Arts, culture & judaica | Sex rules in teens desperate quest to fit in

film review

Viewer beware: Don’t take Bubbe and Zayde to this screening — it could make for a very awkward night.

“S#x Acts” is a tale of teenage angst and sex, which gets more involved and graphic as the scenes progress.

Sivan Levy in “S#x Acts”

Get ready to be transported back in time to teenage trepidation — a feeling most of us can relate to, regardless of when or where we grew up.

“S#x Acts” screens at 9:15 p.m. March 22 in Orinda.

The Israeli film, nominated for best narrative feature at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, won awards for best debut film, best actress and best screenplay at the 2012 Haifa International Film Festival.

The protagonist is Gili (Sivan Levy), a naïve, 16-year-old who changes high schools and is trying desperately to fit in with the cool crowd.

She has her eye on the prize — a popular, good-looking boy — whom she entices with her sexuality to try to win his attention and his heart. 

Gili’s actions seem to be paying off and she is soon hanging poolside at his parent’s posh, nouveau-riche abode in Herzliya, and quick to jump into the passenger seat of his Range Rover to head to the mall. 

As she engages in more and more sexually explicit acts, Gili is passed around to various friends within the popular boy’s circle. With little to no parental or adult supervision, boundaries are pushed and Gili begrudgingly agrees to more and more unsavory acts. We watch as her sexual and emotional boundaries are pushed, and she fails to say no because she so desperately wants to belong.

The hormones rage and viewers watch as Gili continues her sexual escapades, making her way through a single social circle. From home videos of her engaging in sexual activities to group sex, it’s hard to see where and if she draws the line.

Directed by Jonathan Gurfinkel, the film is a sad commentary on teenage anxiety and sexuality. — abra cohen

“S#x Acts,” in Hebrew with English subtitles (96 minutes)

Abra Cohen