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|Avi Nesher||Director, Producer, Screenwriter|
|Stéphane de Rocquigny||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Moshe Edery||Executive Producer|
|Leon Edery||Executive Producer|
|Sharon Harel||Executive Producer|
|André Malignac||Executive Producer|
|Daniel Salomon||Score Composer|
|Eyal Sela||Score Composer|
|Yoram Shayer||Production Designer|
|Inbal Shuki||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Edgar Tenembaum||Executive Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
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
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Posted October 1, 2010
Posted February 12, 2010
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