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Movie Review: Ushpizin - Escaped convicts on Sukkot

By Ben Bresky
10/14/2008, 12:00 AM

Movie Review
Ushpizin
2004 Picturehouse
www.ushpizin.com

A poor husband and wife want nothing more but to have a nice Sukkot holiday with the traditional holy guests, or Ushpizin in Hebrew, so they can show their hospitality just like Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. What they get instead are escaped convicts.

Ushpizin mixes light drama and light comedy. The movie was filmed on location in Jerusalem and stars real life husband and wife Shuli and Michal Bat-Sheva Rand who live in Jerusalem.

There are strong themes of religious versus secular Israelis but in general, this is an enjoyable movie with many humorous scenes. In the end, which is happy, the religious are still religious and the secular are still secular and that's depicted as OK.

I saw this in the theater in Jerusalem and the audience laughed out loud during several scenes. The wife's reacting to the surprise donation of a large sum of money is charming as well as when the husband takes the escaped convicts to the yeshiva with him. The message of the movie is one of faith and the power of prayer. It seems to be enjoyed by a broad audience. The film won the 2004 Israeli Film Academy best actor award.

Here's an interview I did with Adi Ran, the singer who's music is featuredfeatued on the Ushpizin soundtrack with photos.

Here's a clip from the movie.

Here's the music video from Ata Kadosh by Adi Ran with clips from the movie.