Mountain (2015)

Impression: Who knew all kinds of kinky things go on on the Mount of Olives at night? Beautifully shot, and amazingly acted, it’s kind of a Virginia Woolf novel set in an Orthodox Jewish family, but with a more sinister ending. Manages to touch on more individual themes of loneliness and isolation, but in a very subtle way also on politics. There is very little dialogue, but there are a lot of long scenes showing the main character’s boredom, and unhappiness. A small cramped house at the edge of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives is kind of a perfect visual metaphor for the smallness of the world she inhabits. But she soon discovers nefarious activities going on just outside her front door at night, and becomes intrigued. She is introduced to a whole different world, and the inability to communicate with her husband (a Yeshiva teacher who studies late into the night and never has time for her) becomes more and more intolerable, until she finally takes decisive action. This was a stunning debut feature, and I am excited to see more from the same director, Yaelle Kayam.

Facts: A woman in an unsatisfying marriage and four kids, discovers people leading very different lives come to hang out just outside her cramped world in a tiny house at the edge of a cemetery.

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