In The Secrets, 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 Safe.
Rachel, 27, is raising her mentally retarded sister Gabby, 24, all by herself. When the social worker finds out she leaves her sister alone in the house while at work, she is forced to place her in a day-care center. For the first time in her life she shares the upbringing of her dear sister with someone else, her daily routine collapses and the huge void, left by her sister’s absence, makes room for a man in Rachel’s life. That man, Zohar, tears another crack in the symbiotic relationship of the two sisters. Rachel hangs on to his love as if it was a life belt. But her inability to lead a normal, intimate and emotional relationship with anyone but her sister, forces them into a twisted threesome, where boundaries between love, sacrifice, nurturing and torturing – are broken.
Filmmaker Talya Lavie steps into the spotlight with a dark comedy about everyday life for a unit of young female Israeli soldiers. The human resources office at a remote desert base serves as the setting for this cast of characters, who bide their time pushing paper, battling for the top score in Minesweeper, and counting down the minutes until they can return to civilian life. Amidst their boredom and clashing personalities, issues of commitment—from friendship to love and country—are handled with humor and sharp-edged wit. In Hebrew with subtitles.
A group of friends in a Tel Aviv suburb get together to watch Universong, a Eurovision-like television song contest. They gather to watch and are depressed by the lifelessness of the Israeli entry, a parody of many recent offerings, a flashy, grating song about “amour.” Realizing that Anat is distraught over the crisis in her marriage, they decide to compose a song to cheer her up. As a lark, they enters their cellphone video of it in next year’s contest, and it becomes Israel’s entry.
A musical drama set in small-town Iowa, SAINTS REST tells the story of two estranged sisters, who over the course of one summer, form a connection through their shared love of music, as they grieve the recent death of their mother.