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A Light for Greytowers – Movie Review

December 23, 2009

On the first night of Chanuka, I took my 13-year-old daughter to the Jerusalem Cinematheque screening of A Light for Greytowers. Although the Jewish-themed musical was advertised as playing for women only, several men did make their way into the audience (most of them left fairly quickly – the movie was clearly made with women in mind).

First of all, I was thrilled to have an opportunity for a cultural outing with my daughter. In the past, I used to take my girls to ballet productions, but eventually stopped because of the halachic mixed message the girls were receiving. Unfortunately, “kosher” quality cultural events geared to children and teens are very scarce, so just the thought of a “girls’ night out” with her made me happy.

A Light for Greytowers was unlike any other movie I have ever seen. I had a hard time taking in the religious message when conveyed through the medium of professional cinematography. The music, the camerawork, the sets were very Hollywoodian and seeing them at the service of a Jewish ideas took getting used to.

On the other hand, since the main characters of the movie were children, I feel it was more geared to teens than adults. However, the movie did include scenes of corporal punishment and nightmares, which my daughter found terrifying, despite her overall maturity.

I have searched high and low on the Internet for a clip from the movie, until it dawned on me that since it is for women only, the producers probably did not want to broadcast it to the world. However, the movie includes several scenes played by men and sharing them with the public would go a long way in showcasing the quality of the film.

I sincerely hope that Kol Neshama and other companies will continue making new productions for our enjoyment.

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