This Israeli #MeToo drama centers on Orna (Liron Ben-Shlush) whose husband’s new Tel Aviv restaurant is struggling to get off the ground, so she takes a job with real estate developer Benny (Menashe Noy) who she knew from her time in the army. At first everything is great. She’s given a lot of responsibility and finds she’s really good at what she’s doing, but then come the unwanted and inappropriate advances and she’s not sure how to react, but hopes they’ll stop once she says no. They don’t. Working Woman is a story that will be familiar to many women. Orna wants the job. She’s given well-deserved promotions and people treat her with respect for the great job she’s doing. But the boss thinks he has the right to treat her however he wants. He knows she’s happily married and has kids at home. He’s married too, and she’s met his wife, but still.
Working Woman is one of those films that is designed to make the audience uncomfortable. You feel what Orna’s feeling. You know why she doesn’t run home and tell her husband what’s happened. You know she’s trying to hold everything together and will it to work out. And you know it can’t possibly end well. Liron Ben-Shlush does a wonderful job conveying those feelings of repressed anger and frustration at her untenable situation. Menashe Noy’s Benny is also more nuanced in that he doesn’t come off as a complete lout the whole time and you almost believe him when he tells her he’ll back off after the first incident. Fortunately the script keeps you wondering what will happen next almost until the end. It’s the first film I’ve seen that deals with this kind of workplace sexual harassment in such a straightforward fashion. I’m sure a lot of women will recognize the look on Orna’s face as the sinking feeling she’s burdened with. And I hope some men see this timely film and understand what we’ve been putting up with for way too long.