Song Of Songs

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Orthodox Jewish teenager Ruth (Press) returns from a faith-building trip to Jerusalem to tend her dying mother and attempt a reconciliation with her brother David (Chalfen).


Debutant director Josh Appignanesi takes these two characters and jams them into the oppressive confines of a North London flat to enact an intense chamber-piece laden with religious angst and an unhealthy dash of incest. The two leads — especially Press, building on the buzz from her role in My Summer Of Love — are persuasive, but in the end, the sheer solemnity of the psychodrama and the hazy, hermetic scenario leave you gasping for air.

Self-consciously art-house debut that’s as oppressive as it is impressive.