La Petite Jerusalem

on January 27, 2006 by Ed Scheid
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Laura (Fanny Valette) is a young philosophy student living with her Orthodox family in a suburban Paris neighborhood known as "Little Jerusalem" because of its large Jewish population. She takes solitary walks to escape the noise of her family. Obsessed with philosophical theories, Laura distrusts the idea of romantic love. She's surprised to find herself drawn to Djamel (Hedi Tillette de Clermont-Tonnerre), an Algerian Muslim with whom she works on a school cleaning crew. Laura's sister Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein, "Monsieur N."), meanwhile, finds that her interpretation of religious doctrine has stifled the relationship with her husband Ariel (Bruno Todeschini). For both sisters, a new possibility of intimacy conflicts with the ideas that have dominated the patterns of their lives. In her feature debut, writer/director Karin Albou gives a traditional plot a rich sense of detail and a sensitivity to her characters. The lead actors bring an emotional depth to the philosophical and emotional conflicts of a family facing some unexpected changes. Starring Fanny Valette, Elsa Zylberstein and Bruno Todeschini. Directed and written by Karin Albou. Produced by Laurent Lavole and Isabelle Pragier. A Kino release. Drama. French-, Arabic- and Hebrew-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running time: 100 min.
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