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Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival Screening Lesbian Masterpiece

By Lavender February 26, 2009

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Sabes Jewish Community Center’s Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival features several extraordinary films at various locations, and, once again, it’s doing right by the queer community.

So, fasten your seatbelts for one of the most astounding film rides of the decade with The Secrets (Hasodot), a 2007 masterpiece screening March 14, 8:30 PM, at the Hopkins Mann Theater. Nominated for eight Israeli Academy Awards, it follows the turbulent spiritual growth of Naomi (the radiant Ania Bokstein), a young, devout Israeli woman who leaves her ultra-Orthodox home to study the Kabbalah tradition at an all-female seminary.

The Secrets. Photo Courtesy of Sabes Jewish Community Center

Hadar Galron and director Avi Nesher’s gripping screenplay not only explores Naomi’s unfolding same-gender love for Michelle (the crackling Michal Shtamler), but also transports us into clandestine ritual involving a mysterious ex-con played by the legendary Fanny Ardant—not to mention musings on erotic art. It all feels subversively intrusive. Hence, Michel Abramowicz’s soulfully searing cinematography.

The Secrets screens with two queer shorts: A Trip to Prague and Berated Woman, providing further evidence that the global Jewish community enjoys discourse on hot issues that the general American public is all too unaware of.

Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival / Mar. 5-15 / Various Locations. www.sabesjcc.org/arts_film_festival.htm

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