The Secrets

( 3 )

Overview

Within the Orthodox Jewish Community, the attitudes toward females have remained virtually unchanged for 2,000 years. In this religious-themed drama, accomplished Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher explores the complications that arise when the relationships between a group of women residing in a midrasha all female seminary in Safed turn suddenly volatile. Every girl has a different motivation for enrolling in the midrasha: for Naomi Ania Bukstein enrollment in the seminary meant avoiding a marriage that she didn't ...
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Overview

Within the Orthodox Jewish Community, the attitudes toward females have remained virtually unchanged for 2,000 years. In this religious-themed drama, accomplished Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher explores the complications that arise when the relationships between a group of women residing in a midrasha all female seminary in Safed turn suddenly volatile. Every girl has a different motivation for enrolling in the midrasha: for Naomi Ania Bukstein enrollment in the seminary meant avoiding a marriage that she didn't want, and for the rebellious Michelle Michal Shtamler it was simply an effective means for her parents to keep her out of serious trouble. Unlikely allies at first, Naomi and Michelle soon forge a powerful bond that is later threatened by the ailing Anouk Fanny Ardant. Anouk is a much older woman who has come to Safed in search of redemption. Despite her outward sincerity, however, Anouk is quickly turned away by the powers that be. Realizing that the brilliant Naomi can certainly find the kabbalistic texts that could restore Anouk's purity, compassionate Michelle volunteers her scholarly friend to help the desperate woman in her time of need. While her initial hesitation is soon compounded by the fact that the head mistress forbids both students from any further contact with the mysterious Anouk, Naomi selflessly vows to expunge the sins of Anouk's past even if it means putting her own future at risk.
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Special Features

Behind the scenes (includes actor interviews in Hebrew with English subtitles); Deleted scenes; 2 music videos; Photo gallery; Trailers
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • UPC: 012233381825
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Monterey Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 58,844

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Fanny Ardant Anouk
Ania Bukstein Naomi
Michal Shtamler Michel
Adir Miller Yanki
Alma Zak
Tiki Dayan
Dana Ivgy
Talli Oren
Seffi Rivlin
Rivka Michaeli
Technical Credits
Avi Nesher Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Michel Abramowicz Cinematographer
Stéphane de Rocquigny Sound/Sound Designer
Moshe Edery Executive Producer
Leon Edery Executive Producer
Hadar Galron Screenwriter
Sharon Harel Executive Producer
André Malignac Executive Producer
Daniel Salomon Score Composer
Isaac Sehayek Editor
Eyal Sela Score Composer
Yoram Shayer Production Designer
Inbal Shuki Costumes/Costume Designer
David Silber Producer
Edgar Tenembaum Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Secrets
1. Chapter 1 [:13]
2. Chapter 2 [6:40]
3. Chapter 3 [7:51]
4. Chapter 4 [6:18]
5. Chapter 5 [6:11]
6. Chapter 6 [8:35]
7. Chapter 7 [7:25]
8. Chapter 8 [5:03]
9. Chapter 9 [7:18]
10. Chapter 10 [6:11]
11. Chapter 11 [3:30]
12. Chapter 12 [9:29]
13. Chapter 13 [5:27]
14. Chapter 14 [8:48]
15. Chapter 15 [12:18]
16. Chapter 16 [11:41]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Secrets
   Play Movie
   Scene Access
   Bonus Features
      Photo Gallery
      Music Videos
         Tikun
         The Secrets
      Behind the Scenes
      Deleted Scenes
   Trailer
   Other Great DVDs
      Pearl Diver - Vew Trailer
      Steel Toes - View Trailer
      The Sensation of Sight - View Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Windows to Understanding Extant Taboos

    THE SECRETS (HA-SODOT) is not only a deeply satisfying film as a story that involves the viewer at every level, but it is also a reminder that certain customs/prejudices of inequality between the sexes still exist. Written with poetic distinction by Hadar Gairon and Avi Nesher (who also sensitively directs the film), THE SECRETS brings us into a world few know and even fewer understand. And it informs us of cultural differences while telling a griping and fascinating story in a way few films are able to imitate.

    Israel, despite the enlightened quality of life the Jews enjoy, remains a place where the division between men and women may have been erased when it comes to military obligations, but where the orthodox religion very decidedly separates the roles of male and female. Noemi (Ania Bukstein) wishes to 'postpone' her obligated marriage in order to study spiritual matters at the seminary in the ancient Kabalistic seat of Safed. She convinces her father to allow her to study for a year and then return to fulfill her feminine obligation to become a wife and mother. Once enrolled at the seminary Noemi becomes friends with another young 'rebel' girl Michelle (Michal Shtamier) and as their friendship grows they discover a French woman Anouk (Fanny Ardant), apparently living a life of poverty supported by the kindness of the seminary despite her history of imprisonment for murder. Noemi and Michelle study the secrets of the Kabal and become determined to administer the cleansing rituals for Anouk who is dying from cancer. Noemi and Michelle bond and become emotionally and physically committed to each other. Once they have administered the cleansing to Anouk the two girls are expelled from the seminary. They part ways with the hope that they will be together on the outside. Yet once back in the milieu of their society, old customs and rules alter their relationship: tradition conquers.

    Director Avi Nesher unfolds this delicate story with restraint and taste and encourages the viewer to identify with each of the characters, no matter whether they are male or female, confined in traditional viewpoints or enlightened. Every actor in this large cast is excellent, but the work by Ardant, Bukstein and Shtamier is exemplary. This is a very fine film deserving of a wide audience, In Hebrew and French with subtitles. Grady Harp

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    great movie

    it changed my life

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews