Ha-Dybbuk (1998)

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Ha-Dybbuk B’sde Hatapuchim Hakdoshim (also known as: “Ahava Asura”, “The Dybbuk”, “The Dybbuk of the Holy Apple Field”)

From birth, Hanan and Lea were destined to be together, a promise made by their fathers and heard in Heaven. But Lea’s father betrays this promise, kindling a conflict that will pit the modern against the secular and the devout against the divine.

Mystical visions of the Holy Apple Field convince Hanan that their love can be the perfect “spiritual match”, and to achieve it he unleashes untold powers of the Kabbala. Not even death can divide them; a powerful affirmation of love’s infinite potential to transcend all obstacles.

Loosely based on a 1914 play by S. Ansky, this elaborate, ambitious, and unnerving fantasy from Israeli writer-director Yossi Somer juxtaposes a Romeo and Juliet romantic tragedy with a modernized tale of a “Dybbuk,” a mischievous spirit from Yiddish folklore capable of releasing repressed desires in innocent young girls. The story focuses on the ill-fated romance between Hanan (Yehzekel Lazarov) and Lea (Ayelet Zurer) who, though promised for marriage by their families, are torn apart by the rift between their fathers’ social and religious backgrounds. After attempts to win the favor of Lea’s Orthodox father, Hanan joins a yeshiva and begins an intensive study of the enigmatic and complex mysticism of the Kabbalah, leading to surreal visions revealing his true spiritual link to Lea, his soulmate. Spurred by this newfound wisdom, Hanan renews his passionate pursuit of Lea… and not even death can prevent him from fulfilling his destiny. Equal parts supernatural horror, classic romance, and political allegory, this one-of-a-kind film is certain to provoke strong reactions from viewers, who will either be overwhelmed by its shocking imagery or mesmerized by its intricate, multi-layered storytelling.

Director: Yossi Somer
Writer: Eyal Sher
Cast: Yehezkel Lazarov, Ayelet Zurer, Yigal Naor, Orna Porat, Alon Dahan, Moshe Ivgy

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