The Secrets (Ha-Sodot) (2007)
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Critic Reviews for The Secrets (Ha-Sodot)
Although overlong by about 20 minutes, The Secrets mostly handles its subject matter with grace and charm; its heroine's proud defiance even mitigates a questionably celebratory conclusion.
The passionate performances of Ms. Bukstein, Ms. Shtamler and Ms. Ardant lend The Secrets enough emotional solidity to prevent it from entirely dissolving in the suds.
In some ways, it is a traditional narrative. But it is more. It is gently and powerfully acted.
There is pain and empowerment in The Secrets as difficult choices are made. There are also gaps, but emotionally moving performances by Ardant, Bukstein and Shtamler in particular, keep you with this small but provocative film until the end.
Audience Reviews for The Secrets (Ha-Sodot)
This Movie carries many names The Secrets, Ha-Sodot, Emeth,or Los secretos. Its one of the most outstanding movies I've seen this year. Follows the life of 2 young Jewish girls as they are sent to a Jewish seminary for women in the ancient Kabalistic seat of Safed, During there time there one meets a man whom she is fond of while falling in love with her roommate, at the same time they try to save and prepare a dying women for heaven, all under traditional Jewish Law, Stellar performances. This movie won many awards at the 2007 Awards of the Israeli Film Academy . 5 stars
In "The Secrets," Naomi(Ania Bukstein) wants some time, following the death of her mother, to think, so she postpones her wedding to Michael(Guri Alfi) and travels to the Truth and Knowing Seminary in Safed to study. On the way there, she meets fellow student Sheine(Talli Oren). Sigi(Dana Ivgy) may have little idea how to act in such sacred quarters but that is nothing compared to Michelle(Michal Shtamler) who bristles at the seminary's commitment to a soup kitchen where she starts a water fight. While model student Naomi does not get along with her, she does need her to translate when they bring food to Anouk(Fanny Ardant) who is dying. To its credit, "The Secrets" handles its exploration of provocative subject matter, set in the world of Orhodox Judaism in Israel, with a good deal of sensitivity. As unpredictable as the movie is, there is also an occasional lack of logic in the plot twists. The secrets of the title go beyond those the female characters may be hiding to those that are being kept from them by the men in the sacred texts that they are discouraged from seriously studying and instead encouraged towards marrying and raising a family. What the movie does encourage all to do is to forgive, no matter the sin or the beliefs involved.
Touching, multi-faceted film with fantastic performances by amazingly impressive (and beautiful) actresses. Sometimes too many issues are cramped into one film, and occassionaly the melodrama is a bit over the top, but overall a great film.
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