Hard to believe that David Volach’s debut feature was made for $200,000 – only the concise running time suggests a tight budget.
The setting reflects Volach’s own upbringing in the orthodox Haredic community of Jerusalem.
Nine-year-old Menahem is full of curiosity but his father, Rabbi Abraham, has strict ideas on what’s acceptable. When Menahem brings home a photo of some smiling Africans, he’s told it’s ‘idolatry’ and made to tear it up.
Volach never demonises Abraham – he honestly believes he’s bringing up the boy according to God’s will. But the rigidity of his vision is chilling.
A compelling, saddening film.