Viviane has been applying for divorce for three years. But her husband Elisha will not agree. His cold intransigence, her determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and everything is brought out for judgment.
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A stunning condemnation of religious courts and the power they hold over people. A knockout performance by the great Ronit Elkabetz; with 22 awards to her before this, and 3 more for this film, securing her place as one of the great actors of cinema. Everyone in this is perfect, and it is remarkable to see a film of this magnitude obviously made on a very low budget. Kudos to her as a writer, a director and an actor.
The beginning is extraordinary in its concision, by playing with the protagonist's point of view, which is revealed in the time of her interpellation: a subjective look that embodies with the spectator's supposed neutral look. The penultimate frame is also significant, approaching her to Sirk and Fassbinder's women: behind a window, a being locked up in her prison contemplating the world, a projection aquarium.
Masterful storytelling examining the Israeli Orthodox rabbinical courts and the prevalent lack of status a woman still has in this antiquated system. A woman petitions for divorce, where the law states it can only be with the husband's consent, and finds herself in a years long struggle that puts her on trial literally and figuratively. Co-director Ronit Elkabetz gives a masterful performance. A must see.
Perfect. I couldn't take my eyes from the screen for a second. Every scene is exciting, every line of dialogue is important to the story... everything felt essential. And the performances are incredibly gripping. It makes me so sad to think that it was Ronit Elkabetz last gift to cinema and to the fight for the rights of women all over the world.
A masterpiece of screenwriting and direction, magnifically played by skilful actors: Ronit Elkabetz (Viviane) shapes a vivid, unforgettable female character, sort of contemporary Antigone patiently fighting to translate her inner freedom into a social achievement. A brilliant instance of humanistic cinema.
Aside from the solid script, the beautifully simple frames, or the cunning play with perspectives, I was very impressed with the acting; Elkabetz' strive for freedom was convincing, I was really moved.