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Directed byAmos Gitai
Written byEliette Abecassis
Amos Gitai
Produced byAmos Gitai
Michel Propper
StarringYaël Abecassis
Yoram Hattab
Meital Barda
Uri Klauzner
Yussuf Abu-Warda
CinematographyRenato Berta
Edited byMonica Coleman
Kobi Netanel
Music byPhilippe Eidel
Louis Sclavis
Distributed byOcean Film
Release date
  • 10 June 1999 (1999-06-10)
Running time
116 minutes

Kadosh (Hebrew: קדוש) (lit., Sacred) is a 1999 film by Israeli director Amos Gitai. It was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


Kadosh is a drama about the Haredi society. In the opening scene, Meir (Yoram Hattab), a young Talmudic scholar, thanks God in his morning prayers for not being born a woman. At first, the marriage of Meir and his wife, Rivka (Yael Abecassis), appears tender and idyllic, but as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Meir is concerned with the fact that he is childless after ten years of marriage. Meir's father, the Rabbi of their community in Jerusalem, tells Meir he is required to divorce Rivka because a woman's only function is to have children. Eventually, Meir complies, which destroys Rivka emotionally, and she moves away so that Meir can marry a cousin.

Rivka's younger sister, Malka, marries Yosef in a match arranged by her parents, even though she loves Yaakov, a rock singer, who has abandoned the religious community. When Yosef is sexually cold to her, she leaves for a night with Yaakov; when she returns, Yosef calls her a "slut" and beats her with a belt. She runs out of their apartment.

Meir, having divorced Rivka and re-married, shows up at Rivka's apartment on the Purim holiday (when men traditionally get drunk), and wants to be with her (a Haredi man would normally never be alone with a woman who is not his wife). She retreats initially. We do not see what happens, but when Malka runs to Rivka's apartment after Yosef beats her, Rivka babbles about being pregnant.

In a scene which could be a dream or allegory, Rivka comes to Meir, who is sleeping, lies down with him, and drapes herself all over him, but he does not wake up (nor is his new wife present, suggesting this is not actually the storyline). Eventually, she falls asleep on top of him. He wakes up, and cannot rouse her. He shakes Rivka, and tries to wake her, as she has apparently died of a broken heart. The movie ends with Malka, alone after having left Yosef, looking over the city of Jerusalem.

The movie was reviewed in the New York Times.[2]



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Kadosh". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (16 February 2000). "New York Times review". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.

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