Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Gabi Amrani, Shaul Mizrahi, Sarah Adler, Assi Levy, Florence Bloch
Director: Raphael Nadjari
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Clash between secular and religious Israelis
Jaroslav Melgr | Colorado | 08/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is about the chasm between the secular (ordinary observant people) and religious (orthodox Jews who get a stipend to attend religious schools) Israelis. Michal and her husband have busy lives. Between their busy jobs and a little boy they don't have much time for each other. However, Michal who's working for her father's accounting firm is having an affair. She meets with her lover on occasion and then goes about her day. She and her dad are preparing paperwork for government funding of a new synagogue that a new young, ambitious rabbi Gabai is trying to establish. Gabai disdains Michal for not showing him proper respect as a rabbi and not covering her head in his presence.
One day Michal is going to meet her lover again and on her way finds out that a suicide bomber blew himself up in a park she was to meet him. She finds out in the hospital that he was killed and her world falls apart all of a sudden. First she separates from her husband and alienates her father. Second, she takes Gabai into court for supplying false information so he could get a larger grant for his new school.
The movie's opening scene show Michal and her lover have a rendezvous in the hotel. Undoubtedly, this is intentional to set a tone for the rest of the movie. Michal the unfaithful woman ends up taking on the pious rabbi who demands respect, yet he cheats to get more money from the government. It's reminiscent of a number of biblical stories, making the clash between the religious and non-religious inescapable. How stereotypical is the movie's portrayal of the religious Jews is difficult for me to judge. However, it is a unique window into contemporary Israeli society, showing tendencies, mutual sentiments and clashes between the two groups. It's in Hebrew, English subtitles are available.