Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz that, although their movie takes place entirely within the confines of a drab Israeli office building and courtroom and lasts for nearly two hours, it will keep intelligent adult audiences (who either understand Hebrew or are willing to read subtitles) alert, captivated and probably very angry for its entirety. "Gett," you see, is the word for divorce in Hebrew, and a gett is exactly what our heroine Viviane cannot get from her intransigent husband nor from the court made up of three rabbis at whose feet she pleads. Can it be true that, in Israel today, there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce? That's what happens when a government-sponsored religion asserts far too much control.
GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM a testament to a culture that, for whatever else it has gotten right, remains both misogynist and backward in its placement of religion above law, and men above women. What the Elkabetzes have managed so cleverly and intuitively via showing us only the lengthy trial -- it goes on over a period of years -- is nothing less than a dissection of a huge slice of Israeli culture and social mores involving law, family, marriage, religion, synagogue life and the place of women in all of this.
Menashe Noy), and by extension Israeli women, are up against.
Simon Abkarian, whom we more often see as the hero in his films (The Army of Crime, Yes). He is equally fine here, playing a pungent and quietly nasty piece of manhood.
Music Box Films and running 115 minutes -- opens this Friday, February 13, in New York City (at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema), Los Angeles (at Laemmle's Royal), and Delray (Movies of Delray) and Lake Worth (Movies of Lake Worth) Florida. To see all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters, click here and then click on the word THEATERS midway down your screen.