Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Spotlight: To Take a Wife

I had the distinct pleasure of attending one of the screenings held at the Center for Jewish History as a part of the 15th Annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. The film below was originally released in Israel in March 2005 and premiered on DVD in the U.S. in December 2009.

To Take a Wife
Directed by Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz
Screened March 16, 2011

This film was co-directed by, co-written by, and stars American Sephardi Federation Pomegranate Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Ronit Elkabetz, whose credits include “The Band’s Visit” and “The Girl on the Train.” Along with her brother Shlomi, Elkabetz crafts a fascinating portrait of a marriage in trouble: a woman who just can’t take the banality and mundane nature of her daily life and explodes at her husband over the course of one day. Elkabetz’s performance as Vivianne, the fast-talking, over-the-top wife who simply can’t contain her frustration anymore is fierce and uninhibited. The dialogue is great, but it’s her enthusiastic and occasionally shrill delivery that really makes it believable, and quite entertaining when she wants it to be. Commendation is due also to actor Simon Abkarian, who plays Vivianne’s husband Eliyahu, a man completely out of touch with the needs and desires of his wife. The film addresses complex themes of religion, observance, culture, and societal acceptance, and it’s a brilliant snapshot into the life of one French-Israeli family.

Thanks for reading this special feature. The new Wednesday Westerns series will return next week!

No comments: