Dramedy. 96 min.
In Hebrew with English subtitles.
During the bar mitzvah of stalwart couple Etty and Tzion’s grandson, the women’s balcony of their modern Orthodox synagogue collapses and the synagogue is destroyed. The community is lost without the synagogue, their meeting place and the source of common joy and pride. The men, in trying to find rebuilding solutions, meet a young, charismatic, zealous rabbi. He promises that all their problems will be solved if they repent their sins and follow him. He particularly reprimands the women, urging them to cover their hair to lead a more rigidly religious lifestyle. When it becomes clear that this new rabbi wants to rebuild the synagogue without a women’s balcony, Etty and the other women revolt. Offering solid entertainment that borrows from Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the film shows the relationships and tensions between different groups within Orthodox Judaism in Jerusalem, and provides a cautionary (and universally understandable) tale about religious fundamentalism.
Director: Emil Ben-Shimon
Writer: Shlomit Nehama
Composer: Ahuva Ozeri
Stars: Evelin Hagoel (Gett, A Matter of Size, Mr. Predictable), Igal Naor (The Dove Flyer), Orna Banay (Eretz Nehederet), Itzik Cohen (A Matter of Size, Fauda), Einat Sarouf, Yafit Asulin and Avraham Aviv Alush.
Awards: Five 2016 Ophir Award nominations, including Best Music, Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.
It sounds paradoxical, but it’s often true that the more culturally precise a foreign language film is, the more universal its appeal becomes.