A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
From a screenplay by Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, the film follows a woman as she returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Based on Naomi Alderman's book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.Written by
The characters played by Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams are supposed to be about the same age, but in real life Weisz is eight and a half years older than McAdams. See more »
When Ronit and Esti board the subway to inner London and exit out, the Steadicam operator can be seen reflected off the bus as it drives by. See more »
In the beginning, Hashem made three types of creatures, the angels, the beasts, and the human beings. The angels, He made from His pure word. The angels have no will to do evil. They cannot deviate for one moment from His purpose. The beasts have only their instincts to guide them. They, too, follow the commands of their maker. The Torah states that Hashem spent almost six whole days of creation fashioning these creatures. Then, just before sunset, He took a small quantity of earth...
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Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a single middle-aged photographer, returns to England from New York following the death of her father, an esteemed ultra-Orthodox rabbi who had been the unparalleled Torah and spiritual leader of this non-Hasidic congregation and its institutions (despite, as can be derived from context, having begun his adult life as a Zionist-leaning scion). It immediately becomes evident that due to personal issues she had left the community at a very young age and never looked back. As the story develops, we learn that Esti (Rachel McAdams), now wife of Dovid Kuperman (the departed rabbi's chief disciple and heir apparent, played by Alessandro Nivola) had struggled with similar issues alongside Ronit in their youth but had chosen a drastically different method of coping.
With Ronit's return, old sentiments are dredged up in a manner that upends the lives of all three in a community that simply has not developed tools for dealing with the full spectrum of matters involving private life, nature and choice that have in recent years become so normalized that we hardly lend them so much weight.
As each of the three struggle to cope with their issues, it becomes clear that there is a void in place of a guide in the doctrine of the community and that there is no one right way to cope with outlying struggles.
The directing of the picture and the portrayal of the three main characters is stellar. Aside from two seven-candle menorahs (which have no place in a Jewish home), this picture stands out as perhaps the most authentic portrayal of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in motion picture history.
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