“Disobedience”: Desire Faces Oppression

Ultimately, this is a gently humane portrait of an enduring problem facing men and women in all manner of fundamentalist communities: the notion that choice has anything to do with who we desire. Sara Stewart, New York Post, reviewing Disobedience

An award-winning book (2006) of the same title written by Naomi Alderman, the new film Disobedience is about Ronit (Rachel Weisz), who returns to her estranged family in London following the death of her father, an Orthodox rabbi. It turns out an old male friend is now married to Esti (Rachel McAdams), with whom Ronit had had an adolescent love affair.

The trailer:

Selected Reviews

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, advises viewers to “try not to think about where you already know it’s going and appreciate how it builds, and how it’s about a lot more than sex. At its most intense and powerful, ‘Disobedience’ is about courage and claiming one’s life…”

Stephanie Zacharek, Time: “Cuts deeper than your standard forbidden-love story, largely because the actors are so attuned to their characters’ anguish.”

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:

‘May you live a long life,’ are the words exchanged frequently in this insular community. But for Esti and Ronit, it’s ultimately the question of how you live a life that gives the film its soulful resonance. Their scenes together achieve a stabbing pathos that never crosses into sentimentality or sham. No one who sees the groundbreaking trail that the movie blazes is going to shut up about it. And why should they? You can discover a lot about yourself by getting lost in such a transcendent ode to passion. Surrender to it.

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: “…never seeks to condemn the orthodoxy of faith or to offer any tired bromides. Rather, it speaks to the frailties of ordinary human beings riven by competing desires and convictions, giving us an ending that is unexpected, moving and powerful.”

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times: “…shows a generosity of spirit toward its three central characters; as with all good movies, it ends with you wondering what happens to the characters afterward.”

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