Israeli filmmaker Anat Zuria examines the "Tharat Hamishpaha" (family purity), the ancient laws and rituals, which shape women's lives and sexuality within Jewish Orthodoxy. Giving a subtle voice to female rebellion within the religious world, Zuria presents her own experiences adhering to Orthodox practices, as well as those of her friends Natalie, Katie and Shira. At the heart of their stories is the "nidda" - a ten to twelve day period restricting women from touching or engaging in sexual intimacy with their husbands, which culminates with a trip to the "mikve" (cleansing baths). Their openness to the camera breaks a profound taboo of silence rooted in 2000-year-old laws, as they speak to the rigidity and confines of Orthodox rituals. Beautifully incorporating lyrical and meditative images with interviews, Purity presents the hidden struggle of religious women to maintain their cultural traditions and individual needs within the framework of strict religious law. The topic has hardly ever been documented on film. The wonderful camera work gives a special touch to the tough subject. It looks as if the director admires the ritual and its meaning, but at the same time disagrees with having it arranged so strictly and immutably in society. The sequences in the bath, where the sound of water is heard, stress the meditative and sacred quality of the ritual.
English/Original Title: Purity. German title: Reinheit. Writer: Anat Zuria. Camera: Nurith Aviv, Nili Azlan, Shiri Bar-On. Sound: Rami Yazken. Editing: Era Lapid. Music: Jonathan Bar Giora. Production: Amythos Films. Producer: Amit Breuer. Length: 63 min. International Sales: Ruth Diskin Marketing & Distribution Ltd.