DVD Le Petite Jerusalem (DVD 1136678),
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Le Petite Jerusalem

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Writer-director Karin Albou is nothing if not intrepid: in LA PETITE JERUSALEM she grapples with three of life's most loaded and complex issues--faith, family, and sexuality. Set in a drab and aptly named housing project, Little Jerusalem, on the outskirts of Paris, the film focuses on a family of Algerian Orthodox Jewish immigrants. Albou's two main characters, the stunning sisters Laura (Fanny Valette) and Mathilde (Elsa Zylberstein), think about the movie's themes in completely opposite ways. Laura is that classic overly rational cynic--a philosophy student--who, firmly grounded in the realm of the profane, rejects sentimental notions about love and favors an emotionless approach to sex. Her sister, unhappily betrothed and devoutly religious, clings fiercely to the Torah's mandate against female sexual pleasure. Not surprisingly, both women become subsequently unmoored by relationships with different men--Laura finding herself irrationally in love with Djamel, a handsome Algerian, and Mathilde opening herself up to a feminist-fuelled sexual revolution via an extramarital affair.

    Using handheld photography, tight framing, lingering close-ups, and moody lighting, Albou crafts a movie that is texturally delicate and aesthetically intimate. The subjects and story are made particularly riveting by Albou's wonderfully chosen cast of magnetic performers. In particular, the exotic Vallette's facial nuances and glassy doe-eyes emit a depth of thought that bespeaks inner turmoil and philosophical doubt. LA PETITE JERUSALEM, though small in budget, is large in resonance and scope--a welcome existential treatise that satisfies the heart and the mind.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 88354

  • Credits
    Fanny Valette, Elsa Sylberstein, Bruno Tedeschino, Sonia Tahar, Michael Cohen, Laurent Lavole
  • Critic Reviews
    "Philosophy and religion become entangled with love and sex in Karin Albou's intelligent, sensual drama..."
    Los Angeles Times

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