Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand, Shaul Mizrahi, Ilan Ganani, Avraham Abutboul
Director: Giddi Dar
Winner of the 2004 Best Actor award at the 2004 Israeli Film Academy for writer-star Shuli Rand, Ushpizin is a heart warming and light hearted look at the daily lives of ultra-Orthodox Jews learning, living and loving in m... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC
Reviewed on 3/7/2009...
Those of us who enjoy foreign films are, I suppose, arm chair travelers who quite possibly may never get to go anywhere without these. Finding ones that don't leave you profoundly disturbed is a little harder to do. This one is a superbly well done romantic tale-romance between married people, can you imagine that? It also gives us all a rare glimpse into the cloistered confines of an Orthodox Jewish community. All who call themselves Christian are acutely aware of the solid foundation upon which Christianity is planted, via Judaism. This should be of interest to anyone who loves good movies, with humor and a sweet and tender love story. It's truly unfortunate that theology is possibly the LAST thing anyone wishes to understand. For all who think like this, that theology is useless, meaningless drivel- understand that Satan is enjoying this 'phenom' with his feet propped up and a Cuban cigar boasting to his swarthy soldiers over his 'success' with these willfully and deliberately ignorant souls. If you've never considered taking up the study-this is a good place to start. But understand that Satan's feet will drop to the floor, and his eyes narrow over your sudden 'turn for the worse'. Like it or not, understand it or not...there is a war being waged over your soul.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Bonnie S. (BonnieS) from SUMMIT POINT, WV
Reviewed on 12/19/2007...
We loved this movie, enough to look for more Isreali tales. Sweet, funny, tender. I recommend this one.
"There's only God. And He has His reasons"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few films have touched me as deeply as "Ushpizin," the story of Moshe and Mali Bellanga, their trusting in miracles, and their recognition of the tests God has placed in their path. They sometimes fail the tests, but they are always aware that God is in their midst, and they listen for His voice. The fervor of Moshe and Mali's prayers bring about a miracle, and also a great challenge, in the form of a friend of Moshe's "from the old days," and his companion, both escaped convicts. The plot takes place during the 7 day Harvest Festival of Succoth, and some of it is quite humorous, but every scene is imbued with an insight into humanity, and man's connection to his Creator.
Writer Shuli Rand stars as Moshe, with his real-life wife, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand as Mali; both are superb, with an intensity and truth in their characters that makes them totally believable, and an inner and outer beauty that captivates. Shot on location in the Mea Sherim quarter in Jerusalem, director Giddi Dar gives us marvelous details and performances from the actors in every scene. Shaul Mizrahi and Ilan Ganani are terrific as the 2 convicts, and so is Avraham Abutboul as Ben Baruch, the man who means well, but causes trouble, and won't leave until he is forgiven with a hug. The theme of forgiveness and repentance runs through the film, as well as God's great mercy.
Though this film will perhaps have a limited audience, those who will love it are anyone with familiarity and respect for Orthodox Judaism, and anyone who has a very personal relationship with his God. There are those who think the Orthodox Jew who speaks to God as though He is their most precious friend is a little "odd," and then there are those who speed down the freeway like a lemming with a cellphone stuck in their ear, and think they are "normal." Well, it takes all kinds to populate this crazy planet, and may the Moshes and Malis of the world prosper and bear much fruit.
A must for those who like films about aspects of Jewish life
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 02/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This story focuses on an Orthodox couple who are so poor that they can't even afford a succah for the Succoth festival. Luckily, a donation helps them through that immediate crisis. Unfortunately, an even larger problem looms on the horizon. According to tradition, they aren't supposed to turn away guests who have no other place to turn. But what if the "guests" are willing to abuse the hospitality offered them? What if they are annoying and possibly even dangerous?
I was entranced by this situation, watching a couple's faith being testing, as well as getting a glimpse into the Orthodox Jewish world. This is a film that anyone (of whatever religious belief or tradition) can watch. It is heartwarming, uplifting and inspiring."
Accurate and very enjoyable portrayal of contemporary Chasid
Simcha F. Udwin | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ushpizin is a warm and touching film about a childless, kind and poor Chasidic couple who live in Me'ah Shearim, the most ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in the world on the outskirts of the Old City in Jerusalem, and their enormous faith in and love for God. Moshe studies in yeshiva all day, and Mali tries to make ends meet as an at-home businesswoman. It's just before the Jewish festival of Sukkot, and Moshe and Mali are down on their luck. Their prayers are answered when an unexpected gift of money arrives on their doorstep from the communal fund; they are overjoyed that they can now have guests for the festival. They pray again for guests, and when two prison escapees and friends from Moshe's criminal past arrive, their prayers for much more than guests are unexpectedly answered.
There are many films portraying ultra-Orthodox Jewish life, but to those familiar with that life from an insider's perspective, many of them are inauthentic. This film stands out as a wonderful exception in that small genre. It is such an authentic portrayal of Chasidic life and values that I believe many Chasidim, who normally would never watch films, might eventually watch it and be happy to consciously gain from its beautifully and often humorously delivered messages of the power of love, acceptance, trust in God and sincerity."