Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Within the Orthodox Jewish Community, the attitudes toward females have remained virtually unchanged for 2,000 years. In this religious-themed drama, accomplished Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher explores the complications that arise when the relationships between a group of women residing in a midrasha (all female seminary) in Safed turn suddenly volatile. Every girl has a different motivation for enrolling in the midrasha: for Naomi (Ania Bukstein) enrollment in the seminary meant avoiding a marriage that she didn't want, and for the rebellious Michelle (Michal Shtamler) it was simply an effective means for her parents to keep her out of serious trouble. Unlikely allies at first, Naomi and Michelle soon forge a powerful bond that is later threatened by the ailing Anouk (Fanny Ardant). Anouk is a much older woman who has come to Safed in search of redemption. Despite her outward sincerity, however, Anouk is quickly turned away by the powers that be. Realizing that the brilliant Naomi can certainly find the kabbalistic texts that could restore Anouk's purity, compassionate Michelle volunteers her scholarly friend to help the desperate woman in her time of need. While her initial hesitation is soon compounded by the fact that the head mistress forbids both students from any further contact with the mysterious Anouk, Naomi selflessly vows to expunge the sins of Anouk's past even if it means putting her own future at risk.