Summer, 1967. La Goulette, the touristic beach of Tunisi, is the site where three nice seventeen-year-old girls live: Gigi, sicilian and catholic; Meriem, Tunisian and Arab; Tina, French ... See full summary »
Biography of famed artist Salvador Dali, focusing mainly on his relationship with girlfriend Gala and the time they spent in New York City in 1940 and his early days in Spain collaborating with filmmaker Luis Bunuel.
Lina, a young girl in war-torn Beirut, finds an ally and friend in Sihan, her domineering aunt's maid. Sihan shows Lina what her life could be like, but tests the girl's limits when she asks her to help plot her escape from the city.
Meduzot (the Hebrew word for Jellyfish) tells the story of three very different Israeli women living in Tel Aviv whose intersecting stories weave an unlikely portrait of modern Israeli life... See full summary »
When director Philippe Aractingi is forced to leave his motherland for the third time, the realisation dawns on him: his ancestors have been fleeing wars for five generations. Exploring his... See full summary »
The new math teacher and new school principal discover the 16-year-old underachiever failing classes is really a genius, and the kid's own family's too busy relying on him to mend family fences to notice his brilliance either.
The Tunisian-French Laura is a young woman that lives with her Orthodox Jewish family in the Jewish community in the suburbs of Paris. Her mother is a widow that left Tunisia; her sister Mathilde is having troubles in her marriage because she repressed her sexual desire based on her misunderstandings of the principles of her religion. Laura is an open minded student of philosophy and works cleaning a school in the nightshift. While Laura feels a strong passion and desire for her Muslin Algerian colleague, her sister finds that her husband had an affair with a woman and looks for an advisor that helps her to interpret the true meaning of love and the duties of a married woman. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
La Petite Jérusalem (2005), written and directed by Karin Albou, was shown at the Rochester High Falls Film Festival as "Little Jerusalem." The title refers to the section of suburban Paris that is inhabited by first-generation Jewish immigrants--most of them from North Africa.
The Muslim-Hebrew conflict has apparently been transported to France, where each group is suspicious of--and hostile towards--the other.
Two Jewish sisters are trapped in conflicts. The older, Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein), is a wife and mother residing in a modern, developed country, but still living under marital rules and customs brought from her native Tunisia. She realizes that there are problems in her marriage, but doesn't know where to turn for help. Seeking formal therapy would be out of the question. Instead, she receives counseling from the attendant at the mikva--the ritual bath. (This pivotal supporting role is portrayed beautifully by Aurore Clément. Another brilliant supporting actor is Sonia Tahar, who plays the girls' mother.)
The part of the younger sister, Laura, is played by Fanny Valette. Laura is a brilliant philosophy student who works at night as a cleaner at a school. She falls in love with a young co-worker from the Muslim community, with predictably problematic results.
This film could not be more timely--as I write this review, the immigrant communities in France (primarily Muslim), have risen in revolt against what they perceive as discrimination and prejudice against them within French society. Being an immigrant can never be easy. What makes it so hard is portrayed very well in this movie.
La Petite Jérusalem offers a glimpse of a world most of us will never know. The district isn't very attractive, and it's certainly off the beaten path for tourists. The people who live in Petite Jérusalem have to cope as best they can. This film shows how they go about this precarious balancing act. It's a wonderful movie, and is definitely worth seeking out. (In French, Arabic, and Hebrew, with English subtitles.)
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