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Kadosh
(DVD)


With KADOSH (meaning Sacred) director Amos Gitai paints a powerful picture of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem's isolated Mea Shearim district. KADOSH follows two sisters through two events initiated by the community's Rabbi: an arranged marriage and an arranged divorce. Although Malka (Meital Barda) is in love with Yaakov (Sami Hori), who broke his connection to Orthodox Judaism when he joined the army, she consents to marrying the man to whom the Rabbi has willed her, and she quickly finds herself trapped in a miserable, abusive relationship. Meanwhile, Malka's sister Rivka (Yael Abecassis), is forced to end her 10-year marriage to Meir (Yoram Hattab), because she has not fulfilled her obligation to bear him a child. The film presents difficult issues both about the way that women are devalued and mistreated in this community, and about the extent to which the rigors of this traditional faith prohibit any experience of the outside world. At the same time, Gitai's fly-on-the-wall approach allows the viewer to carefully observe the rituals, beliefs, and relationships in this ultra-Orthodox world, and understand more about a culture that was essentially lost to the Holocaust, but that is preserved in Mea Shearim.