03 Lug « Back Seat» by Maya Chodus
What happens when those who are supposed to protect the weakest behave in the opposite way to what is expected?
The dramatic short film BACK SEAT is a tense and impactful thriller inspired by the true story of a young woman with special needs who finds herself in a terrifying situation. Director Maya Chodus boldly and without any sweetening tackles the crucial issue of sexual harassment involving people with disabilities.
Lior, played by Zohar Meidan, a young woman with special needs, travels on a special shuttle. One day, on her way home, she notices disturbing behavior from the substitute driver, Zeev, played by Doron Zafrir, who becomes increasingly inappropriate and violent. As the tension builds, viewers are left breathless and rooting for Lior’s survival and escape-a character both delicate and strong, who is not just a victim, but who pulls out all his resources to deal with an abuse of power.
Suspense is built through powerful images and frantic editing, and skillful use of the soundtrack. But BACK SEAT is more than a thriller. Chodus highlighted the vulnerability of people with special needs, giving Lior a voice and raising awareness of the still too little publicly discussed fact that people with disabilities are at greater risk of sexual abuse and harassment. With this film he forces us to question the horrific statistics that exist in the shadows.
The film, with an unfiltered directorial approach, masterfully tells a story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful, highlighting the strength and resilience of those who are often overlooked.
This touching tale will stay with you long after the credits roll, through the question it asks its audience: if 1 in 3 people experience sexual harassment in general, what are the statistics for the special needs community? And what can we do to change this? For those who believe in the power of film to evoke change and start difficult conversations.