Israeli Film Director’s “My Days of Mercy” Features a Lesbian Romance

Israeli director Tali Shalom-Ezer’s American debut film, “My Days of Mercy,” stars Ellen Page and Kate Mara as lovers against the backdrop of a death penalty case.

Ellen Paige and Kate Mara as lovers in “My Days of Mercy”

“My Days of Mercy” is a film about the death penalty, with a lesbian romance intertwined in the story. The daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.

Instead of focussing on whether the condemned man is guilty or innocent, and whether it’s wrong to make him suffer either way, the screenplay, written by Joe Barton, dramatizes the pain and horror of his family—people who haven’t committed any crime, but have to wait for a loved one to be killed, knowing there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

Against this narrative is the simmering lesbian love story between Lucy (Ellen Paige) and Mercy (Kate Mara).  Lucy is suddenly a pariah in her town because the girls she went to high school with know she’s a lesbian. The secretive Mercy is hiding a boyfriend at home and lectures that Lucy can’t “decide for [her]” when it’s time to come out of the closet.

Director Tali Shalom-Ezer was born in Kfar Saba, Israel. She studied theatre and film at Tel Aviv University. She has directed the short film Living Room (06) and the features Surrogate (08) and Princess (14). My Days of Mercy (17) is her latest film.

“My Days of Mercy”, was recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Read complete review in PopMatters.