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Movie Review: My Father My Lord

Alternate Title: You Must Not Cry on the Sabbath

Story: In my secular world, rules are made to be broken. In the world of the Haredim (Ultra Orthodox Jews) the rules of the Torah are meant to be followed without question. Writer and director David Volach, who came from that ultra Orthodox world before he moved to Tel Aviv to study film delivers a heart breaking story about faith, ritual, zealotry, family and loss.

This is a tough film to view from the get go. We see in the opening scene that the Orthodox congregation is mourning a loss of a child. The rest of the film leads us to through the several days before the event that caused this grief-filled opening. We watch the Rabbi, his devoted wife Esther and young son, Menachim live their ordinary lives saturated with order, study, prayer and ritual.

Young Menachim, innocently questions the world around him. His devout Rabbinical father, has a biblical answer for every question. Whether those answers satisfy the young boy or us, is beside the point. This is the way of the faithful - regardless of faith. Be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim. Who are they - to question the written word.

In lesser hands this would have been an awfully hard film to endure. But David Volach, examines these people for who they are and how they live their devout lives - without judgment. It is a fascinating study of family and a very difficult film to watch. We know what is going to happen and watch with a heavy heart throughout.

Acting: Assi Dayan as Rabbi Abraham Edelman is perfect in his role as the devout, unquestioning Rabbi. Sharon Hacohen Bar as Esther Edelman is hard to watch. She is faithful, loyal and subservient - she made me want to scream. Ilan Griff as young Menachem Edelman is perfect.

Predilection: None

Critters: A German Shepard, doves and a fish. All of the critters in this film play an important role.

Food: Food is an important part of a Jewish home regardless of income.

Sex Spectrum: Zero

Visual Art: The film is dark. Not only literally but really dark. They needed to add some lighting to the scenes. It would have helped.

Theater Audience: About five other people

Drift Factor: The film took a long time to get going. I was starting the drift.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 75 minutes