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Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
164 N State St, Chicago, Illinois 60601
First Chicago run! Tickets & trailer at siskelfilmcenter.org/womensbalcony
“Charming…unapologetically warmhearted…performed by a cast of practiced farceurs.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
A wickedly funny battle of the sexes, characterized by dirty tricks and Lysistrata-like maneuvers, begins with the collapse of the women’s balcony in a small, dilapidated Jerusalem synagogue. With the aging rabbi ailing, and the building unusable for want of expensive repairs, the easy-going congregation falls under the spell of a charismatic firebrand of a new rabbi, who preaches to the somewhat leery men that their luck will change if only their wives will wear headscarves. Under the guise of comedy, director Ben-Shimon takes a smart and universal look at extremism, when happy marriages hit the skids, neighbors are at odds, and best friends fall out in the course of a women’s rebellion led by feisty Ettie (Hagoel), a wife who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. In Hebrew with English subtitles. DCP digital.