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Bryce Dallas Howard
Aaron (Shtrauss), a respected butcher and a family man in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, leads a conservative life of community devotion and spiritual dedication. Aaron's life undergoes a series of emotional changes following the arrival of a young apprentice (Danker) to his shop. Consumed with lust, the handsome "Yeshiva" student irreversibly transforms the intricate beliefs in the once-devoted butcher's life - leading Aaron to question his relationships with his wife, children, community, and God. Written by
I just saw this at the Minneapolis-St. Paul film festival. A powerful, relentless film that seems to imply, if I can trust my instincts, that "falling in love" is a spiritual phenomenon devoid of gender considerations. Now, I may disagree with this personally, but the director makes such a powerful case for it that it is entertaining to watch.
Also implied is the message that repression produces the opposite effect in the long run...
In the film, a super-fundamentalist butcher in an ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhood meets and falls for another man, despite the social and even physical danger. The scene in which the two meet is shot in such a way that even we heterosexuals in the audience can understand. The young apprentice enters from a pouring rain with a cherubic, earnest look on his face and, for just a second, what the director is trying to say echoes in everyone watching.
The scenes between the butcher and his plain yet somehow beautiful and patient wife become more tense and more poignant, even as they become more and more muted.
Overall, this was an excellent film. I gave it four out of five on my ballot.
Things to watch for: Pool of Siloam, frank but not disgusting sex scenes. A-
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