Home > Television & Film > The Secrets- Quick and Dirty

The Secrets- Quick and Dirty

I had a hard time writing this review because I don’t think I’ve ever actually written a positive review of a lesbian film before.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is what a lesbian film is supposed to look like.

the-secrets-poster-400

Yesterday, I watched The Secrets at the Quad Cinema and it was enough to uplift me from my previous experience there this month.

The Secrets is the story of  how “two brilliant young women discover their own voices in a repressive orthodox culture where females are forbidden to sing, let alone speak out. Naomi, the studious, devoutly religious daughter of a prominent rabbi, convinces her father to postpone her marriage for a year so that she might study at a Jewish seminary for women in the ancient Kabalistic seat of Safed. Naomi’s quest for individuality takes a defiant turn when she befriends Michelle, a free-spirited and equally headstrong fellow student. When the pair encounters a mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past named Anouk (the iconic French actress Fanny Ardant) they begin a risky journey into forbidden realms. In the hopes of easing her suffering, Naomi and Michelle secretly lead Anouk through a series of Kabalistic cleansing rituals. The process opens up overwhelming new horizons for the girls who find themselves caught between the rigid male establishment they grew up in, and the desire to be true to themselves, no matter the cost.” (imdb.com)

The film stars up and coming Israeli actresses, Ania Bukstein and Michal Shtamler and was written by Avi Nesher and Hadar Galron.

ania

michalshtamler

It is not a blatant lesbian film and the young girls awakening is part of a much bigger story about the freedom of women in an family situations.   A major aspect of the pressure from their families centers around them getting married.  Much of the conflict arrives not just from the two main characters dealing with their feelings for one another (although it is an important part) but also  what the female characters choose to do to save another’s soul in a time of need when she is rejected by everyone else.  That’s one of the reasons the film works so well.  It deals with the character’s sexual awakening in a central but not over-bearing way.  Being gay is not all these characters end up being able to do and much more of the film focuses of why women were once forbidden to study Jewish traditions and why they are forbidden from being rabbi  in Israel (I’m not an expert on traditional Judaism so if I’m presuming things please feel free to correct me.)

And just as subtly as the film deals with their sexuality it manifests itself in a love scene that is not overtly sexual in any traditional sense.  Its not the L word but it is also not some version of a romance fantasy with carefully place curtains blowing in the wind and it definitely doesn’t start and end with a peck on the cheek.

Its seems the whole movie is available in parts on youtube but you have to know Hebrew.  I would suggest you see this one in theaters anyway as films like these need the money and this one certainly deserves it.

It was funny and engaging and compelling so see it. See it now!

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  1. spamcarnival
    December 17, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see it..

  2. December 17, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    huh, the secrets!? lol, oh man, here’s a secret, I love lesbian films, and by films I mean 3-part plays, and by 3-part plays I mean pornos. uhmm… SHAZAM!!!

  3. December 17, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    and by pornos I mean Blackbird, the browser for black people,

    …that’s right, I love lesbian Blackbirds

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