Wednesday, 12 August 2015
GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM
In Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce. Only rabbis can legitimate a marriage or its dissolution. But this dissolution is only possible with full consent from the husband, who in the end has more power than the judges. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for divorce for three years. But her husband Elisha will not agree. His cold intransigence, Viviane's determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request. (IMDB: Directors' Fortnight)
This Israel/French/German production, based on true events, is riveting despite most of the events taking place in one small, sparsely furnished room and completely dialogue driven. The movie shows us a series of appearances of Viviane before the rabbinical judges over the years of the court case. The acting is stunning and relies on the cast expressing deep and changing emotions over the course of the events. It is an incredible story and is almost unbelievable that a system of "justice" could be so unjust - and ridiculously so. The system is so bad that it would be funny if it wasn't true. The movie requires patience (it is just under two hours long) and won't suit all viewers. But patience is rewarded.