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Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).
The year 2000 approaches in Jerusalem's Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter, where the women work, keep house, and have children so the men can study the Torah and the Talmud. Rivka is happily and passionately married to Meir, but they remain childless. The yeshiva's rabbi, who is Meir's father, wants Meir to divorce Rivka: "a barren woman is no woman." Rivka's sister, Malka, is in love with Yakov, a Jew shunned by the yeshiva as too secular. The rabbi arranges Malka's marriage to Yossef, whose agitation when fulfilling religious duties approaches the grotesque. Can the sisters sort out their hearts' desires within this patriarchal world? If not, have they any other options?Written by
A great story and well-shot. But at times, things move too slowly for my taste. This inherently feminist critique is also the type of film that begs for theological critique, because the concerns of the depicted society are only understood within the context of their theology, an understanding of the documents they follow and where they and their subsequent traditions originate. Why can the women not stand up or fight back at all? Are they really that powerless? If they studied as the men did, they could, potentially (I have studied both the Torah and the Talmud as well as Hebrew and Jewish customs). What is the perspective of the filmmaker? An ex-Jew most likely? And what alternatives are there? This anti-orthodox, anti-tradition social problem film is a gripping story, even without background details. Well worth seeing.
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