Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Film explores gender roles

January 31, 2001

A film that sparked controversy after its premiere in London is now on its way to MSU.

“Kadosh,” a film depicting life in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday in room W449 of the Main Library.

Kenneth Waltzer, director of the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts & Humanities, said the film is poignant.

“(Kadosh is) a very sensitive portrayal of the kind of human burdens and dilemmas that people encounter because they choose to live their lives in the way they do,” he said.

Waltzer and Joyce Ladenson, director of MSU’s Women’s Studies Program, will lead a discussion after the film is shown.

“It’s about a way of life that’s really very different from the way of life most of us lead,” Waltzer said. “It shows some very clear gender issues and human issues that are orthodox or fundamentalist or pursue a kind of rigid reading of religious tradition.”

Ladenson said she hopes the gender issues the film deals with will initiate conversation.

“It explores specifically two women who are sisters,” she said.

One sister is unable to conceive a child and the other is in an abusive marriage, Ladenson said.

“I think that it raises very, very important questions about gender in Orthodox society,” she said. “It will provoke a lot of discussion and probably disagreement.”

Bryan Abramson, program director for the Hillel Jewish Student Center, 402 Linden St., said he has not seen the film but he hopes it will be true to reality.

“I’m hoping for an honest and not so sensationalized view of the Jewish Orthodox movement,” he said. “Hopefully there will be some aspects of truth to the film.”


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