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The Secrets

Cast: Fanny Ardant,Ania Bukstein,Michal Shtamler,Adir Miller,Guri Alfi,Alma Zack,Tikva Dayan

Director(s): Avi Nesher

Genre: Drama

Year: 2007

Rating: N/A

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 Safed. Naomi's quest for individuality takes a defiant turn when she befriends Michelle, a free-spirited and equally headstrong fellow student. When the pair encounters a mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past named Anouk (the iconic French actress Fanny Ardant) they begin a risky journey into forbidden realms. In the hopes of easing her suffering, Naomi and Michelle secretly lead Anouk through a series of Kabalistic cleansing rituals. The process opens up overwhelming new horizons for the girls who find themselves caught between the rigid male establishment they grew up in, and the desire to be true to themselves, no matter the cost.

The Secrets is an Israeli film that not only matches anything film coming out of Hollywood these days but it leaves them in the dust in many ways. The film-makers have taken a multi-layered story and weaved it all together into the theme of women living in a male-dominated society and just how they deal with it. The acting here is fantastic, each actor brings us to not only believe in what they are experiencing but also it makes us care about them and what happens to them. The cinematography could not be better, the camera really shows the beauty of the city of Safed. Also the music is a major part in the film and is simply beautiful to the ears. The story and it's characters are well fleshed out and each part of this complex yet beautiful story is explored in full detail. I would rate this as one of the best foreign film's I have seen in some time. It's a story about real people that challenges religion and makes the viewer think about it long after it's ended. The secrets is a mix of comedy,drama and tragedy that really hits they viewer like not many films can, a true delight and a film worth seeking out and experiencing for yourself as you will be glad you did. Nominated for many awards and rightfully so, The Secrets is being released by Monterey Media in the near future so please check back here for more info on the film's release dates. Director Avi Nesher and his cast and crew have created a masterpiece of story-telling and one that everyone should see. Released by Monterey Media. ***** Out Of *****