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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
Anti-Orthodox Screed That Does No Favor For Feminists
My mother told me not to go to see "Kadosh" -- but who ever listens to one's mother?
I was so turned off by it while I was watching I thought I must have lost my feminist credentials on the way into the theater, so I checked with card-carrying feminists the next day. No, they also thought it was much more an anti-Orthodox screed than a pro-feminist statement, painting the Orthodox as equal to the Taliban.
While this Israeli movie is careful to show that the sect the story is about is the ultimate ultra-Orthodox Messianists, it is so nasty as to be unbelievable (plus that the non-fanatic Orthodox rock-'n'-roller(!) one of the sisters is in love with is incredibly sexy--even in Israel that must be fantasy).
The theater was quite crowded, so there's a pent-up curiosity to see Israeli movies; too bad this vicious movie is the one getting wide distribution. This was almost enough to drive me back to insipid Hollywood romantic movies.
(originally written 4/29/2000)
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