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An allegory of the Golem, a Jewish mythical creature personifying displacement and exile, this film tells the story of a woman (similar to the biblical Ruth) and her sisters, who are forced... See full summary »
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The year 2000 approaches in Jerusalem's Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter, where the women work, keep house, and have children so the men can study the Torah and the Talmud. Rivka is happily and passionately married to Meir, but they remain childless. The yeshiva's rabbi, who is Meir's father, wants Meir to divorce Rivka: "a barren woman is no woman." Rivka's sister, Malka, is in love with Yakov, a Jew shunned by the yeshiva as too secular. The rabbi arranges Malka's marriage to Yossef, whose agitation when fulfilling religious duties approaches the grotesque. Can the sisters sort out their hearts' desires within this patriarchal world? If not, have they any other options? Written by
I would agree that this film progresses at a very slow pace but the story about the secretive world of orthodox Judaism is interesting. In spite of being traditionalist Hassidism is relatively modern to the long history of the Jewish religion being formed amongst Eastern European Jewry in the 18th century, partly as a reaction to anti-semitism and secularism.
The director Amos Gitai has taken on a very difficult task in portraying this sect of Judaism. What is put across well is the incompatibility of conservative traditionalism with a secular society and how suffocating and repressive religious strictures can be. A good story but one that could have shown in more detail the contrasts between the reality of secular Israeli society and the closed world of mysticism.
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