Scaffolding Screen 4 articles



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  • While understatement is usually preferable to shouting, it can also become too much of a good thing, as Scaffolding neatly illustrates. While Matan Yair’s debut feature manages to sidestep or underplay the most egregious of narrative clichés, it doesn’t offer much of anything in their place; applying endless modesty and restraint to a broadly familiar blend of daddy issues and coming-of-age tropes doesn’t render them any more memorable.

  • For his modest and emotionally raw feature debut, Israeli writer-director Matan Yair focuses on a turbulent young man whose life is upended by an inspirational schoolteacher. But Scaffolding is no Stand and Deliver or Dead Poets Society, with a second-act twist that takes the teacher out of the equation and leaves a difficult student to fend for himself. By turns rough and poignant, with strong performances from all three leads, this... deserves a further look abroad.

  • The film is fairly hard on its women, showing them as rule-bound, naïve, or entirely absent. Nonetheless, it is important that men change their macho culture from within. Yair’s intimately shot film is a thoughtful, surprisingly touching look at boys and men that all can appreciate.

  • Quite unlike anything else in current Israeli cinema, the film focuses on Israel’s underclass — kids from blue collar, Sephardic families, beset with behavioral and attitude problems who should count themselves lucky if they can join a family business.