The film takes place in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War in which Egypt and Syria launched attacks in Sinai and the Golan Heights. The story is told from the perspective of Israeli soldiers. ... See full summary »
Two interconnected stories in the 1930s, one set in Berlin, the other in Palestine: Mania Vilbouchevich Shohat (1880-1961), called Tania, a Russian Jew and revolutionary, goes from Minsk to... See full summary »
In Tel Aviv, people prepare food, eat, make love, get pregnant, and die. Can one find peace in this life, asks one character at a wake; can there be an act of freedom in this modern life, ... See full summary »
From Israel's most important filmaker, CARMEL is Amos Gitai's (KADOSH, KIPPUR) deeply personal and resonant meditation on Jewish and Israeli identity. Using both fiction and documentary ... See full summary »
Amos Gitai returns to the West Bank to better understand the efforts of the citizens, both Israelis and Palestinians, to try to overcome the consequences of the 50-year occupation. ... 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.
"Promised Land" tells the story of a group of young unwitting Estonian girls smuggled through Egypt to be auctioned off as prostitutes in Israel, and of their initiation into this trade of ... See full summary »
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
My big problem with this film is its view of the haredim (`ultra Orthodox' as they're sometimes called in English). Amos Gitai was called anti-religious for this movie. I don't know if he is or not. I DO know, as a modern observant Jew, that this film does not nearly portray the complexities of women's lives in haredi society. It simply chooses to portray them as victims. There have been cases of spousal abuse, marital rape, et cetera, in the haredi community, but it is not the norm. What happened with the divorce is extraordinarily unlikely in real life, yet he made it seem realistic. It's very easy to paint a picture of a society as an oppressive patriarchy if you only draw it as a caricature, and that's what Gitai did.
As a result, the good parts of the film, such as the performances, are almost meaningless, because the film's vision is so distorted and one-dimensional. This would have been a far more interesting film if it had portrayed haredi women's difficulties (which, like in any conservative society, are real) in a more complex way. There are many fascinating stories to be told about the haredi community, which combines rigid rules with an incredibly rich family and spiritual life. Kadosh shows you the pain haredi women experience, but never the joy.
Please, if you have no experience or familiarity with haredi or even Orthodox Judaism in general, take this film with a grain of salt. It's far from all there is.
27 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this