Published On: Sat, Dec 13th, 2014

Watch Trailer: Israeli Movie on Religious Divorce Nominated for Golden Globe


Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a new Israeli film about the problems of divorce for religious Jews, has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the best foreign language film category (i.e. not English).

“I’m in shock, ” Ronit Elkabetz told Ynet News. “They told me with my suitcases packed a moment before my return to Israel. I’m overjoyed. There are no words. All the hard work and the road we traveled were worth it. We want to bring Viviane’s voice to as wide an audience as possible, and to raise awareness of these women’s plight, wherever they may be.”

Gett deals with the problematic issue in the Jewish world of religious divorce, or Gett. In Jewish law a woman must receive the official divorce decree from her husband before she can remarry. Unfortunately, many men refuse to do so, leaving their ex-wives unable to remarry.

This is not so much a problem for non-orthodox Jews around the world. But in Israel there is no civil marriage. All marriage is religious and Jewish marriages and divorces must be sanctioned by the national Rabinate.

In Gett, Viviane Amsalem has been trying to get her husband Elisha to give her a religious divorce for three years, but he has refused. So Viviane has to fight for her freedom from Elisha.

The Hollywood Reporter said of it, “the cast is composed of a fighting-fit ensemble of crack performers. Elkabetz herself (who co-directed To Take a Wife with Shlomi before this) and the redoubtable character Abkarian (whom Western audiences might know from appearances in Casino Royale and Zero Dark Thirty) are first among equals. For great chunks of time they just sit in the court and say nothing (although both get bravura monologues eventually in the dock), but their minute changes in expression, seen in close-up, speak volumes about their feelings about one another and the action swirling around them.”

E Nina Rothe wrote in The Huffington Post, “after the screening, I felt as if I was thankfully coming up for air, after having been submersed in feelings and beautifully cinematic anguish for nearly two hours.

And said, “The dialogue, blending anger, bitterness, fury and sarcasm, delivered by a cast that seems to have written them, so naturally do they flow back and forth between the various characters, who can’t seem to make a wrong move if they wanted to.“

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