Little Jerusalem (film)
|Directed by||Karin Albou|
|Produced by||Laurent Lavolé
|Written by||Karin Albou|
|Music by||Cyril Morin|
|Edited by||Christiane Lack|
|Distributed by||Océan Films|
|Release date(s)||May 16, 2005|
|Running time||96 min|
|Language||French, Hebrew, Arabic|
Little Jerusalem (French: La Petite Jérusalem) is a 2005 French drama film directed by Karin Albou. Albou's film depicts how the conflict between the rational and the irrational drives the relationships within a Jewish family living in the outskirts of Paris.
Laura, played by Fanny Valette, is a Jewish philosophy student who has put Kantian reasoning above all emotions, including love. In the film, Laura's interaction with Djamel, an Muslim coworker played by Hédi Tillette de Clermont-Tonerre, exposes how Laura struggles to live by her rationalist principles as she succumbs into her feelings for Djamel. However, as Laura admits to feeling affection for Djamel, she is upset when she learns that they cannot have a life on their own because Djamel cannot afford to confront his family. Western philosophy has also made Laura very skeptical of the teachings of the Torah, undermining her relationships with her Orthodox Jewish family. Her family consists of her mother, her sister Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein), her devout brother in-law Ariel (Bruno Todeschini), and her young nieces and nephews.
Ariel and Mathilde's troubled marital relationship reinforces the film's theme of conflict. Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein) is a woman who strictly abides by the traditions of the Torah, and believes sexual pleasure is forbidden. Ariel does not want to ask his wife to do things in bed that only he enjoys, and has an extramarital affair, for he does not dare to encumber his wife's modesty. Mathilde, however, seeks advice from the woman at the mikveh, or ritual bath, who corrects her and reassures her that Jewish law does not forbid pleasure in conjugal relations. As the film progresses, Mathilde gains more comfort, and the happiness in her marriage is reclaimed.
- Fanny Valette as Laura
- Elsa Zylberstein as Mathilde, Laura's sister
- Bruno Todeschini as Ariel, Mathilde's husband
- Hédi Tillette de Clermont-Tonerre as Djamel
- Sonia Tahar as the mother of Laura and Mathilde
- Michaël Cohen as Eric, student friend of Laura
- Aurore Clément as the woman at the mikva
- François Marthouret as the philosophy professor
- Saïda Bekkouche as Djamel's aunt
- Salah Teskouk as Djamel's uncle
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