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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Monday, November 14, 2005

Ushpizin - the Movie

I was recently lucky enough to view the Israeli movie sensation "USHPIZIN." A story of a poor, childless couple in Jerusalem who find themselves with a pair of runaway criminals as their univited holiday guests. I'm usually skeptical of all things artsy and frum such as Jewish novels, children's books, art, popular music etc... In addition to which I'm also quite skeptical of all things hyped so although I was excited about seeing this film I was quite prepared to be disapointed.
I'm pleased to say I really enjoyed this film from end to end.

This movie was smart and funny with a lot of heart. The plot was fairly simple and straightforward but still had enough action and surprises to keep you waiting and watching. The real life husband and wife who were the film's main characters seemed both realistic and sincere although their circumstances were quite extraordinary. The version I saw had English subtitles, but my husband and I were pleased to find that we didn't need them since the Hebrew dialog is fairly uncomplicated and actions definately speak louder than words. As a person who suffers from difficult, unwanted guests (most of whom are related to my husband) on a regular basis, I could really relate to this film- it gave me hope that not only do challenges lead to great things but that even the most difficult of guests eventually leave.

100 Comments:

At 9:07 AM, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

So looking forward to this film! What makes you skeptical of all things artsy and frum? If you mean the sucky quality of Artscroll type novels and Jewish music, not sure that qualifies as artsy...

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger and so it shall be... said...

i'm glad to hear the movie lives up to the hype. I am really looking forward to seeing it; my wife and I just need an evening where we're both free and not pooped. We're still waiting.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

When i saw it i felt a bit uncomfortable; i felt like the movie was beating me over the head with Breslove deterministic ideology.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

I see what you mean Steg- I had some mixed feelings as well.

I didn't like the fact that this couple was literally "living on a prayer." When my husband and I need money we usually look for work (or more work) and we pray too. I know that many Charedim (including some friends of mine) live this prayer based, tzedaka dependant lifestyle and while I don't think this movie glamourizes it (much) it does make it seem like a completely viable lifestyle choice which is really can't be...

As for Breslovers - even people in the movie shake their heads at them but there is something about them... It's a very appealing philosophy to me in many ways but after 5 or 10 minutes of reading one of their handy pamphlets and grooving on their ideology I feel an overwhelming need to get far, far away before I become completely brainwashed.

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I am one of the only people who didn't really like this movie.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Ezzie - tell us what you didn't like about it.

 
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At 1:41 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

and me favorite movie

http://amshinover.blogspot.com/2005/11/satmar-hakufos.html

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Ayelet said...

I posted with some of my thoughts:

http://mayfam.blogspot.com/2005/11/guests.html

Overall, it did make for an entertaining evening. Certainly couldn't miss the opportunity to go to the movies with my husband as my date, for a change. I'm looking for standby movie dates (female),Brooklyn or Queens. Any takers?

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was charming.

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Just as a note... eSSie didn't like the movie.

I enjoyed it very much - saw it both in the theater and on DVD.

 
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