Ushpizin (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ushpizin (2005)



Critic Consensus: Ushpizin offers a rare and warmly intimate look into ultra-Orthodox Jewish culture.

Ushpizin Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The insular world of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem comes to the screen (with their blessings) in this warm comedy drama. Moshe (Shuli Rand) was once a secular Jew, but he rediscovered his faith and became an ultra-Orthodox Jew, and with his wife, Mali (Michal Bat Sheva Rand), he struggles to support their family. With the harvest festival of Sukkot around the corner, Moshe is broke, and asks for help from a yeshiva charitable fund. Moshe is told the fund has been depleted, and he and Mali are left with no options but to pray for a miracle. To their surprise, the next day they're informed some money was found in the fund after all, and they are given 1,000 dollars; Moshe and Mali believe this is the miracle they asked for, and they joyously make plans to build a sukkah , a gazebo-like structure where Orthodox Jews entertain guests and serve their meals. Just as he completes the new sukkah , Moshe is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Eliahu (Shaul Mizrahi) and Yosef (Ilan Gannai), two old friends from his restless days before he embraced his current faith. Imagining the Lord has sent him guests as part of the miracle, Moshe takes in his old pals and tries to make peace with their rambunctious ways, but what he doesn't know is that the two are on the run from the law, having recently escaped from jail. Ushpizin was scripted by leading man Shuli Rand, who is in real life an ultra-Orthodox Jew and demanded a number of conditions before agreeing to participate in the making of the film (such as the producers agreeing to never show the picture on the Sabbath).more
Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Shuli Rand, Amit Yasur
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 4, 2006
Box Office: $1.4M
Picturehouse - Official Site


Shuli Rand
as Moshe Bellanga
Shaul Mizrahi
as Eliyahu Scorpio
Avraham Abutboul
as Ben Baruch
Michael Vaigel
as Ethrog Assessor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ushpizin

Critic Reviews for Ushpizin

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (26)

[The film] places a captivating life study in the context of a modern fairy tale.

Full Review… | December 2, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Very light, even saccharine at times, but blessed with enough pure charm to make the syrup go down a treat.

Full Review… | December 2, 2005
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

An unexpected delight from an unlikely source, Ushpizin is the first feature film set inside the closed community of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Full Review… | December 1, 2005
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

It had me, this film with blessings on its mind.

Full Review… | November 28, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

An orthodox Jew will identify and thereby raise the level of the movie to something beyond the temporal film experience

Full Review… | October 2, 2007

Dryly funny and richly humane, Ushpizin marries biblical simplicity to secular banality to depict an everyday miracle of devotion rewarded.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007

Audience Reviews for Ushpizin


Nothing is lost in translation here. You can read every emotion in these actors faces.

Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

Very good; very Israeli. I would only recommend it for those who don't need constant amounts of action in their films, though. Even then, you may want to have some basic knowledge of Hasidism or at least Middle Eastern culture.

Pretty entertaining and funny throughout, and, oh, such a funny but sad conclusion! Those who haven't seen it will probably never guess it, either.

Mariana Arevalo

The story of somre poor orthodox Jews at holiday time. Friends from the past show up uninvited and test their faith.

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