Unblinking in its portrait of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox quarter, Amos Gitaï's first fictional feature follows two sisters, Malka (Barda) and Rivka (Abecassis), whose destiny appears locked into ritualistic oppression.
Childless but in love, Rivka's 10-year marriage to her husband Meir (Hattab) is under jeopardy according to law. Meanwhile, rebellious Malka is forced into a dilemma as her love for Orthodox escapee Yussef (Ran Klauzner) is denied when she's forced to wed a Jewish fundamentalist. With the unflinching gaze of a documentarian's eye, Gitai's eavesdropping provides a steady insight into the last wheeze of a dying religion.
While the finale's tragic poetics sit badly with an otherwise naturalistic narrative, the sombre mood has a hypnotic, resonant flicker.
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