Ushpizin

Rated PG 91 minutes 2005

A good-hearted movie aimed at Orthodox Jews who don't normally go to the movies, Giddi Dar's film feels more inclusive and accessible to outsiders than similar movies aimed at specific faiths -- which is the whole point. It's about welcoming outsiders during the Succoth festival, when true believers build and live in temporary shelters as a reminder of the nomadic history of the Jews. Moshe (Shuli Rand) and Malli (Michal Bat-Sheva Rand) are a penniless couple who can't afford to build a shelter, then happen to find one along with a handsome cash donation. But Moshe has a dark past as a violent criminal, and when a friend from the old days (Shaul Mizrahi) shows up with a shady cohort (Ilan Ganani), having escaped from prison, tradition requires Moshe to be a hospitable host, a duty that pushes him to the breaking point. The film extols the virtues of charity and generosity without sugar-coating the difficulty of same, and if it opens viewers' eyes to a strange culture, so much the better.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.ushpizin.com

Director: Giddi Dar

Writer: Shuli Rand

Producer: Giddi Dar, Rafi Bukai, Gadi Levy and Shlomit Smadja

Cast: Shuli Rand, Michal Rand, Shaul Mizrahi, Ilan Ganani and Rabbi Daniel Dayan

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