Synopsis by Mark Deming
A dark drama of women living in a society where they are second-class citizens, Kadosh/Sacred begins with Meir, an Orthodox Jew living in the Mea Shearim district of Jerusalem, greeting the day with his morning prayers, which includes the phrase, "Thank you, oh Lord, for not having made me a woman." Meir begins to understand just how poorly regarded women can be in the Orthodox faith when his rabbi suggests he should leave his wife. Meir and Rivka (Yael Abecassis) have been married for ten years and have a solid relationship based on affection and mutual respect. However, they have been unable to have children, and as Meir is reminded, the Talmud says a woman without children may as well be dead. Consequently, the rabbi advises Meir to divorce Rivka and take up with a younger woman who can give him a family. Meanwhile, Rivka's younger sister, Malka (Meital Barda), is soon to wed Yossef (Uri Ran Klauzner) in a match arranged by their parents, even though Malka loves another man, Yaakov (Sami Hori), who has dared to question the teachings of the Orthodox faith. Yossef soon proves to be blind to Malka's emotional and physical needs, and she begins to wonder how long she can continue to live within this circle, even though it is the only world she knows. Destined to be controversial in its native Israel, Kadosh/Sacred was shown in competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
Israeli [nationality], marriage-arranged, Orthodox, Rabbi, tradition, community, escape