Avi Nesher's latest film, The Secrets, opens with Naomi (played by remarkable newcomer Ania Bukstein), the young pious daughter of a respected Orthodox rabbi, asking her father if her arranged marriage can be postponed so she can study for a year at a Midrasha in Safed. Her mother has just died. Out of love, he gives his consent.
Earlier this year in Israel, a great deal of hype accompanied the cinema release of The Lemon Tree, the latest film from writer/director Eran Riklis. After the success of The Syrian Bride (2004), a film about a Druze woman who has to leave Israel and her family in the Golan Heights, forever, in order to marry a man across the border in Syria, critics and audiences alike were eager to see what Riklis had to say next about the political status quo in Israel.