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Down and dirty

Israeli actress Hagar Ben Asher’s feature directing debut The Slut is screening in Critics’ Week.

In the film, Ben Asher plays a sexually reckless woman with two young children. When she falls in love with a vet, she hopes to put an end to her promiscuous ways.

Ben Asher is famous as an actress in Israel for her appearance in TV series The Ran Quartet and for her performance in Yuval Granot’s movie, Julia Mia, in which she plays a charming kleptomaniac with an uncanny resemblance to Julia Roberts.

The Slut promises to be far darker in tone. Like her earlier short, Pathways, it explores what she calls “the relationship between sex and violence”.The title of the movie is deliberately provocative.

The writer-director initially sought to cast someone else in the lead. “I did see many actresses — some better than I am.” However, with time running out and aware “there was nobody who was really right”, she cast herself.

“Films in Israel are considerably low budget. We shot for 21 days. That was very, very stressful. We had many technical struggles and also emotional struggles, dealing with two little girls who had to act in the film (it was the first time they had acted in anything), and the sex scenes are a delicate issue,” Ben Asher recalls.

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