First the desert, which Yaeli has to cross when returning home from her job in a resort on the Dead Sea. Then the distress of a break-in in her apartment, which Yaeli shared with her mother, until her mother just disappeared, without a word. Then Yaeli’s desperate voicemail messages, which remain unanswered. Altogether, a highly effective reflection of the extremely disturbed condition of this teenager.
What follows could be seen as a crash course in growing up. Lihi Kornowski plays Yaeli as a young woman who has long fenced off her emotions – perhaps out of self-defence. After what has happened, she no longer feels bound by the usual rules. She is young, independent and a tad reckless, so there’s nothing to stop her from doing some housebreaking of her own in order to secretly sample other lives, to witness the things she is missing. She doesn’t just take money, but other, more personal things, such as a hearing aid, a lipstick that makes her a woman – she even appropriates other people’s dreams. She can become anyone. But who is she really?
In the tautly designed The Burglar, reality, fantasy and symbolism subtly interweave. A meeting with a kindly German geologist helps Yaeli find something to hang on to. But then there is also the leopard in the zoo, which she secretly identifies with.