Discovery

Montana

Limor Shmila

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When a young woman returns to her hometown in Israel following the death of her grandfather, she falls in love with a married teacher despite the looming figure of her fractured past, in the feature debut by Limor Schmilla.

After years of living in Jaffa, Efi comes back to Acre, her hometown, following the death of her grandfather. There she meets Karen, a teacher who is married with two children. An unexpected but deep romance begins between the women, keeping Efi in Acco, prompting her to rethink her plans and pulling her to revisit her past.

This extended stay in the neighbourhood of her youth means that Efi must confront many of the buried secrets of her childhood and the tribal nature of the community that nurtured — and disrupted — her early years. When the exposure of those secrets leads directly to Karen's family, difficult decisions must be made.

Director Limor Shmila infuses each scene with a powerful yet intimate tone as her characters explore, contrast, and weigh the value of contemporary relationships against older ones. Shmila frames Efi's story with the objectivity of distance and time, inviting the viewer to engage and assess relationships alongside her. Noa Biron gives a beautifully subtle performance as Efi: a woman with a hard-won sense of self and no inhibitions about pursuing her desires.

Emotionally calibrated but never heavy handed, Montana underscores the belief that, when one is faced with a moral choice, love can't — and shouldn't — be used as an excuse for silence.

JANE SCHOETTLE

location_on Scotiabank 5

theaters Press

location_on Scotiabank 13

theaters Regular

location_on Jackman Hall

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location_on Scotiabank 5

theaters Press

location_on Scotiabank 11

theaters Regular