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SLAVES OF THE LORD

Israel, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Emergence)

Director: Hadar Friedlich

Slaves of the Lord, straight from Directors' Fortnight in Cannes this year, is the highly anticipated new work from the director of the short film Grief (Winner Grand Prix, MIFF 2001). Bresson-like in its conjuring of one girl's profound spiritual disorientation it is also, like Grief, a work of emotional honesty, austerity and great humanity.

In a religiously orthodox village in Israel, a teenage girl, Tamar, prepares for her Bat Mitzvah. On the Eve of Passover, she becomes convinced that she is impure, and grows increasingly depressed. She dives head-first into obsessive behaviour, continuously washing her hands and attempting to silence the unfettered whispering of an inner voice which details every inch of her sinful guilt, over and over again. A vivid and remarkably empathetic portrayal of inner turmoil.

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