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Ushpizin review

It's Succoth, the Jewish harvest festival and ultra-Orthodox couple Moshe (Shuli Rand) and Malli (Michal Bat Sheva Rand) are preparing for the week-long celebrations. Traditionally, it's a blessing to entertain unexpected guests (the ushpizin of the title) during this holiday period. Escaped convicts Eliyahu (Shaul Mizrahi) and Yossef (Ilan Ganani) however know Moshe from his secular days, and reckon that his religious conversion must be an act... Those expecting an Israeli A History Of Violence might be disappointed: director Gidi Dar's Ushpizin is rather a warmhearted parable about unshakeable faith, in which the more the visitors behave boorishly, the more their generous hosts believe they are being tested by God. Presenting an insider's perspective on the customs of a Hasidic community, the film is endearingly acted, before, oy vay, succumbing to sentimentality.

 

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