The Other Story: screening at the Jewish International Film Festival

October 30, 2019 by Toni Susskind
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The Other Story is an Israeli movie from director and co-writer Avi Nesher. It is a fascinating movie that juxtaposes relationships in the religious orthodox community, against secular relationships in modern-day Israel.

The scene opens with Anat (Joy Rieger) a modest religious woman preparing to marry Shachar (Nathan Goshen), an ultra-orthodox Jewish singer, however, we soon find out that Anat and Shachar have only recently found faith. Before religion, Shachar was a successful pop star in Israel, living the life of sex, drugs, rock and roll with the secular Anat.

Worried that her daughter is about to become stuck in a marriage that she will live to regret, Anat’s mother Tali (Maya Dagan) calls upon her ex-husband and Anat’s father Yonaton (Yuval Segal) to help stop the wedding.  Flying in from America, Yonaton tries to connect with the daughter he has not seen in many years.

Whilst attempting to steer his daughter in the ‘right’ direction, Yonaton, a psychologist, is asked by his father Shlomo (Sasson Gabai) to help him work with a divorcing couple.

A retired psychologist, Shlomo, has taken the case to help the bickering couple. His job is to make recommendations to the courts on who should be assigned custody of the young son caught in the middle of the fighting. What makes the situation so unusual, is that the mother, once a religious woman, has now turned to paganism in order to find a spiritual balm.

Seeing parallels between this woman and his daughter, Yonaton sees this as an opportunity to reconnect with his daughter and try to change her mind about marrying into a religious community.

The other story thoughtfully explores the ideas behind the concept of relationships. What constitutes good and bad relationships, can pre-conceived ideas affect them, and is there a cost to love?

I highly recommend it.                8.5/10

 

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