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PURITY

Israel, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Homelands The Middle East in Focus)

Director: Anat Zuria

Purity (Tehora) Israel

'some people call her film daring, others dangerous. Anat Zuria admits that her documentary about Jewish family purity is meant to provoke. But she sees greater peril in keeping quiet about a subject that shapes the lives of Orthodox Jewish women. Purity focuses on observance of taharat hamishpacha (family purity), the laws that govern marital sex. The codes mandate a couple's physical separation during the wife's menstrual period and for a week afterward, when she is considered unclean.

'The film follows three women grappling with their feelings about the laws: Natalie, who prompted a divorce by refusing to go to the mikveh (ritual bath); Katie, who struggles to maintain her observance despite the physical and emotional stress it causes; and Shira, a bride-to-be who cannot relate to her mother's enthusiasm for the tradition... Zuria states, 'I wanted people to feel the sense of a trap. For those women, on one side it's part of their tradition and Jewish identity. And it's in very strong conflict with their (female) identity and intimate feelings about their bodies and their relationships. - Jewish Week (New York)

D/S Anat Zuria P Amit Breur WS F For Film L English, Hebrew w/English subtitles TD Video/Col/2002/63mins

Anat Zuria was born in Israel in 1961. Films: Purity (MIFF 2004).

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