Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a potential box-office hit
by Daniel Litani
- The title is shortly to be released in Israeli movie theatres
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem [+see also:
film profile], by brother-and-sister duo Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz, is to be screened in Israel as of 18 September. Right now, the film is showing all the signs of becoming a box-office hit. It was screened initially at the Jerusalem Film Festival, where it won numerous prizes: the Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Film, the Audience Favourite Award and Best Actor for Menashe Noy. It was also selected to be screened in the Cannes Film Festival 2014 Directors' Fortnight Feature Competition, and audiences were shocked to see how a woman in Israel could be discriminated against by old rabbinical regulations. The film is nominated in 12 categories in the local Israeli Ophir competition, and the winner will represent Israel at the Oscars.
Gett is now being screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and later on will also visit three leading festivals in the US: The Hamptons International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival in San Francisco and the Chicago International Film Festival. The film is distributed in the US by Music Box Pictures, and screening in the States will begin in January 2015.
In Europe, Gett will be screened at the London Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Oslo Film Festival, which will have a special tribute to the Elkabetz duo and will show their two previous films, To Take a Wife and Seven Days.
The film tells the story of an Israeli woman (Ronit Elkabetz) seeking to finalise her divorce from her cruel and manipulative husband. She finds herself effectively put on trial by her country's religiously based marriage laws. In Israel, there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce; only rabbis can legalise a marriage or its dissolution, which is only possible with the husband's full consent. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for a divorce for three years, but her husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian, of Casino Royale [+see also:
film profile] and Persepolis [+see also:
interview: Marc-Antoine Robert
interview: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Pa…
film profile]) will not agree to it and would prefer to see his wife being tortured by the conservative judges than go free.