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Movie Review: Ushpizin

Alternate Title: Tradition, Tradition!

Story: A story about ultra Orthodox Israelis (Chassidim -Haredi) probably does not have a huge draw in this country but it was a multiple award winner in Israel.

The story revolves around the holiday Sukkot, featuring a devoted childless couple, two smarmy house guests who show up to sponge off them in their Succoh and for the first time an up close and personal view of life in this very insulated community.

The background story about how this film got made is fascinating too. Actor and writer Shuli Rand (who in real life has turned to this religious faith) approached director Giddi Dar with the script Many hurdles had to be overcome including the casting of Rand's real wife to play his screen wife as the casting of another woman would not be permitted.

The movie is told like a fable with faith at the core of the outcome. It is a bit sappy for my taste but the inside look at this community was worth the lack of suspense.

If you want to read more about the ultra-Orthodox, check out this web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi

Acting: Shuli Rand as Moshe was wonderful and Michal Bat-Sheyva Rand as his wife was perfect.

Food: Food is at the core of this film.

Theater Audience: A spartan crowd.

Sappy Factor: 3

Quirky Meter: 4

Drift Factor: Did not drift at all. Subtitles always keep one's attention.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Chances of finding this in your neighborhood are slim to none unless you live in NY or LA.

Length: Under two hours