Is today's fanaticism tomorrow's policy? In a West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer has a grand design: he's building a movement "to pray at the Temple Mount." His yeshiva has scholars, and ...
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Is today's fanaticism tomorrow's policy? In a West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer has a grand design: he's building a movement "to pray at the Temple Mount." His yeshiva has scholars, and the settlement is getting its own military company to be commanded by Menachem, a disciple of the rabbi. He also wants his daughter, Michal, to marry Pini, the yeshiva's best scholar. Michal has no interest in Pini, but she is attracted to Menachem. When she rebuffs Pini, he hatches a bold and secret plan. Is jealousy the motivation or something else? Meanwhile, the army and Mossad are closely watching the rabbi's activities and Menachem's military training. Who is trustworthy? Written by
This film is another in a wave of films from Israel that show the gritty reality of life there. Kippur showed us just how bloody and fruitless the 1973 war with the Arabs was (the scene of three medics trying to move one wounded soldier over a muddy field sticks in my mind as a symbol of futility), Late Marriage showed how hard it is for the children of immigrants to find their way in a secular society--Zaza, the central character is falling apart under the pressure of compliance with traditional precepts governing courtship, marriage and divorce.
The character of Rabbi Meltzer seems to be based on Meir Kahane, the dangerously charismatic and violent leader. People are just pawns in a chess game for this man, and if his family doesn't comply with his wishes he'll find others who will. It's fascinating to see Michal, his daughter, start to assert her individuality after a lifetime of conformity with her father's wishes. The first indication of rebellion takes place on a mountainside overlooking the kibbutz where she grew up; she tells a bitter story of neglect and indifference to human needs that is very touching. Tinkerbell and Aki Avni are very good; Assi Dayan as the Rabbi is outstanding in his deviousness cloaked in moral fervor.
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