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Sister-Wife

Directors - Hadar Kleinman & Timna Goldstein       
                                                 

2000, Israel, 60’, English, French, English Subtitle, Formats, Beta, D.V.D
 
The film observes the status of the women within the “Afro-American Israelite” community, through their attitude towards polygamy. The story of husband and wife Hazriel and Zipora, and Er’ela, the new wife, is followed through-out all of it’s developments. Their story tells a painful human story which may reflect to a large extent on the place of women in society.
 
“The Afro-American Israelites” - Most of the community members are ex-Americans from a harsh and low social background. The harsh way of life and sense of lack of origin drive many to search for refuge answers to the “black” truth and rediscovery of their lost identity. The “Afro-American Israelites” believe that their forefathers are the same as the Jews’. They believe only in the Law of the Torah. Their first language is Hebrew - the language of the Bible. Within their patriarchal religious community, a man is allowed to marry up to seven women.
 
Zipora, a religious and loving woman, is about to make a major change in her life after 21 years of marriage to Hazriel. Hazriel, is about to take a second wife, Er’ela who is 14 years younger than her. Both will have to live under the same roof and share the same man. Zipora does not agree with this arrangement, but the Priests of the community are forcing her to accept it. The pressure on Zipora is twofold, since the spiritual leaders consider the second marriage of her husband an example and model of a “Divine Marriage” for all community members. She faces two contrasting forces - the emotional and painful, and the rational, believing in and committed to male leadership.
 
Through Zipora’s inner journey we’ll witness the inequality, injustice and pain of the forced polygamy marriage and the questions it raises: How do these two women share the same object of love? How much pain does this entail? How much feminine wisdom is required to cope with such a situation without losing one’s sanity? Will they eventually bond as women? And how much freedom of choice do they actually have?
 
This is the story by women about women who may live in another community, but in many ways reflect upon us.

Script: Hadar Kleinman, Timna Goldstein
D.O. P.: Uri Ackerman, Yoram Ivry, Philippe Bellaiche
Edited by: Ami Teyer

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