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My Father My Lord

Hushed, dun-colored, and beautifully shot
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 25, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

In this hushed, dun-colored, beautifully shot debut, director David Volach critiques the strictures of contemporary Israeli ultra-Orthodoxy. Assi Dayan, commanding and long of beard, plays a rabbi, Abraham Edelman, whose day-dreamy young son, Menachem (Ilan Griff), begins to ask questions of the faith. The answers he gets reveal an unthinking rigidity and a blind devotion to the Torah. The child’s mother, Esther (a dignified Sharon Hacochen-Bar), is able to express her objections and her frustrations, tempering her husband’s severity, without using words. But then tragedy befalls the small family when Abraham turns away from Menachem in prayer, “wrapped in the hands of the Almighty.” Volach overdoes the quoting from the Torah, but the intimacy of each shot — doves on the windowsill, mother handing apple slices to her son, bathers floating in the Dead Sea — and the quiet force from each character elevate the film to the level of parable. Hebrew | 72 minutes | Kendall Square

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  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Religion, Judaism
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