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La Petite Jérusalem (Little Jerusalem) (2006)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 8,308

Trailer


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Movie Info

An orthodox Jewish teen living with her family in France attempts to balance her religious upbringing with her increasingly complex view of the outside world in director Karin Albou's incisive meditation on religion, philosophy, and the weight of romance on the mind of a growing girl. Eighteen-year-old student Laura (Fanny Valette) lives with her widowed mother (Sonia Tahar), her sister (Elsa Zylberstein), and her brother-in-law (Bruno Todeschini) in the suburban Paris neighborhood of Sarcelles. … More

Rating:
Unrated
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Karin Albou
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Sep 12, 2006
Runtime:
Kino International - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for La Petite Jérusalem (Little Jerusalem)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (10) | DVD (3)

This beautiful tale of two sisters living in Sarcelles, a low-income Parisian suburb of mostly new immigrants, presents the darker side of religion while offering a candid view of an Orthodox Jewish family struggling to stay together.

Full Review… | September 15, 2006
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It is a story told in small moments, the camera close-up on a look, the stroke of a hand, the way a blonde thread is revealed in a husband's jacket.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Anyone shopping by the ton for melodrama is well advised to browse the ample display on view in this cinematic square.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Rich in perceptive details, Albou's film has drawn favorable comparison to the work of Claire Denis (The Intruder, Friday Night), and both directors share a sensual sensitivity to their characters' inner lives.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The grand ideas are effectively integrated into a drama that relies equally upon the head, the heart and the body for inspiration.

Full Review… | May 6, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It's very well-acted and directed, shot with great vigor, mostly in roaming closeups that plunge us right into the thick of things.

Full Review… | May 4, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The film, which means well in its attempt to touch on Kantian philosophy, racial divides, sex and orthodoxy, and secularism versus religion, manages to insult each one of these heavy subjects by not giving any of them the serious, thoughtful attention the

Full Review… | August 16, 2006
Bangitout.com

The background of Little Jerusalem is a grimy landscape, both physical and political, and it overwhelms the fragile exploration undertaken by the sisters. Or maybe that's the whole point.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Jam! Movies

Albou is adventurous in intermixing a young woman's coming-of-age with a search for secular belief but her story is a bit shy on drama.

Full Review… | April 13, 2006
Cinema Signals

Even though the romance angle disappoints, the story still holds interest because of the jarring cultural differences, even between the Paris-reared daughters and their superstitious Tunisian mother.

Full Review… | March 2, 2006
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The best reason to watch La Petite Jerusalem is Fanny Valette, a bona-fide beauty who brings a commitment and gravity to scenes that don't always deserve them.

Full Review… | January 29, 2006
Film Journal International

Beautifully played by Valette and Zylberstein, and directed with amazing grace by Albou, this touching film offers a respectful, fascinating look at a community that's ignored as often as it's misunderstood.

Full Review… | January 27, 2006
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Albou gives a traditional plot a rich sense of detail and a sensitivity to her characters.

Full Review… | January 27, 2006
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for La Petite Jérusalem (Little Jerusalem)

A quiet, thoughtful examination of sexuality and freedom within a Jewish enclave in Paris. Two sisters, who live together and work at the same day care facility, explore what it means to be modest according to their religious traditions, and still express their sexual natures. The elder, Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein), comes at her dilemma from within the bonds of marriage, to a man who has been unfaithful, and the younger, Laura, as a teenager just beginning to struggle with her urges. Beautifully filmed, with a great deal of tenderness, this proved a most satisfying film. The actors were chosen for their physical and emotional qualities, not because of their religious affiliation, and much of the success can be attributed to that. The girls' mother is played by Sonia Tahar, a non-actor, who was a Jewish mother who answered an open casting call, and was quite a force of nature. At times, this viewer found her character to be incredibly superstitious and overbearing, but the story needed a strong matriarchal anchor, and she amply provided that.

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Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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