The Israeli Equilibrium was directed by Brit Leibovitz and written by Rotem Rubinstein, who based it on her own experience with eating disorders and living in a rehabilitation house with other women. I think I can safely say it’s the most realistic film about eating disorders I’ve ever seen, and as you might imagine it’s tense and disturbing.
What I loved about this film is the little details. It’s not the Hollywood version you see of eating disorders, with excessive weighing and binging and purging. It’s accidentally using triggering words like “hot” in front of other women who have eating disorders. It’s finding a hidden bag of food under the sink. It’s cutting a portion of cake with a credit card. These details are subtly observed and the filmmakers trust in the audience’s ability to pick up on them.
A loose, realistic style drives home the authenticity of the film. The women interacted with each other on the set before filming to add to the naturalism. They wander in and out of doors in the background within the shot as television noise plays. This sense of voyeurism is pushed to the brink of discomfort in the film’s last long take.
The interview with Brit Leibovitz & Rotem Rubinstein is among the most raw and candid we have featured. One reason Hollywood gets it wrong is because eating disorders, Rubinstein explains, aren’t necessarily about how you look, or how skinny you want to be. They’re about a more intangible, indescribable feeling about yourself—one that, like most mental illnesses, you have to keep managing the rest of your life to manage your symptoms.
Check out Equilibrium in Shorts Block No. 4 here: https://watch.eventive.org/mentalfilmness2022/play/633f0d67e7c22000291085fc/6328a71bc7b2320053e18d0f
Watch Brit Leibovitz & Rotem Rubinstein in conversation about the film here: