Limor Pinhasov is an Israeli film-maker who has directed and edited various documentaries such as A Working Mom (2006) and Company Jasmine (2001). Her most recent film Melissa: Mom and Me (2010) is currently touring festival circuits. You can find our review of the film here.

Was it ever planned that Yael’s home-footage of Japan would be extended into a documentary?

No, Yael just felt that she is going through a very strong journey and felt the need to document it. I guess she was right to do so.

This film has been described as a form of therapy to both Yael and Melissa. Would you say this film was made more for them, and less for an audience?

There was a time that I was worried that the film might be no more than therapy, but from early screenings of the rough cuts I saw how strongly people from all over the world respond to the film I knew for sure that we made this film for people to watch and get emotional and see things different than what they would normally do. I remember at the beginning when I told friends that I’m doing a movie with 2 ex strippers, that one of them abandoned her kids, they told me, no way that any one will get emphatic with them, and that was one of the challenge in this movie, and I hope we did well.

The film features both photography and moving image, especially near the end of the film. Do you think filming and taking photos are similar forms of expression, or do you approach them differently?

I wanted Yael’s stills images to be another way for her to express her self in the film, since it wasn’t always easy for her to explain things. For example, it was very hard for Yael to explain what does she see in Melissa, I felt that her words are not enough and then one image of her filming “her beautiful Melissa” said it all.

What kind of film projects do you have planned for the future?

Actually I’m writing my own first fiction script, it is new and exciting for me. Also I had a new beautiful baby girl just 4 months ago, so I feel very lucky with all the excitement in my life at the moment.

What is your favourite documentary?

It is very hard for me to answer that with one name, I think that I have many documentaries that I love and learn from them, it’s not a way to be ok with every one, I truly try to see as much as i can, I envy all the good ones and it always makes me want to do anther film that will be as good as the last one I saw.

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