6.6/10
808
11 user 24 critic

Little Jerusalem (2005)

La petite Jérusalem (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 14 December 2005 (France)
A beautiful Jewish young woman still living with her orthodox family in a Parisian suburb, falls in love with a Muslim co-worker.

Director:

Karin Albou

Writer:

Karin Albou

On Disc

at Amazon

8 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Nazi occupation of Tunisia strains the bonds of friendship between a Muslim woman and a Sephardic Jewish woman who are both preparing for their marriages.

Director: Karin Albou
Stars: Lizzie Brocheré, Olympe Borval, Najib Oudghiri
Passade (2017)
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Paul and Vanessa have just had sex. It's unlikely they'll meet again. She's funny, pretty and witty. He's still just a boy at heart. Intrigued by this young mischievous and mysterious woman... See full summary »

Director: Gorune Aprikian
Stars: Amaury de Crayencour, Fanny Valette
Beyond Honor (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Beyond Honor is a heart-stopping, emotionally resonant portrayal of gender roles and the dynamics of power in a claustrophobic immigrant family living in Southern California.

Director: Varun Khanna
Stars: Wadie Andrawis, Mirelly Taylor, Laurel Melagrano
Siphayo I (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A self-made farmer and rice mill owner causes a rebellion by his two sons when he installs his young mistress as the new woman of the house immediately after his wife's death.

Director: Joel Lamangan
Stars: Luis Alandy, Joem Bascon, Nathalie Hart
Amnesty (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Conjugal visits unite two strangers visiting a prison to meet their incarcerated spouses. During these visits, Elsa and Spetim find the companionship missing from their lives. But a ... See full summary »

Director: Bujar Alimani
Stars: Luli Bitri, Karafil Shena, Todi Llupi
I Am Yours (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Mina is a young single mother living in Oslo with her 6 year old son Felix. She is of Norwegian Pakistani descent with a troubled family relationship. Constantly looking for love, Mina ... See full summary »

Director: Iram Haq
Stars: Amrita Acharia, Ola Rapace, Prince Singh
Bedrooms (2010)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Bedrooms tells a story about the walls that separate people, the heartbreak and infidelity that's often the result and the redemption that comes from tearing those walls down. The film is ... See full summary »

Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jordan Belfi, Moon Bloodgood, Julie Benz
Body/Antibody (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An obsessive-compulsive shut-in's antiseptic world is invaded by a beautiful seductress who moves in next door to his rent-controlled Manhattan apartment.

Directors: Kerry Douglas Dye, Jordan Hoffman
Stars: Robert Gomes, Leslie Kendall Dye, Frank Deal
A Love You (2015)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After a Hangover and an unforgivable night with a beautiful stranger , Manu wakes up alone with her address on his arm. Convinced that she is the love of his life, he will do anything he ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Lefevre
Stars: Antoine Gouy, Paul Lefevre, Fanny Valette
High Lane (2009)
Adventure | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs. The climb proves more perilous than planned, especially as they soon... See full summary »

Director: Abel Ferry
Stars: Fanny Valette, Johan Libéreau, Raphaël Lenglet
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A delicate and tenacious writer, widowed three years ago, engages in frequent conversations with a parrot. However, she's always observed by a large portion of raw meat.

Director: Júlio Bressane
Stars: Mariana Lima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Toshiaki Toyoda
Stars: Tatsuya Nakamura, Mayû Kusakari, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fanny Valette ... Laura
Elsa Zylberstein ... Mathilde
Bruno Todeschini ... Ariel
Hédi Tillette de Clermont-Tonerre Hédi Tillette de Clermont-Tonerre ... Djamel (as Hédi Tillette de Clermont Tonerre)
Sonia Tahar Sonia Tahar ... The Mother
Michaël Cohen ... Eric
Aurore Clément ... Woman at Mikva
François Marthouret François Marthouret ... The Philosophy Professor
Salah Teskouk Salah Teskouk ... Djamel's Uncle
Saïda Bekkouche Saïda Bekkouche ... Djamel's Aunt
Marlon Altiparmakian Marlon Altiparmakian ... Mickael
Michel Hadjadj Michel Hadjadj ... Michel
Anaël Cohen-Skalli Anaël Cohen-Skalli ... Anaël
Chana Cohen-Skalli Chana Cohen-Skalli ... Chana
Esther Chekroun Esther Chekroun ... The Woman Talisman
Edit

