Little Jerusalem (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Jerusalem (2006)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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. Though her exposure to the world thus far has been culturally limited due to the fact that her family resides in a neighborhood is often referred to as "Little Jerusalem" due to its large Jewish population, Laura's studies have told her that the world is full of interesting and diverse people. An overly serious and self-disciplined girl whose outward maturity defies her youthful age, Laura vows to avoid romance before finding that fate doesn't always play by the rules.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Karin Albou
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 12, 2006
Kino International - Official Site


Sonia Tahar
as The Mother
Aurore Clement
as Woman at Mikva
Franšois Marthouret
as The Philosophy Profe...
Sa´da Bekkouche
as Djamel's Aunt
Salah Teskouk
as Djamel's Uncle
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Little Jerusalem

Critic Reviews for Little Jerusalem

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (17)

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

Audience Reviews for 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.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

This is an excellent cultural snapshot and has a near archetypal presentation of the Sephardi French Jewish mother. Very good sense of Jewish family issues, a quite good insider/outsider look besides being a good drama.

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