Chicago International Film Festival 2016: Moon in the 12th House
The Israeli film “Moon in the 12th House” might just be one of the most realistic, compassionate portrayal of sisters I've ever seen. The siblings, estranged since a childhood tragedy, reunite in the home they grew up in, which now serves as a constant reminder of their shared pain and just how much they've buried it, each in her own way. Mira (Yuval Scharf) works at a trendy Tel Aviv nightclub and masks her pain through drugs and a dysfunctional relationship. Her younger sister Lenny (Yaara Pelzig) has stayed at home to care for their father, and is beginning her own less dysfunctional but still unsuitable liaison with a teenage neighbor. As Mira and Lenny fight, then slowly come together while trying to reconcile with each other and their past, neither is completely blameless or immoral, merely human. Even their love interests are depicted intelligently and gracefully, with writer-director bringing a nuanced touch to a quiet, yet powerful story which is refreshingly free of blame for the questionable choices each person makes. The pace can be a bit too slow at times, with a climax that doesn't quite pack the emotional punch the movie deserves, but it doesn't prevent “Moon in the 12th House” from sensitively exploring how coping with the past shapes who we are.