AVIVA Review – Seeing Relationships in a New Light

Aviva and Eden embrace

AVIVA is the latest film  written and produced by Boaz Yakin of “Remember the Titans”  and “The Price of Rubies” fame.  The film premiered online at the SXSW Film Festival.

AVIVA, SXSW

It is a radical departure from Yakin’s approach to his wildly successful commercial films.  This is an art film doing very much of what art is intended to do: heighten the viewers awareness to  change, to a new view of the world in which they live.  AVIVA engages in adventurous cinematic exploration into the role gender plays in regard to relationships.

AVIVA Poster

AVIVA is at its core a love story, exploring what attracts people to one another and what an individual needs within themselves to maintain a close relationship.   Music and dance enhance the story, move it forward and hold it together.  It is a beautiful film, filled with beautiful people, cinematography that feels like an art gallery and a dreamy quality.

The film also included both female and male nudity and many sex scenes.  “There’s a lot of sex in the movie — what was your intention with this?”

Yakin explains: “An intrinsic part of what makes or breaks a romantic/sexual relationship happens in the bedroom. Power dynamics change and shift, intimacy is tested. There are so many movies made about love and relationships, and yet somehow when we get to these crucial moments we are supposed to pan to the window and see the moon hanging over the hills past the fluttering curtains instead. Each of the sex scenes in this movie tells a story about who is where at a given point in the relationship. The irony of this relationship is that sexual connection that works best between them is the female side of Eden and the male side of Aviva. The odd man out, so to speak, is Eden’s masculine side. He’s uncomfortable with himself and resentful of his female side from the outset. The relationship is constantly under strain because he’s never at peace with either aspect of himself.

So the threesome we see in the movie is not a literal three some?

It’s not technically a threesome the way we usually think of it; it’s Aviva accepting and loving herself in a way, in addition to her new partner. When Aviva is shown having sex in a threesome, the new guy in her life is embracing both sides of Aviva . When you’re sexually whole, you’re able to love yourself and somebody else at the same time, so the threesome is there to show this in action, which is something Eden is never capable of doing…”

Each of the characters was compelling and convincing. Some of the sequences, song and dance, that if found especially  captivating were, “I love you”, “ Somebody Loves You”, and the children’s song and dance.

Eden on a NYC bridge

For mature fans of Avant Garde films, this is a must see.

Photos: Courtesy of AVIVA

Aviva in Paris

Credits: Written and directed by BOAZ YAKIN, Produced by CARLOS ZOZAYA, Produced by BOAZ YAKIN and BOBBI JENE SMITH, Co-producer MIKHAEL GANOUNA, Songs by ASAF AVIDAN, Music by ASAF AVIDAN and Music by RYAN “Bullet” SHIELDS, Choreography by BOBBI JENE SMITH, Co-choreographer, OR SCHRAIBER, Director of Photography, ARSENI KHATCHATURAN, Edited by HOLLE SINGER, Production Designer, ESTEE BRAVERMAN, Costume Designer STACY JANSEN, Sound Designer BRENT KISER, Titles by RANDALL BALSMEYER, Dancers casting by BOBBI JENE SMITH, Casting by TODD THALER

To see this film go to Outsider Pictures or row8.com where this movie is streaming.

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