Past Life tracks the daring late 1970s odyssey of two sisters - an introverted classical musician and a rambunctious scandal sheet journalist - as they unravel a shocking wartime mystery that has cast a dark shadow on their entire lives.
Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.
When Eyal finishes the week of mourning for his late son, his wife urges him to return to their routine but instead he gets high with a young neighbor and sets out to discover that there ... See full summary »
As a family from India moves in to a desert neighborhood in Southern Israel in the 1960's, the family's eldest, beautiful daughter discovers friendship and romance with the lovely local ... See full summary »
Yoel, a meticulous historian leading a significant debate against holocaust deniers, discovers that his mother carries a false identity. A mystery about a man who is willing to risk everything to discover the truth.
Zaza is a 31-year old Israeli bachelor, handsome and intelligent, and his family wants to see him married. But tradition dictates that Zaza has to choose a young virgin. She must be ... See full summary »
When the older sister of Shira, an 18-year-old Hasidic Israeli, dies suddenly in childbirth, Shira must decide if she can and should marry her widowed brother-in-law, which also generates tensions within her extended family.
In Jerusalem, an Orthodox congregation is in a quandary following an incident that leaves their synagogue in great need of repair: as the elderly rabbi is showing gradual signs of mental decline, a younger rabbi (Aviv Alush) helps the congregation in the mean time but his ultra-orthodox fundamentalism rubs the congregants the wrong way - especially the women.
This film has a delightful gathering of characters who show their humanity and quirkiness simultaneously although this might have been enhanced with maybe a little over-the-top characterizations and situations now and then. Among the performers, Evelin Hagoel stands out as a woman who easily refutes the younger rabbi's forced changes on her community.
"The Women's Balcony" deals well with that age-old inner conflict among the religious - whatever the religion or denomination: the apparent sense of duty and obedience vs. what people know deep in their hearts to be true. This theme works well up to a point but the film is less effective due to the young rabbi's harsh, one-dimensional approach.
He easily comes off as a villain. If the film had given a glimpse as to what drives him, the audience could have been left with the inner-debate of whether to sympathize with him despite his odious actions. Despite the film's good points, this flaw reduces the film to a mixed result.
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