director: Esty Shushan
producer: David Silber, Sivan Cohen
cinematographer: David Stragmeister
screenwriter: Esty Shushan
cast: Meshi Kleinstein, Ori Levi, Reymonde Amsallem, Miki Leon
language: Hebrew, French
Year of Production: 2023
Countries of Production: Israel
RUTH explores the devastating tragedy that befalls an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family, and raises questions about faith, accountability and marriage in conservative societies.
SHMUEL and RUTH, the young parents of SRULIK, an endearing three-year-old toddler, dream along with him about Lag Ba’Omer, the Jewish holiday and the day when they will cut his long curls, according to Jewish tradition, on the grave of Rabbi Simon Bar-Yohai.
But their joy and excitement are replaced by grief, bereavement and a terrible guilt when Shmulik passes away in a tragic accident.
The young couple’s lives are thrown off the safe, familiar path.
Ruth loses all signs of stability in her world. The overwhelming feeling of loss, the shock and the sorrow bring on a terrible void that takes over her life.
Ruth must deal with her husband, Shmuel, a young Yeshiva student, a prodigy with great future ahead of him in the world of religious studies, whose guilt drives him to extremes bordering on insanity. She tries to find God, who abandoned them, and is flooded with difficult questions undermining her faith. She deals with her community, which offers her a variety of ways to heal and strengthen her spirit, ways that bring her nothing but heartache.
Ruth tries to reclaim control over her daily life but her community is suffocating her. Her grief is no longer her own.
Shmuel tries cleansing his guilt and purifying the house of all religiously-forbidden technology, which forces Ruth to make difficult decisions that will affect everybody.