Archive of films Bena / Bena

Israel / France
2009, 86 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2010

Middle-aged health worker Amos lives with his mentally-disabled son Yurik. While visiting a patient, he meets illegal immigrant Bena and offers her refuge in his home. This intimate drama depicts Yurik’s situation with dignity while sensitively investigating Amos’s difficult relationship with immigrant Bena.


Middle-aged health worker Amos takes care of mentally ill people. He’s a widower who lives with his mentally-disabled son Yurik. One day while treating a patient, Amos meets an illegal Thai immigrant named Bena. Rather than turn her in, Amos brings the quiet young woman home. Bena helps Amos care for Yurik (outstandingly played by young Michael Moshonov) and she gradually becomes part of their household. Mutual affection begins to develop between Amos and Bena, which Yurik has a hard time accepting. The disabled young man starts to abuse Bena and she finds herself in a trap. Screenwriter and director Niv Klainer has shot an intimate relationship drama founded upon the accurately-portrayed, erratic behavior of a mentally disabled person. He depicts Yurik’s situation with dignity while sensitively investigating Amos’s difficult relationship with immigrant Bena. Will this unusual triangle find a mutually acceptable modus vivendi?

About the director

Niv Klainer (b. 1979, Israel) graduated in comparative literature from Tel Aviv University (1999-2003) and in screenwriting and direction from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem (2003-06) before going on to postgraduate studies in film and television in Amsterdam (2006-07). He has thus far shot five short films: Door-sill (2002), Mother (2003), 12:21 (2004), Lost (2005), and Mr. Kurzweil Is Dead (2006), which screened at the Cannes festival. In addition to writer and director, he has sometimes served as producer and editor on his films. His feature debut Bena, shot as an Israeli-French coproduction, was screened at festivals in Toronto and Haifa.


Transfax Films
3 Yagia Kapayim Street, 67778, Tel Aviv
Tel: +972 3 687 1202
Fax: +972 3 687 1499

EZ Films
14, rue mandar, 75002, Paris
Tel: +33 671 792 026

About the film

Color, 35 mm
European premiere

Section: Another View
Director: Niv Klainer
Screenplay: Niv Klainer
Dir. of Photography: Itai Marom
Editor: Assaf Korman
Producer: Marek Rozenbaum, Elie Meirowitz, Itai Tamir
Production: Transfax Films
Cast: Shmuel Vilozni, Michael Moshonov, Rachel Santillan
Contact: Transfax Films, EZ Films


Niv Klainer

Film Director

Elie Meirovitz



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