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Canadian Film Institute
Moving images.
Ismach Hatani (The Women's Balcony)
dir. Emil Ben Shimon
Israel, 2016, 96 minutes
English subtitles, Hebrew

14th Israeli Film Festival
Richcraft Hall Theatre (formerly River Building), Carleton University, Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:00 pm
When the women’s balcony suddenly collapses during a bar mitzvah, several people are injured. Unable to continue, the elderly rabbi of the community takes leave of his position. Fortunately, a young and charismatic ultra-Orthodox seminarian Rabbi David (Aviv Alush) comes along and offers to lead the community and to oversee the repairs to the synagogue. To the women’s dismay, they soon discover that a balcony hasn’t been included in the building’s new plans, and that they are expected to worship in a cramped antechamber. Taking matters into their own hands, the women raise funds to rebuild their balcony. When Rabbi David not only puts their money to other use, but also declares that the balcony collapsed because of their lack of modesty, the women decide to rebel. By turns comic and tragic, Emil Ben-Shimon’s impressive debut feature explores, in surprising ways, the clash between rigid traditions and progressive values. English sub-titles.  Click to buy tickets