6.6/10
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9 user 21 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

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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:

$19,650, 2 June 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,200,885, 12 November 2017
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

 
Examining tensions between the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox
13 August 2017 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

As "The Women's Balcony" (2016 release from Israel; 96 min.) opens, we see a group of people gathering at an Orthodox synagogue, to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah. The women participate from the synagogue's balcony, and the unthinkable happens: the balcony crashes, causing a major injury to the Rabbi's wife and causing the Rabbi to hole up in his house. The congregation needs an interim house of prayer and Rabbi. By happenstance, Rabbi David, an ultra-Orthodox, offers his services and the congregation eagerly accepts. However, it's not long before major tensions arise between Rabbi David and the synagogue's women. At this point we're 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: there have been quite a few movies that have examined the ultra-Orthodox communities, both here in the US and in Israel. However, this movie takes a different approach and examines the tensions between an Orthodox congregation and an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. However, it is done in a respectful way, and with the necessary wink and a smile. That said, I would not categorize this movie as a "comedy" as IMDb is doing. Once the movie's premise is fully made clear, it's a fairly predictable road from there to how it all plays out, but that didn't stop me from enjoying these characters. Israeli actor Aviv Alush brings his role as Rabbi David with authority. The photography (entirely in Jerusalem) is very pleasing tot the eye.

"The Women's Balcony" opened recently at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Sunday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great. If you are in the mood for a decent foreign movie that looks at tensions between the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox, you could do worse than checking out "The Wedding Balcony", be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.


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