6.5/10
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10 user 22 critic

The Women's Balcony (2016)

Ismach Hatani (original title)
A bar mitzvah mishap causes a major rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem.

Director:

Emil Ben-Shimon

Writer:

Shlomit Nehama
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Evelin Hagoel ... Ettie
Igal Naor ... Zion
Orna Banai ... Tikva
Einat Saruf ... Margalit
Avraham Aviv Alush ... Rabbi David (as Aviv Alush)
Itzik Cohen ... Aaron
Yafit Asulin ... Yaffa
Sharon Elimelech ... Ora (as Sharona Elimelech)
Herzl Tobey ... Nissan
Haim Zanati
Assaf Ben-Shimon
Abraham Celektar ... (as Avraham Celektar)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ronit Ivgi ... Geula
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Storyline

A bar mitzvah mishap causes a major rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Israel

Language:

Hebrew

Release Date:

26 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Women's Balcony See more »

Filming Locations:

Jerusalem, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,620, 5 March 2017

Gross USA:

$1,200,885

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,272,517
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pie Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
the core of religion
22 June 2017 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Religious conflict is not often the source of cinematic comedy, but this Israeli film from director Emil Ben-Shimon and writer Shlomit Nehama provides many laughs to go along with its commentary on religious traditions and the power of women.

It's tempting to say the film kicks off with bar mitzvah and ends with a wedding, but it's more accurate to say the bookend community celebrations provide the foundation of meaning for everything else that occurs. The people in this village of Jerusalem are close-knit and mostly happy. They are also religious, though perhaps had become a bit complacent until a near tragic event rattles the core of the congregation.

A young, charismatic Rabbi brings his views that conflict with how the folks in this village have lived and worshiped. A division occurs between the men and women based on such things as scarves covering heads, and women not being allowed in the main area of the synagogue. The backlash has men unable to confront the new Rabbi based on their trust in holy authority, and women banding together for their cause. Understand that the cause is not equality – they aren't asking to sit with men in the synagogue, only to re-gain their own section. This is a percipient example of the crippling effects of religious beliefs and traditions that lack logical sense.

Is a collapsed balcony a sign from God (as the young Rabbi would have them believe) or an indication of a poorly maintained synagogue (like a long unrepaired broken window)? The Women for Women cause provides humor when they are tag-team negotiating with a contractor, and profundity when they are protesting or conducting an old-fashioned kickstarter – knocking on doors asking for donations.

What makes up religious beliefs? Is it the rituals and traditions, or is it the attitude that builds a close-knit community? The film reminds us to beware of false prophets – a concern that crosses all religions and political standards. The script is stellar and the performances are believable. We care about these people and want their happiness to return … even if it's in the form of a fruit salad.


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