Film Review: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALAM

GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALAM
Written and Directed by Ronit Elkabetz, and Shlomi Elkabetz
Starring: Ronit Elkabetz, Simon Abkarian, Menashe Noy

In modern Israel, much to my surprise, a divorce is only granted with the consent of the husband. This film concerns the attempts of Vivianne Amsalem to procure such a settlement before a rabbinical jury.

This amounts to a five–year process during which we come to learn her reasons for wanting this divorce and his reasons for refusing it. The constant pleas before the jury takes a bit of patience on the part of the audience although not nearly so much as poor Vivianne is asked to give.

We tend to think of Israel as a secular state in matters such as this. I am not sure if this was ever true. It is hard to see much difference between what Vivianne goes through here as compared to the wife in the Iranian film, THE SEPARATION. Indeed, we have come to a place where almost every religion seeks to make the life of women more difficult. This is a sad movie even if the ending gives her some justice. But it is also a very good movie, thanks mostly to the terrific performance and the unraveling of the human heart.

Patti Abbott

468 ad