There’s a phrase in Israeli slang for someone who is out of touch with reality: חי בסרט. It literally means “you’re living in a movie.” Right about now, I wish I was living in a movie, because reality is just too harsh.
A 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death this morning while she was sleeping in her bed. The terrorist who murdered her was killed (thank God), but that stark, painful reality is still there, stinging like a raw, exposed nerve. I wish I didn’t have to feel it. I wish I was in a movie right now.
If I was living in a movie, I would call for a halt on production while I had a few words with the screenwriters. There are huge problems with the storyline as it is, and we actors need some clarification before we can resume filming.
Where is this scene set? Are we focusing on the fact that this innocent girl was butchered in her bedroom, or are we supposed to widen our perspective? According to some media outlets (including this one), she was killed in her West Bank home. Why include that geo-political term into the script? Does that add to the narrative at all? Are we supposed to understand the historical nuance indicated by using an Arab-coined name for the area as opposed to the original, Jewish title? Some clarity would be great.
Once we get the setting cleared up, who was the villain in this week’s tragic installment? According to YNet, he was a terrorist, but Haaretz says he was an assailant. The Times of Israel can’t seem to figure out what he was, calling him a terrorist and an attacker in the same headline. So was he a terrorist? After all, if he was a terrorist, there’s no justification for his actions; terrorists are reviled on all sides.
But if he was just an attacker or an assailant, maybe he had motive for his crime. Maybe his motive was even justified. So which was he? An objectively evil terrorist, or a possibly deep, conflicted criminal with a pathos that could sway the audience to his side despite his heinous act? I feel it’s important for us to know the character and his motivation before we can proceed with the movie.
Which brings me to my next script point: what kind of movie is this anyway? I need to know so that I can anticipate my character’s response. Is it an ant-terrorist action movie? Then all I have to do is wait for the rule-bending maverick in the special forces unit to infiltrate enemy headquarters and take out the head bad-guy after a well-timed quip. Maybe its a horror/slasher flick in which the seemingly unstoppable horde of zombie-like killers relentlessly pick us off one at a time, like we’re a bunch of randy teens on vacation in a remote cabin somewhere. That would be bad, because then we all have to wait for our turn to die until the plucky-yet-unlikely couple of the cheerleader and the class nerd figure out the villains’ weakness and are the sole survivors.
It often seems like we’re in a satirical farce with a lot of grim dark comedy. I hope that’s not true because those kind of movies can allow the villain to succeed in order to make a wry point about the human condition. But I have a feeling our movie might just be a tear-jerking drama in which some of our loved ones die, and we just have to rely on each other for the strength to keep on living. I can play that role, but it’s hard. It’s taking an emotional toll on me.
Can somebody please yell “cut!” so we can take five? I don’t want to be in this movie right now. This movie sucks.