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by Rachel Elitzur


In the ultra-Orthodox community men are educated not to look at women or think about them and a girl practices modesty in clothing, actions and thoughts. Marriage requires complete strangers to suddenly encounter their partner for the first time in an intimate situation with only rudimentary information. According to Jewish law, they are required at that first intimate encounter to consummate the marriage. The forbidden becomes permitted, the impure pure, and modesty turns into full exposure. What was considered sinful transforms to the Holy of Holies. The film draws a portrait of a society and a place: women and men speak bravely about their hidden feelings during matchmaking, the engagement period, the guidance of brides and grooms, the canopy, the special “Yihud” room, until the morning after marriage.

international title: Wedding Night
original title: Wedding Night
country: Israel
year: 2023
genre: documentary
directed by: Rachel Elitzur
film run: 60'
screenplay: Rachel Elitzur
cinematography by: Avigail Sperber
film editing: Noit Geva
music: Karni Postal
producer: Avigail Sperber
production: Pardes Production (IL)

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