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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Cinema: Working Woman

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After first premiering at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), critics and fans had nothing but praise for this film. Now, following a successful run at the MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) 2019, Working Woman will be in cinemas nationally on October 10. The film runs for 93 minutes and is in Hebrew.

While her husband struggles to keep his restaurant in business, mother of three, Orna (Liron Ben Shlush) lands a job as an assistant to a powerful, but sexually harrassing realtor and brings herself to fight back.

In this absorbing drama by Michal Aviad, set in Jerusalem, the film tracks an all-too-familiar trajectory in which female ambition is met with male abuse of power. With three young children to look after and her husband’s restaurant struggling to break even, Orna feels lucky to have landed an assistant position with a luxury real-estate development firm. She quickly proves her worth and is rewarded with a lucrative promotion.

Yet Orna’s advancement is accompanied by unwanted attentions from Benny (Menashe Noy), her boss. With every professional triumph, Orna is forced to contend with another, more aggressive, come-on. She needs to tell someone — but will others feel she is complicit?

Orna is smart and resourceful, but she’s no superhero; she has doubts and fears. Benny can be smug and entitled, but he also makes Orna feel genuinely valued in a way that her husband, absorbed with his own stress, does not.

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