PRAYING IN HER OWN VOICE:
Praying in her own Voice, the new film I produced had a sneak peek screening at the Israeli film festival 08 this week at the Laemmle Sunset 5, one of the best theaters in the Los Angeles (Even thought technically some might say it's located in West Hollywood and not LA) .
It was a sold out screening that's aimed at helping us improve the film before the official premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 08 in July.
Luke Ford a famous blogger came to see the film and immediately afterward wrote about it in his blog. I met Luke Ford some time ago. He is a charming but controversial person that loves stirring things up. To some he is quite radical. Some might be offended by his review of my new film. Some might be offended by the ideas and his point of view of women in general and will find more justifications of that point of view in his review and the way he writes about the women of the wall.
It's is debatable if in our media savy world a public campaign can be run by women who are not 18 and are not gorgeous models.
My last two films have proven that I personally am more attracted to the beauty of a woman's soul rather than just to exterior looks.
But I will respect if disagree with those who think otherwise.
I appreciated the fact that Luke Ford came to see the film and wrote what he thought about it.I'm delighted that he liked the film even thought he had issues with the way the women look.
His review proved to me that the target audience is much wider than I expected at first and that even those who are oppressed by the figures of exterior beauty will also find meaning relavance and satisfaction watching this important and powerful film about women with a beautiful soul that I admire and that inspired me as well as the director who spent 5 years filming their battle and bringing it to a much wider audience.
Here's the review. Take from it what you may- and hope that it will make you think not just about the film itself but about the continuing battle of the sexes :
June 24, 2008
‘Praying In Her Own Voice’
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It’s a testament to my growing spiritual sensitivity that I’m able to enjoy a movie about such ugly women.
People will either love or hate the protagonists of this documentary from Yael Katzir.
The hour-long production makes no pretense about whose side it is on.
It is billed:
"The new documentary Praying in her own Voice is a thought provoking powerful piece about Feminism and Judaism . It depicts the struggle of the Women of the Wall in the last few years for the right to pray like men do at the Western Wall. It includes commentary from some of the top women rabbis in LA: Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Naomi Levy , Rabbi Sharon Brous, Rabbi Denise Eger , Rabbi Lisa Edwards and Rabbi Lynn Brody. Rabbi Levy, Rabbi Edwards, and Executive Producers Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus will attend a panel discussion after the film, moderated by Rabbi Brody. The film was directed by award winning director Yael Katzir and is an hour long, Hebrew and English, with English sub-titles."
The leaders of this small group (they never seem to number more than two dozen, of which about a dozen are Israelis and the rest largely American visitors) want to do everything that men can do at the Western Wall — wear tefillin, blow a shofar, tallitot (prayer shawls), call women to the Torah and conduct a service (in Orthodox Judaism, only men do this). These are mad manly women. I said an involuntary "Oy vey!" when I saw some of them wearing tefillin (traditionally reserved for men, with a few exceptions such as Rashi’s daughters).
These women are fat and passionate and old and bizarre. They convey no sympathy for the Jewish tradition they want to overturn and no doubts about their own righteousness.
Their opponents are just as old and ugly, screaming epithets and starting fights.
I love watching this hour-long fight. To some it makes Jews look bad. I think it makes Jews look good that they care so much about Torah and prayer.