Review: ‘S#x Acts’

S#X Acts Poster

S#X Acts | Johnathan Gurfinkel | December 6, 2013
Director Johnathan Gurfinkel takes us through the sexual world of a few teenagers in his interesting new film S#X Acts. It focuses on a naive teenaged girl named Gili (Sivan Levy) who recently changed schools in Tel Aviv. She’s very self conscious and quick to impress her new wealthy friends, to the point where she has them drop her off at the upscale apartment complex across the street, so she can then sneak over to the more modest one that she really lives in.

This type of mentality carries over to her sexual life, where she allows boys to do practically whatever they want with her. We see this quickly during the interactions with her friends Omri (Eviator Mor) and Tomer (Roy Nik). Gurfinkel and writer Rona Segal, split the film into a series of different acts, six, to be exact. At first, it begins with smaller acts like a make out session and a hand-job outside with Tomer. At first, you think it’s just a teenager, being a teenager. But then you see her have a intense dry-hump session with Tomer, that isn’t quite all that consentual. Soon, the lines become even more blurred between friendship and sexual abuse, as there’s not too much she won’t do with the boys, or with other friends that they soon invite to participate with them.

What worked well for S#X Acts was Gurfinkel’s direction. It almost felt like you were watching a reality T.V. show, but it a good way. What I mean is that these teenagers felt like real people exploring their young sexuality, even as questionable as it was at times. This rawness is a considerable feat considering how far Gili lets her body get exploited by these boys. The film could have quickly went off the rails to the territory of a soft-core porn if the film didn’t have these characters that felt so real.

While the sex acts aren’t really graphic or anything that you haven’t seen before, some viewers will be slightly shocked and revolted by what Gili lets her “friends” do to her. Often their actions stand only a few steps away from rape. It’s shocking and even more depressing when you see these same guys too embarrassed to be seen in public with her later, a true indication of how they really view her, as nothing more than an object of pleasure.

It’s very frustrating at times to see what Gili let’s these guys to do her, and that she would continue to return to them, thinking these were acts of friendship. But her acceptance into these positions is in a grey area. Many times, she’s not exactly shooting them down, often saying no at first, but ultimately complying to their demands. It’s a tough performance, but Sivan Levy makes it believable with a good performance. Her compadres Eviator Mor, Roy Nik, and Niv Zilberberg are also convincing it their roles.

By the end of S#x Acts, we don’t know if it gets better for Gili. It leaves us off with another potentially cringe-worthy situation, or maybe that was just my mind working. But after watching the six chaotic acts that she endured, I don’t know what to expect. S#x Acts was a wild ride that definitely marched to the beat of it’s own drum. There’s no doubt that it definitely leaves room for many different conversations.