2002 . 63 min.. Hebrew & English with English subtitles • Color • Israel
Can one speak respectfully and modestly to the
rigidity and confines of Orthodox rituals while
looking for one's own place? If you see this,
you'll never doubt it again.
Anat Zuria examines the Taharat Hamishpacha that
shape women's lives and sexuality within Jewish
Orthodoxy through her own experiences and those
of three friends. At the heart of their stories is the
niddah—the ten to twelve day period restricting
women from touching or sexual intimacy with their
husbands—culminating with a trip to the mikvah.
As this open, taboo-breaking work masterfully incor-
porates lyrical and meditative images with inter-
views, we feel the hidden struggle to maintain cul-
tural traditions and fulfill individual needs within the
framework of strict Jewish law. This is an achingly
beautiful, halachically modest, very important film.
2000 • 98 min. • Spanish with English subtitles • Color • Argentina
Co-Sponsored by Barbara & Bernard Stollman and
Terry & Martin Hollander
Not only do Jews have troubles everywhere but
they have regular lives, too. Variety says, "MESSIAH
handles ethnicity lightly and affectionately, mak-
ing Jewishness one of many parallel universes that
coexist in a tricky urban environment."
27-year old Daniel Burman directed this semi-auto-
biographical story about a Buenos Aires Jew who
sets out in search of his destiny and his city. Sick of
Hebrew club meetings, Shabbat dinners and his
father's kosher restaurant, Ariel gets a video pro-
duction job where he meets exciting, older,
Catholic, bisexual Laura. Meanwhile, in the Jewish
part of town, people are getting ready for
Hanukkah. Everyone misses Ariel, especially beauti-
ful young Estella, who has loved him all her life. But
back at the family restaurant as the first Hanukkah
candle is lit, Ariel's chair remains empty.