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USHPIZIN

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In this gentle comedy-drama set in Jerusalem, an Orthodox Jewish couple, Moshe and Mali, who have renounced their more secular ways, fret over the upcoming Sukkoth holiday. They've no money for the rent, much less a sukkah, a temporary structure in which to host friends and dine. The pair pray earnestly for a miracle, and lo, to their delight comes unexpectedly a sukkah, $1,000 and ushpizin, two guests with whom to share the holidays. The visitors are shady and decidedly non-Orthodox -- troublesome characters from Moshe's past, a situation that Moshe and Mali chose to view as a test of strength and devotion that God has sent them. Gidi Dar's film is set entirely in the insular Orthodox world, though its themes of family, faith and forgiveness are universal, and Moshe's heartfelt, slightly comic struggle to do right by God, his community and his wife makes for a warm, enjoyable story. In Yiddish and Hebrew, with subtitles. Manor (AH)

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