Kadosh | Chicago Reader

Kadosh

A rabbi's son is pressured to end his childless marriage (“A man who dies without progeny rips a page from the Torah”), his wife of ten years is still hopeful they'll conceive, and her sister is in love with a musician but betrothed to a scholar. This minimalist 1999 drama set mostly in interiors within the Orthodox Jewish quarter of Jerusalem evokes its characters' insularity and frustration best when they're praying or silently performing domestic rituals governed by religious law—eating, dressing, having sex. They contemplate their fate or try to summon the strength to change it in long takes that are soberly lit and oppressively eloquent. But it's hard to tell whether these characters are meant to be as staunchly symbolic as they seem when they deliver some of the back-story-heavy dialogue. Eliette Abecassis wrote the screenplay with director Amos Gitai; with Yael Abecassis, Yoram Hattab, and Meital Barda. 110 min.

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