Red Cow (2018): Tsivia Barkai-Yacov’s Middling Sexual Awakening (Lesbian) Melodrama

Yona Rozenkier’s “The Dive” and Tsivia Barkai-Yacov’s “Red Cow” earned The Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Feature and the Anat Pirchi Award for Best Debut Film at the 35th edition of the Jerusalem Film Fest.

“The Dive” and “Red Cow” shared the award for best debut film.

Produced by Efrat Cohen and Koby Mizrahi ,The Dive follows three brothers who reunite for one weekend to bury their father in their native kibbutz on the border with Lebanon before going to war. The movie, which also played at Locarno, is being sold by Stray Dogs.

Set in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, Red Cow (Para Aduma) follows the sexual awakening of a teenage girl living with her widowed father, an Orthodox Jew.

The movie world premiered at Berlin in the Generation section and then played in competition at the 2018 Sofia Film Fest (where I saw it), greeted by mixed critical response due to its obvious storytelling and amateurish production values.