Again this year, Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest — including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies. Today he spotlights a selection for November 3: One Week and a Day.
Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey describes the Israeli narrative One Week and a Day as "a dark comedy," albeit one whose humor grows out of narrative elements that probably wouldn't be especially gut-splitting in most hands.
"The story is about a middle-aged couple who have prematurely lost their son to cancer; he was in his twenties," Withey says. "It begins the day after the official week of mourning, shiva. And there are moments when it's heartbreaking and moments when it's incredibly touching and humanistic. But there are also moments when this couple is trying to figure out how to deal with this loss and face their new reality that are genuinely funny."
The husband, for example, "is sort of paralyzed mentally and emotionally," Withey continues. "So he spends the day hanging out and smoking pot with his next-door-neighbor's son, who's the same age as his son had been."
In Withey's view, "It's a very human film, one of the most well-rounded films I've seen in a very long time. People in these kinds of situations come to these points where they can either completely break down, completely shut themselves off — lose it and hide in a closet. Or they can realize the absurdities of life, the absurdity of your twenty-year-old son dying of cancer, which absolutely shouldn't be happening, and finding a way to move forward. And this movie handles all of that so well.""
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.