In Asia, the debut narrative feature from director Ruthy Pribar world premiering at the down-sized 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, Shira Haas, star of the Netflix series Shtisel and Unorthodox, plays 17-year-old Vika, daughter of single mother Asia played by Alena Yiv. Vika’s deteriorating health urges Asia to finally find her voice as a mother and to embrace and cherish their time together.
Asia’s motherhood has always been an ongoing struggle rather than an obvious instinct. Becoming a mother at a very early age has shaped Asia’s relationship with her teenage daughter Vika. Despite living together, Asia and Vika barely interact with one another. Asia concentrates on her job as a nurse while Vika hangs out at the skate-park with her friends. Their routine is shaken when Vika’s health deteriorates rapidly. Asia must step in and become the mother Vika so desperately needs. Vika’s illness turns out to be an opportunity to reveal the great love within this small family unit.
“Asia never chose to be a mother, yet she deeply loves her daughter. While Asia devotes herself to caring for Vika, she still cannot quite understand what she, as a mother, can offer her daughter. Asia’s failed attempts at helping Vika, eventually bring them closer together. Asia gets to know her daughter; her fears and her longings. She learns that what Vika needs most is her unconditional love. This is a film about motherhood, sacrifice, and love. It’s about the ability and the choice to take responsibility for another person’s life. Even when it means letting go.” – Ruthy Pribar, Director
Born in Israel in 1982, Ruthy Pribar graduated with honors from The Sam Spiegel Film School in 2012. During her studies she received a scholarship from “The America-Israel Cultural foundation” for promising director. Her short films LAST CALLS and THE CAREGIVER have both been screened at many international film festivals, garnering numerous awards. Alongside her work as a film director, Pribar works as an editor on both fiction and documentary films. Pribar has participated with her work at Rotterdam’s CineMart, and is an alumna of the Cannes Festival Residency Program. Her work focuses on delicate moments of human emotions and interactions. ASIA is her debut feature film.