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Film / Aya

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Aya is a 2012 short film (barely, at 39:58 it gets under the AMPAS "short film" cutoff by exactly two seconds) from Israel, directed by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis. Most of the dialogue is in English.

Aya is a 29-year-old Israeli office worker. She goes to the Tel Aviv airport to pick up a friend. While she's waiting, a hired driver who's picked up his passenger asks her to temporarily hold his sign, welcoming one Mr. Overby to Israel, until the second driver makes it back to the arrivals area.

Soon after Mr. Overby, a Dane coming to Israel to judge a piano competition, shows up at the arrivals area. For reasons that she herself doesn't even understand, Aya chooses to pretend to be his driver. As the two drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, they form a bond.



  • Chiaroscuro: The latter portion of the film, after the sun sets while they are still on the road, finds the two main characters in a car that is lit only by the instrument panel, and sometimes a passing traffic light. This establishes a romantic mood as they bond.
  • Diegetic Switch: The film opens with classical music playing on the soundtrack as the camera pans down from the ceiling to find Aya waiting at the airport. It's coming from her phone; she's on hold. When she turns the phone off, the score cuts out.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: A ride from the Tel Aviv airport to Jerusalem.
  • Foreshadowing: Aya tells Overby that, for whatever reason, she finds it easier to be closer to strangers than to her friends and family. The ending reveals that Aya, who picked up a total stranger at the airport, has a husband at home.
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  • Hands-On Approach: Aya asks Overby to identify a tune she has stuck in her head. He says it's from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and explains that it's a popular easy piece for children and beginner players because the notes are close together. He chooses to demonstrate this by drumming his fingers on her knuckles like they're piano keys, in a clearly flirtatious moment. Later, she directly asks for him to do it again.
  • Leg Focus: Overby can't help but notice Aya's shapely calves as she shoves his suitcase into her back seat.
  • Meet Cute: Woman at the airport acts on a bizarre impulse and pretends to be a driver from a car service.
  • Minimalist Cast: Virtually the entire film is a dialogue between Aya and Overby, with only a few lines from other characters (the driver at the beginning, the man who gives Aya directions, and her husband at the very end).
  • Not My Driver: Much more benevolent than most examples. Eventually Aya sheepishly admits that she doesn't work for the car service. Overby is startled, and briefly frightened, but gets over it.
  • The Reveal: The closing scene reveals that Aya, who nearly went off with some stranger she just met, is married.