Two sisters - Rivka (Abecassis) and Malka (Hattab) face the various trials of being a woman in the ultra Orthodox Mea Shearim district of Jerusalem.
Amos Gitai completes his 'cities' trilogy with this Jerusalem-based study of the patriarchal nature of Hassidic Judaism.
Viewed from the perspective of its principal female characters, the film is bound to cause additional controversy via the casting of an Arab, Yussef Abu-Warda, as the rabbi ordering a childless scholar to dismiss his wife of ten years and remarry to perpetuate his line. In acceding, Meir (Hattab) abandons his beloved Rivka (Abecassis) to shameful exile within the tightly knit ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter.
Intensely directed, with a meticulous approach to ritual and custom, this may be a provocative examination of the religious and socio-political contradictions inherent within modern Israel, but it is also a surprisingly affecting love story.