A legend in her life. Inbal Perlmutter (Photo: Ronen Lalena, courtesy of Docaviv Festival)
This year's Docaviv Festival included quite a few films about musicians. One would expect the films about Poliker and Zvika Pick to occupy the center of attention, but the show was stolen by "Inbal Perlmutter - If It's Over" created together by Sharon Luzon and Abigail Sperber (Yes Docu), which even won the Best Film award in the Israeli competition, giving him the right to automatically register for the Oscar nomination for Best Documentary somewhere next year.
Perlmutter is not a forgotten character. In her life, and perhaps even more so after her death in a car accident at the age of 26 a little more than 25 years ago, she is one of the most iconic figures in the history of Israeli rock, a brilliant, original and inspiring creator that hundreds of journalistic articles have tried to crack over the years, including several by this writer. But Lauzon and Sperber came up with spectacular material that no one had ever revealed: Perlmutter's private, honest and moving diaries, in which she recounts candidly and in beautiful language the hidden feelings of her heart, her loves, her mental struggles, and, painfully, her unsuccessful attempt to battle drug addiction.
An exciting glimpse. Perlmutter (Photo: Ronen Lalena, courtesy of Docaviv Festival)
Through the diaries, the film focuses on the five years between the formation of the band of witches, in 1992, and her death on New Year's Eve 90. Apart from the diaries, which are read in the voice of Netta Polturk, which is strikingly similar to that of the singer, he uses interviews with her creative partners, family and close friends, but their faces are rarely visible on screen. Instead, excluding archival footage, the film mostly passes through various images and objects, journal lists, photos, calendars and so on. The choice to abandon the talking heads enhances the way the main story is told, i.e. in the first person, and in general the results are beautiful and original. More importantly, even for those who consider themselves devout fans, the film renews a lot, and I wish it was twice as long and more material from the diaries would have been revealed.
The film encompasses Perlmutter's too-short career, presenting a chronicle of a long and bitter struggle with her own demons. It is not only a sinking or whirlwind of self-destruction, but also explicit attempts to fight, to recover, to come to light and to be happy. As exciting as the glimpse into the capillaries of her soul is, and as central to the plot as drug addiction is, it must be said that the emphasis that the filmmakers place on this subject leaves too little room for dealing with Perlmutter's and the witches' work—which is formative and fascinating in itself, and that, after all, is the reason we came together. Since she is one of the greatest writers and musicians active in Israel in the <>s, there is so much more to be said about the few albums she managed to create.
Another missing part of the film – typical of written and photographed biographies of Israeli musicians – is the aftermath: what happened after death, the legacy, the tremendous influence, the musicians who rose in its wake and the young audience that discovers it, and in general what Perlmutter tells us today. These will wait for sequels, which will surely be done.
- Movie Review
- Inbal Perlmutter