The Women's Balcony
Our next Rialto Recommends came to our attention via the Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival several years ago the they programmed THE WOMEN'S BALCONY. The women in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem are appalled when their synagogue gets a strict new rabbi who preaches rigid gender roles. The ladies soon decide to fight back against his ultratraditionalist beliefs, while raising money to repair the "women's balcony" in the synagogue. Evelin Hagoel, Igal Naor, Orna Banay, Einat Sarouf, and Avraham Aviv Alush star in this comedy-drama from director Emil Ben-Shimon. Screenwriter "Nehama, who grew up in an Orthodox Jerusalem community like the one in the film, has said her goal was "to tell the story of the moderate people who are forced to deal with growing religious extremism," and "The Women's Balcony" definitely does that," said the Los Angeles Times. While the Boston Globe said "Subtly handled by director Emil Ben-Shimon and screenwriter Shlomit Nehama and rendered heartfelt and compelling by an outstanding cast." THE WOMEN'S BALCONY is streaming on Hoopla and Kanopy or is available to rent for a modest fee from Amazon, YouTube, Google, and Vudu HERE.