Storyline

The Tunisian-French Laura is a young woman that lives with her Orthodox Jewish family in the Jewish community in the suburbs of Paris. Her mother is a widow that left Tunisia; her sister Mathilde is having troubles in her marriage because she repressed her sexual desire based on her misunderstandings of the principles of her religion. Laura is an open minded student of philosophy and works cleaning a school in the nightshift. While Laura feels a strong passion and desire for her Muslin Algerian colleague, her sister finds that her husband had an affair with a woman and looks for an advisor that helps her to interpret the true meaning of love and the duties of a married woman. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Océan Films [France]

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic | Hebrew

Release Date:

14 December 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Pequena Jerusalém See more »

Filming Locations:

Sarcelles, Val-d'Oise, France

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,649, 29 January 2006

Gross USA:

$50,126
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and being director Karin Albou's first feature film the movie was disqualified from being eligible for the Camera d'or, awarded to any debut film playing at the festival, because Albou had previously directed a made for TV movie. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Philosophical Exercise Is Warmly Humanized by 2 Orthodox Jewish Sisters
14 February 2006 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"La Petite Jerusalem (Little Jerusalem)" is a French intellectual exercise that manages to let feelings come through. Unlike Eric Rohmer's static arguments about mind vs. desire, as between two middle-aged guys in "Claire's Knee," here the clash of philosophies is demonstrated through a year in the intimate daily lives of two Orthodox Jewish sisters.

While the intellectual discussions are very didactically presented through these two incredibly naive, but very intelligent, women, the very frank portrait of life in an intensely religious North African immigrant community, which debut writer/director Karin Albou comes from, is moving.

The older sister, Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein), represents the unquestioning rule follower of formal religion. She's married with four children, but has evidently never experienced nor knows anything about orgasms and she seems to have had no formal Jewish education as she just parrots lines about faith in all powerful Hashem and knows the rules of kashruth and going to the mikveh for the monthly cleansing ritual (which we see full frontally), but not much else. She is atypically isolated from the usually close women in her community who could provide her information and support. Hers seems a peasant Judaism.

The rebellious younger sister, Laura (a very appealing Fanny Valette), is some sort of nonmatriculated philosophy student, but is also teaching and working as a cleaner. She follows to the letter first one than another secular philosophers' dictates, including celibacy, as rigidly as her brother-in-law head-of-the-household is apparently following the daily prayers, weekly Shabbat and seasonal rules of Judaism. Her intellectual rigidity leads her to reject the handsome Jewish medical student who comes to her for philosophical tutoring because he is too interested in the romantics and because her mother encourages the relationship with superstitious charms. The widowed mother's faith in magic is posited as a third way, along with the warm love of her children that is challenged but never wavers.

Both sisters are faced with a heart breaking crisis of romantic passion in their lives that their philosophies don't seem to be able to reconcile. (Sorry, but it is beyond ludicrous that every woman in the household is mystified that the younger feels a certain stirring when a young handsome, dark-skinned Arab looks at her, and it's too bad that we learn so little about him except that he too is an intellectual who is torn about being a rebel within his family and culture.) But I saw that each just matured and learned that their views were immaturely narrow and ill-informed. They hadn't realized that for thousands of years folks have been reconciling human nature with intellect and finding a way to live with both, as gently pointed out by their mentors. Each learns to bend, while finding strength in their individual beliefs in unpredictable ways.

The best part of the film is the realistic depiction of celebration of the Jewish holidays amidst multicultural life within the crowded les banlieues surrounding Paris (very comparable to neighborhoods in Brooklyn NYC) where we also saw romantic tensions in "Lila Says (Lila dit ça)" and "Games of Love and Chance (L'Esquive)." The film opens with tashlich, the symbolic discarding of sins for the new year, moves on to the celebration of the Torah in Simhat Torah and on to Purim. If this was an American family we'd see a seder and menorah lighting, but here Passover and Hanukkah are represented simply as special synagogue services. Here we also see the anti-Semitic violence that has threatened French Jews since the Intifada spilled over into Europe, which I haven't seen in films before.

It is very ironic that this Tunisian Jewish family is as much refugees from North Africa as their Muslim Algerian neighbors who reject them.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed