The Women's Balcony

New York Times Critics' Pick
96 mins.
Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon
NR
Hebrew with subtitles

An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.
 

When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis.

Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control.

This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.