- Director: Sebastián Lelio
- Writer: Naomi Alderman; Sebastián Lelio
- Producer: Ed Guiney; Frida Torresblanco
The first thing that really hits...is, the colour palette. It's so cold...and, sterile. The second, Rachel Weisz's beauty...and then, the wigs!
This is Jewish Orthodoxy...to some [outsiders], oppressive and repressing...to most [insiders], supportive and comforting. Then, there are those who were in the inside looking in from the outside...and those, in the inside, yearning for the outside...yearning for freedom!
A complex story, a complex community...complicated further when a healthy dose of sapphic love is added to the equation. Forbidden as it is in the Orthodoxy...the 'elders' accept its existence and have 'ways' in dealing with offenders: Comply or Leave.
Ronit leaves, Esti complies...years on, they are brought together again by fate and death...will they? Won't they? They do...but, what next?
What could have been a savage critique on Orthodoxy...isn't. Indeed, there is an undercurrent of malice than runs throughout...but, on the whole, this is a civil look into a community that - quite simply - does not want to change nor accept those 'lifestyles' that are alien to them. It's their choice...no matter if you agree or disagree...their decisions, their ways have to be respected.
Religious LGBT activists can moan and groan and wail until the cows come home, for that elusive religious inclusivity...but, there's no getting away from the fact that 'their' rules were written eons before they were born...and, they choose - fervently - to stick to those rules. Get over it!!! LGBT Jews, Catholics, Muslims or Sikhs et al...anomalies and oxymorons!
Back to the film...the two Rachels are like a slow chemical reaction...on their own they are stable, together...well, let's just say, it's electrically charged!!!
A mighty fine film...that does what you might not think it would do...but, it will make you think a little deeper about faith and faith in yourself.
From a screenplay by Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, the film follows a woman as she returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Based on Naomi Alderman's book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.