Devoutly religious Ruth returns from Israel to care for her dying mother, but when she tries to bring her estranged brother David back into the fold, in accordance with her mother's wishes,... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amber Aga ...
Tanya (as Amber Agar)
Nick Atkinson ...
Broadcaster (voice)
Tamara Barnett-Herrin ...
Abigail's Friend (voice)
...
Rachel Silverbaum
Chai ...
Eager Student
Joel Chalfen ...
David Cohen
Michael Colgan ...
Male Journalist (voice)
Félicité Du Jeu ...
Abigail
Philip Dunbar ...
Isaac
Sue Kelvin ...
Orna Laitner
...
Gideon (as Elliot Levy)
...
Rabbi Berg
Stavros Louca ...
Masked Hulk
Allan McTaggart ...
Man on Towpath
Justine Mitchell ...
Laura
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Storyline

Devoutly religious Ruth returns from Israel to care for her dying mother, but when she tries to bring her estranged brother David back into the fold, in accordance with her mother's wishes, the result is a startling journey into the darkest realms of sexual obsession: a forbidden game under the guise of religious law. Dark, ambiguous and distinctly adult, this study of belief and desire, set in the cloistered world of London's Orthodox Jewish community, thoughtfully explores the links between faith and violence, denial and longing. Written by Edinburgh Film Festival Catalogue 2005

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10 February 2006 (UK)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Soundtracks

La niña de las flores
Performed by Yasmin Levy
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User Reviews

 
Haunting compelling and different
21 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

A tale of a devout religious girl and her estranged, angry brother who gets into a somewhat incestuous clinch with her, this isn't a film that's too heavy on story. It's more about atmosphere and little details of life. The setting is London orthodox Judaism and its painted as a dry world full of absence and mysterious symbol. It's a dark brooding and intense film - perhaps to a fault - that doesn't give the audience easy answers. At times the claustrophobia of its religious setting is overwhelming, even suffocating. Though there are a few lighter moments and some amusing satire of a closed community.

The portrait of its troubled lead characters almost depends more on the dark, grainy texture of this atmosphere than their actual psychology, which is far from being fully explained. At times the film almost seems to delight in not letting the audience in to its mysteries , the mysteries of the lead characters. But perhaps this is the point. It reminds us that some things remain mysteries; that what we call knowledge is often just arrogance and vanity.

It's abetted by striking, intensely compelling performances from leads Natalie Press and Joel Chalfen. They work well together and as brother and sister seem to inhabit their own private world that we can't quite penetrate.

A perhaps flawed but haunting film that raises questions about transgressive psychology, religion and violence but doesn't necessarily answer them - i think i'll remember it.


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