|Yael Abecassis and Yoram Hattab as Rivka and Meir in Kadosh|
Not wholly holy
"Kadosh" is an overwhelmingly emotional look into the tormented lives of two women in an Orthodox Jewish community.
By JOSHUA TANZER
Around dawn, Meir wakes up, sits up in bed and immediately thanks God: "Thank you this day
for rendering my soul to me. You are truly
compassionate." While his wife Rivka sleeps serenely in the next bed, he methodically
prepares for morning prayers, blessing each small act as he does it. Pointedly, he adds
this standard prayer: "Blessed art thou, lord our God, who did not create me a woman."
Here in one scene are my most and least favorite things about Judaism. Orthodox Jews pray
over virtually everything they do, until spirituality is embedded in every breath they take.
But they also say this prayer about women the very line, in fact, that first alienated
me from the faith at age 11 or so. It's a clear warning of what's to come in the film.
|Directed by: Amos Gitai.|
Written by: Amos Gitai and Eliette Abecassis.
Cast: Yael Abecassis, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Meital Barda, Yoram Hattab, Sami Hori, Uri Ran-Klausner.
Cinematography: Renato Berta.
In Hebrew with English subtitles.
Related links: Official site
"Kadosh" follows two sisters in an Orthodox community one in a loving marriage that
the rabbis and synagogue elders are trying to yank apart, the other about to be forced into
a horrendous marriage that she doesn't want. Rivka and Meir share on often-tender relationship,
but she has been unable to bear him a child, which is unforgivable to the elders. There's not
only the biblical commandment "Be fruitful and multiply" to consider there's the ultimate
goal of defeating the infidel enemy. By the way, the infidel enemy in this case is not the
Palestinians or the neighboring Arab countries; it's the non-Orthodox Jews who fail to run
Israel to the liking of the Orthodox. In both their godly and their worldly pursuits, Rivka's
feelings even Meir's feelings, and even the stability of an established marriage
Meanwhile, Rivka's little sister Malka is scheduled to marry an unappealing and mediocre
scholar, although she insists that she won't go through with it. She's in love with Yaakov,
a dark-skinned Middle Eastern Jew whom the rabbis consider not Jewish enough. Malka's fate is
sometimes ridiculously funny when it isn't just appalling. In a conversation that's central
to the whole film, the inexperienced girl asks her older sister what marriage will be like
and yearns to hear about romance and passion, although she suspects she's heading to her
doom in that area.
|Meital Barda and Samy Hori as Malka and Yaakov in Kadosh|| |
"Kadosh" is an unforgettably emotional film, as the love between the lead characters becomes
shot through with tension, guilt and jealousy. It's also a devastating look into the plight
of wronged women in Orthodox Judaism a subject that's just begun to be addressed
within their community (whether in Israel or New York) and only occasionally become visible
to the outer world.
|MARCH 3, 2000|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
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Kadosh from riane eisler, Mar 20, 2011
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