks to explore in the film. It’s surely an issue affecting religious families more so than secular.
It was only a matter of time before we started to see the serious effects of the #MeToo movement be reflected on the big screen. Female filmmakers are no longer afraid of having to silence their voices. It’s in the best interest of the filmmaking industry, both Hollywood and foreign alike, to have this stories be told. We know that it’s happening so why be reluctant to tell the stories?
If Working Woman reminds people of anything, it’s that sexual harassment happens in the workplace, too.
DIRECTOR: Michal Aviad
SCREENWRITERS: Sharon Azulay Eyal, Michal Vinik, Michal Aviad
CAST: Liron Ben Shlush, Menashe Noy, Oshri Cohen