Project UnLonely Films Season 7

Bechora

Maya Armon

Maya has assumed the role of a surrogate mother for her younger brother, with the responsibility of feeding, dressing, and accompanying him to school daily. Today marks the first time she recognizes that performing these duties has always been a matter of her own volition, unlike before when she believed it was a burden imposed on her.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

Born in London and raised in Tel Aviv, I served over a year in the IDF as an NCO of education and culture before volunteering for social service. During my service, I split my time between teaching in a primary school integrating children with special needs and developing the Film Club at the Reich Center for Elderly People. The Film Club offered a free-of-charge series of weekly lectures, including full-length film screenings followed by workshops. After completing my service, I moved to Prague, where I studied in the directing department at FAMU. In 2017, I relocated to London and obtained my BA in Film Studies at the MetFilm School (University of West London). For my graduation project, I wrote BECHORA, my third short film, which premiered at the BFI Film Festival and Palm Springs ShortFest. The script received a special mention from the UK Jewish Film Fund, and the film won the Best Short Film Award at the Solidarity Film Festival in Tel Aviv. Three years after living in Europe, I returned to Tel Aviv and joined the MFA Film and Television Studies program at Tel Aviv University.

“When I was a little girl, people often asked me, ‘Who do you love more: Mom or Dad?’ My answer was always – Guy. The second my brother entered my life, I knew it was true love, the closest and the most remarkable friendship. Every night I would sleep with him in the same bed and tell him stories until he fell asleep. Guy and I attended the same school. We were separated into three age groups, one floor, and a long corridor. One afternoon when only a few classrooms remained to study, I found Guy folded up on the steps, with all his belongings strewn along the floor. In the background, I heard a boy running. Guy was pretty apathetic to what happened, while I could not bear to think that someone was harassing my little brother. I ran after the boy until I grabbed him by his shirt, pinned him to the wall, and slapped him. As a result of the incident, the possibility that I would have to leave school arose. Sibling relationships fascinate me, and this has always been the case. My relationship with Guy was so special, not only because of the deep love we acquired for each other but because of the extraordinary person he is. Guy was (and remains) a unique child. Back then, I did not know it. I thought he was just my little brother and probably like any other. In retrospect, I can call this uniqueness by its name: Asperger’s.”

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Join The Conversation

What life-altering responsibilities have you faced? How did you find balance in appreciating the benefits while recognizing the challenges of such responsibilities?

4 Comments

  1. Melody h'Art-Shaughnessy

    Ah! Siblings . . . . a word that is often paired with “sibling rivalry” . . . . Now that my “siblings” are straddling that mysterious abyss between the “living” and the “diseased”. . . the old seeming “rivalries”
    seem trivially insignificient in that mysterious viewpoint of “hindsight” . . . with now paired with deep and profound “INsight” . . . that universally ubiquitous “instinctive” . . . Intuitive way of ‘SEEing into BEing.

    Reply
  2. Jeremy Warshaw

    Anyone would appreciate the empathy and the naturalism on display in this small slice of life in the day of a young family caregiver. But as a film maker, what is so impressive is the quiet confidence of the choices the Director made. The pauses, the shot selection, the cutaways to the other students, the weariness alongside the sibling love of the main character and the sense that this will play out all over again the next day. If Ms Armon continues to apply this level of observational and empathetic film making to all future projects she will surely be a name to reckon with. This film was beautiful to watch and its tone was pitched just so. This is a film maker who sees others with kindness and integrity, and she has the directorial chops to convey emotional truth. Impressed.

    Reply
    • Mary Ann

      Insightful comments on the film maker. The story is told in a short amount of time but conveys powerful messages. There are no unnecessary details (although I found myself wanting to know more about this family.) thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  3. Mary Ann

    This film brings a lot of emotions up for me. My father became ill my freshman year is high school and I helped my mom care for him. I was lonely and could not participate in after school activities or have many friends. I went away to college but only finished two years, having to return to help my parents. My mom passed away a few years later so my family moved back to my dad’s home where we cared for him for another 20 years. My children grew up with grandpa being ill, then their dad also became ill. They also had “different” childhoods. It was what God put before us, a great blessing, responsibility and challenge. Life would’ve been very different if we’d had “normal” circumstances. We would have been totally different, too. The love and commitment to family has made us compassionate and caring. Others think it was a burden, but the blessing far outweighs the burden. Being chosen to serve can give purpose to life. The film reveals the tension between those and the daily choices faced by caregivers. At 65 years old I think how different my life has been, and still feel lonely at times. It feels good to be understood, thank you!!

    Reply

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