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My Father My Lord

My Father, My Lord, 2007

A respected rabbi named Abraham (Assi Dayan) is extremely devoted to his faith. The film traces the way that his faith causes friction between Abraham and his wife, Esther (Sharon Hacohen) and especially his son, Menahem (Elan Griff). As Menahem chafes against his father's rigid rules, the family approaches an unexpected crisis.

This is a film that feels almost more like a short story.Clocking in at just about 70 minutes, the film tells a contained, intimate story of a family in crisis.

Overall my reaction to this film was positive. Despite the short runtime, the movie is willing to take longer moments to show small events, such as repeated sequences where Menahem watches a bird outside his classroom window tending to its chicks. The boy never articulates what he is thinking as he watches the bird, but when he returns home and we watch the strained interactions with his father, the theme is clear enough.

For most viewers, I imagine that the last act will be the make or break aspect of the film. After a very realistic first 2/3, the ending goes to a place that is a bit more outlandish. I would say that it worked for me, in part because of the way that the direction, the acting, and the score all cohered into a really emotional sequence.

Generally I would say that this is a slight, but worth watching film in the subgenre of movies about people grappling with the intersection of their faith and their family life.