The Women's Balcony

During the bar mitzvah of stalwart couple Etty and Tzion’s grandson, the women’s balcony of their modern Orthodox synagogue collapses and the synagogue is destroyed. The community is lost without the synagogue, their meeting place and the source of common joy and pride. The men, in trying to find rebuilding solutions, meet a young, charismatic, zealous rabbi. He promises that all their problems will be solved if they repent their sins and follow him. He particularly reprimands the women, urging them to cover their hair to lead a more rigidly religious lifestyle. When it becomes clear that this new rabbi wants to rebuild the synagogue without a women’s balcony, Etty and the other women revolt. Offering solid entertainment that borrows from Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the film shows the relationships and tensions between different groups within Orthodox Judaism in Jerusalem, and provides a cautionary (and universally understandable) tale about religious fundamentalism.

  • Evelin Hagoel (Gett, A Matter of Size, Mr. Predictable), Igal Naor (The Dove Flyer), Orna Banay (Eretz Nehederet), Itzik Cohen
  • Emil Ben-Shimon
  • Shlomit Nehama
  • 96 minutes
  • In Hebrew with English subtitles.

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About Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema

Welcome to the largest Big Tent community showcase of Israeli features, docs and TV series--made in Israel and/or by Israelis in the past 12 months--in the Midwest! You’ll take a deep dive beyond the headlines. See Chicago Premieres of some of the most talented and internationally award-winning directors, actors and other artists working today as they share their multicultural perspectives. And have unprecedented opportunities to dialog, laugh, cry, party and otherwise interact in person with cinephiles of all backgrounds. We look forward to seeing you again, or meeting you for the first time, soon.

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