Kadosh - 1999 DVD, Israeli movie
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Jerusalem, an enclave of the ultra-Orthodox, explores a hermetic world almost never seen on the screenHebrew,English,Russian & Arabic Subtitles. Only PAL(Euro) system available
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Set in the Mea Sherim quarter of Jerusalem, an enclave of the ultra-Orthodox, Kadosh explores a hermetic world almost never seen on the screen. Here, for ten years, the pious Rivka (Yael Abecassis) has devoted herself to her husband Meir (Yoram Hattab), but their marriage remains childless. Presumed barren, she is rejected by her community, which prizes children above all else. The story that follows relates the harrowing fate of Rivka, and also here beloved sister Malka (Meital Barda), in love with a young man who has fled the community to lead a secular life.
A huge box office hit in Europe, acclaimed at film festivals in Cannes, Toronto, New Delhi and Tokyo, Kadosh is both a powerful drama and an impassioned feminist polemic. As religious fundamentalism achieves new political significance in many countries around the world, the questions at the heart of Gitai's compelling drama resonate far beyond the borders of Israel.
Directed by Amos Gitai
Writing credits Eliette Abecassis, Amos Gitai
Yael Abecassis.... Rivka
Yoram Hattab.... Meir
Meital Barda.... Malka
Uri Klauzner.... Yossef (as Uri Ran-Klausner)
Yussuf Abu-Warda.... Rav Shimon
Leah Koenig.... Elisheva (as Lea Koenig)
Sami Huri.... Yaakov
Rivka Michaeli.... Gynaecologist
Samuel Calderon.... Uncle Shmouel
AMOS GITAI - director
Amos Gitai was studying architecture, following in his father's footsteps, when the Yom Kippur War interrupted his studies and it was the use of his Super8 camera, whilst flying helicopter missions that led to his career as a filmmaker.
Based in Israel, the United States and France, Gitai has produced an extraordinary, wide-ranging, and deeply personal body of work. In around 40 films documentary and fiction, Gitai has explored the layers of history in the Middle East and beyond, including his own personal history, through such themes as homeland and exile, religion, social control and utopia. His trademark style includes long takes with scarce but significant camera movements and a devilishly clever sense of humour.
In the late 70s and early 80s, Gitai directed numerous documentaries, including HOUSE and FIELD DIARY. During the same era, Gitai received his Ph.D in architecture from the University of California Berkeley.
Following the controversial reception to FIELD DIARY, Gitai moved to Paris in 1983, where he was based for the next ten years and during this period continued to travel widely directing such documentaries as PINEAPPLE a humorous odyssey about the growth and marketing of pineapples. He also made BRAND NEW DAY a film that followed Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics as they toured Japan.
During this period he began directing fiction and historical films about the experience of exile. These films include the Venice critic's prize-winning BERLIN JERUSALEM and the extraordinary trilogy on the Jewish legend of Golem.
In the mid-90s Gitai moved to Haifa and began the most fertile, productive period of his career to date. Over 10 years, Gitai made some 15 films, both documentary and fiction. The 1995 feature DEAVARIM marked the return to his country and his reunion with the light and landscape of Tel Aviv. The first film in Gitai's trilogy of Israeli cities, DEVARIM was followed by YOM YOM (shot in Haifa) and KADOSH (shot in Mea Shearim, the Jerusalem district of Orthodox Jews). Other fiction features followed: 2000's KIPPUR, 2001's EDEN, 2002's KEDMA, 2003's ALILA and 2004's PROMISED LAND.
Gitai's work has been the subject of major retrospectives, notably at Centre Pompidou (Paris), NFT and ICA (both in London), and cinematheques in Madrid, Jerusalem, Paris, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto. Future retrospectives are scheduled later this year at New York's Lincoln Center and Berlin's Kunstwerk.
- Media: PAL (EUR) DVD