Boaz Yakin’s dance drama ‘Aviva’ is an online hit

The film is currently streaming in North America through a number of theaters

OR SCHRAIBER (left) and Bobbi Jene Smith appear in ‘Aviva.’ (photo credit: OUTSIDER PICTURES)
OR SCHRAIBER (left) and Bobbi Jene Smith appear in ‘Aviva.’
(photo credit: OUTSIDER PICTURES)
One of the most buzzed-about movies released on streaming platforms during the coronavirus pandemic is Boaz Yakin’s Aviva, a new drama that uses dance more than dialogue to tell the psychological truth about its protagonists, and features Israelis both behind and in front of the camera.
Yakin is an American director with Israeli parents, who has made such films as Remember the Titans, Fresh and A Price Above Rubies. His ex-wife, the award-winning Israeli director, Alma Har’el, who made the film Honey Boy, is credited as the director of photography on the Los Angeles unit (the film takes place in New York, Paris and Los Angeles).
All the parts are played by dancers, many of whom used to be with Israel’s prestigious Batsheva Dance Company. These include the film’s choreographers, Or Schraiber and Bobbi Jene Smith. Iowa-born Smith, who danced with Batsheva for a decade, and Schraiber are now married and are frequent collaborators. In addition to choreographing the film, they play key roles.
Aviva tells the story of the complicated relationship between the title character and a man named Eden, with whom she gets involved. The two are played by Zina Zinchenko, another former Batsheva dancer, and Tyler Phillips. But Aviva’s character has a male alter ego, played by Schraiber, while Eden’s female alter ego is portrayed by Smith.
While this device may sound confusing, it fits right into the current moment of exploring gender fluidity and sexual identity. The film has received mostly positive reviews. A New York Times review published Thursday said, “This device allows for novel angles on love, marriage, jealousy and friendship. It suggests a universal multiplicity of gender.” IndieWire said, “A freewheeling blend of dance and surrealist interrogations of gender identity... entrancing,” while The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Its leaps and transitions are often mind-bending... illuminating and expansive.”
The film is currently streaming in North America through a number of theaters. The producers hope it will be available throughout more regions soon. There will also be an online Q&A session on June 20 with Yakin, Smith and Schraiber
For information, go to www.outsiderpictures.us/movie/Aviva


Tags theater