One of the highlights of every annual Program Guide is Professor Matthew Bernstein’s* must-see films list. He painstakingly reviews a slew of films in each year's lineup, and 2016 has him as enthusiastic as ever.
We'll be featuring his picks, one-by-one. Of course, if you can't wair to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
Beautifully shot and performed, this seemingly simple tale of a neglected Orthodox wife has deep and troubling undertones. First-time writer-director Yaelle Kayam movingly captures the plight of Tzvia (a perfect Shani Klein) as she wanders among the tombstones of a Mount of Olives cemetery, smoking cigarettes, reading poetry and seeking brief exchanges with strangers, including a Palestinian groundskeeper whom she sees most frequently. Her nighttime discovery of illicit activities leads her to a crisis of faith, and the film to a disquieting, startling conclusion. The melding of settings,—her family lives beside the cemetery, their home of cold stone walls resembles a tomb—moody lighting, and Klein’s compelling performance yield a memorable cinematic experience.
*Dr. Matthew Bernstein is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Film and Media Studies and department chair at Emory University.
Previous Must See Films of 2016