Tribeca 2023- “The Future”
The one constant in life is that our future is uncertain. We can plan for it and do our best to guide where our life goes, but life itself promises no absolutes. Writer/director Noam Kaplan explores the many layers of this theme in his Tribeca entry “The Future”.
A University student named Yaffa (a powerful Samar Qupty) confesses to the assassination of Israel’s Minister of Space and Tourism. As she is interrogated by the authorities, her friends are sent to prison. Yaffa is sent to a scientist named Nurit (an excellent Reymond Amsalem).
Nurit is involved with the “Future Project” which is created to predict acts of terror in the hopes of stopping them before they happen. A familiar theme to fans of Science Fiction film, but “The Future” is far from this type of picture.
Noam Kaplan has something to say about violence, accepted terrorism, and the men who start wars.
Nurit is frustrated, as Yaffa fails to fulfill the proper algorithms that would make the project successful. At first, she gets nowhere with their chats. The conversations between the two women make up a large part of the film, their very different lives coming together by Yaffa’s act of violence.
Nurit is Israeli and Yafa is Palestinian. The conflict between the women and their countries’ political backgrounds is as strong as the differences in their personal lives.
Nurit has been speaking with potential surrogate (Dar Zuzovsky), as she wishes to become a mother and created the project to help assure a more peaceful future for her child.
Yaffa is a student who murdered a man, but her motives are legion and cannot be pinned down to a simple act of terrorism. The young woman was raised in a land of occupation who is proud of her homeland. In spirit and action, she will fight to preserve it.
As Nurit may come to realize, Yaffa killed, but perhaps she is not a murderer.
Noam Kaplan’s screenplay suggests a glimmer of hope in a world where death and violence are part of the natural process of humanity. As the filmmaker understands the future to be uncertain, Kaplan uses his film to assert the importance of striving for peace.
If the film finds a power, it is in its ideas more than the execution. The precognitive stopping of violence is ripe for deeper discussions and philosophical examinations.
While the conversations between Nurit and Yaffa and well-written and performed, they exist as the only moments where Kaplan finds a balance in his themes.
A better constructed examination of Nurit’s project would have served the film well. Instead, Kaplan abruptly inserts an advertisement for “The Future Project” that eventually lends itself to annoyance.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine paralleled with the two women is important, if not too on the nose. Kaplan (born in Israel) fails to ask the deeper ideological and sociopolitical questions regarding his subject matter and causes the picture’s impact to become stilted.
“The Future” brings to the surface important issues, yet only hints at the serious questions. Ultimately, the screenplay is too ambiguous in its characters’ motivations and not deep enough in its exploration of ideas.
Written & Directed by Noam Kaplan
Starring Reymond Amsalem, Samar Qupty
NR, 90 Minutes, Gum Films