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Ha-Ushpizin (2004)

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An Orthodox Jewish couple's faith is tested after praying to the Lord for a child on the Succoth holiday.

Director:

Gidi Dar (as Giddi Dar)

Writers:

Udi Lion (story editor), Shuli Rand
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shuli Rand ... Moshe
Michal Bat-Sheva Rand Michal Bat-Sheva Rand ... Malli Bellanga
Shaul Mizrahi ... Eliyahu Scorpio
Ilan Ganani Ilan Ganani ... Yossef
Avraham Abutboul Avraham Abutboul ... Ben Baruch
Yonathan Danino Yonathan Danino ... Gabai
Daniel Dayan Daniel Dayan ... The Rabbi (as Rabbi Daniel Dayan)
Michael Weigel ... Ethrog Assessor (as Michael Vaigel)
Daniel Rand Daniel Rand ... Elazar
Yizhak Levkovits Yizhak Levkovits ... Charity
Shmuel Ovadia Shmuel Ovadia ... Wolf
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Moti Ben Ishai ... Ederi
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Storyline

In Jerusalem's orthodox neighborhoods, it's Succoth, seven days celebrating life's essentials in a sukkah, a temporary shack of both deprivation and hospitality. A devout couple, Moshe and Mali, married nearly five years and childless, are broke and praying for a miracle. Suddenly, miracles abound: a friend finds Moshe a sukkah he says is abandoned, Moshe is the beneficiary of local charitable fundraising, and two escaped convicts arrive on Moshe and Mali's doorstep in time to be their ushpizin - their guests. The miracles then become trials. Rabbinical advice, absolution, an effort to avoid anger, and a 1000-shekel citron figure in Moshe's dark night of the soul. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you really need a miracle... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Israel

Language:

Hebrew | Yiddish

Release Date:

25 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goscie See more »

Filming Locations:

Jerusalem, Israel

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,423, 23 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,397,999, 15 January 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eddie King Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shuli Rand had two conditions for making this movie, both were met. The first was that his real-life wife, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand, would play his wife in the film. The second is that in Israel the film would not be screened on the Jewish Sabbath. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Narrator: They worked out of luck, out of hope. And faith was all they had to hang on to. But on this holy week, where guests are considered a blessing, these two unexpected visitors bring with them: a secret from the past. A secret that would test their love and challenge their faith. Now only a miracle will turn their fortune around.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sharon Amrani: Remember His Name (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Israeli cinema impresses again!
9 January 2005 | by hahaifaitSee all my reviews

Ushpizin is about a "chozer b'tshuva" (recently religious) Jerusalem couple whose faith is tested repeatedly during the Succot holiday. Will their faith hold as the tests get harder and harder? Will G-d send them the miracles they need? Familiar references spring to mind, from the biblical story of Avraham and Sarah, to traditional tales of shtetl life, to the stories of S.Y. Agnon. Yet the contemporary context makes it a highly original work. The film manages to retain and build dramatic tension. It successfully portrays strong emotions including anger, frustration, love, gratitude, and faith without becoming overly sentimental.

The main couple is played by actors who are married in real life and also religious in real life (he wrote the script). Their love, clearly visible, is one of the nicest parts of the story.

The criminals who come to stay as guests during the holiday ("Ushpizin" in Hebrew) are a bit too cartooned at times, but are not all bad.

It's nice to see a Jerusalem that really exists: a place of material poverty but spiritual wealth, home to an imperfect but caring community that finds meaning in the fulfillment of mitzvahs (commandments).


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