Esther

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In this experimental film that deals metaphorically with Arab-Jewish relations in the Middle East, left-leaning director Amos Gitai uses Biblical history to comment on the current situation in Israel and its vicinity. This story deals in part with the Jewess Esther and how she managed to save her people from extermination after she became the wife of the king of Persia. But the setting is a slum near Haifa and the ancient city of Acre. As the mummers walk through their parts with lines taken from the scriptures, the camera moves slowly through scenes or stops entirely. Sounds of the modern world start to intrude on the ancient setting, and in the final sequences of the film, the actors now wear modern clothes as they walk through the streets of Acre, each telling their own personal history -- and a parallel emerges between the ancient story of Esther saving the Jews and the modern Middle East. The cast is comprised of both Arab and Jewish actors. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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