The original title of “Self Made” was “Boreg,” which means screw. While the obvious meaning relates to the Ikea-like furniture company that links an Israeli conceptual artist with a Palestinian woman who worked at the factory, it could also relate to how they feel about their respective lives.
Sarah Adler portrays Michal, a conceptual artist who for most of the film seems lost within her own life. The film opens with a bang, and this event could be the reason she doesn’t seem to remember her own name until someone calls her by it.
A trip to the gallery hosting her artwork causes Michal almost as much distress as the missing screw from the bed she ordered after hers broke.
Samira Saraya’s Nadine is a young Palestinian woman who trudges through her life, getting stuck at a border checkpoint each day she goes to work. Nadine is so disassociated from reality that she has to drop a trail of screws on the path to the furniture company — where Michal ordered her bed — so that she can find her way back home when the workday ends.
Neither woman is happy with her lot in life. So when a guard at the border checkpoint mixes up their identities, they both go along with the change.
What should be shocking is how no one seems to notice the change, though the two women look nothing alike. Both women seem to find meaning in their lives, but not necessarily in a way you’d expect.
(“Self Made” is showing Jan. 31 at Regal Atlantic Station, Feb. 7 and 10 at Lefont Sandy Springs, and Feb. 12 at UA Tara; tickets remain for all screenings; ajff.org.)
— Bob Pepalis