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 ... See full summary »
Or shoulders a lot: she's 17 or 18, a student, works evenings at a restaurant, recycles cans and bottles for cash, and tries to keep her mother Ruthie from returning to streetwalking in Tel... See full summary »
A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community.
The story takes place in Haifa, Israel, in 1979, during three days before the Shabbat. A young woman trying to raise three children, work from home, and observe the strict Moroccan ... See full summary »
Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are father and son as well as rival professors in Talmudic Studies. When both men learn that Eliezer will be lauded for his work, their complicated relationship reaches a new peak.
A universal anti-religious satire which occours in the latter of 2001 and deals with the life of God and his son Jesus. While Jesus is trained and sent to bring redemption, God is ... See full summary »
The film takes place in Tel Aviv, much of it in a fictitious local pub called Barbie, a satirical nickname for a famous Israeli mental health institution. The pub's name hints at the ... See full summary »
Abraham Eidelmann, an old ultra-orthodox rabbi, has a young wife, Esther, and a young son, Menahem. He spends all his time praying, studying the Torah and preparing his sermons. Abraham has not much time to devote to Esther, who craves affection, nor to Menahem, who is awakening to life. But today Menahem is happy. His father has accepted to go to the Dead Sea for their holidays. Written by
Live Observed in Small Detail, With Worldwide Implications
This movie has to be understood in the context of the tension and conflict between modern and ultraorthodox Judaism, nowhere more sharply drawn than in Jerusalem, its setting. By implication, ultimately this is also the conflict between the West and Islam.
The movie is a critique of Haredi Judaism by one who fled the flock, writer and director David Volach. What sets the film apart is that its scathing indictment is so subtle and subdued, so balanced and circumspect. The story is gently and patiently told, its meaning embedded in biblical allusion, symbol and metaphor. There are no clear villains, no hypocrites or fools, no invective or bitterness. Thus the movie rises above diatribe or political tract to tragedy.
This is a life observed in small detail. The cumulative effect, however, is devastating. I only wish every fundamentalist in the world can be made to see it.
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