MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +3 1/2

As the Jewish feast of Succoth (Booths/Tabernacles) approaches, Moshe Bellanga (Shuli Rand) and his wife, Malli (Michal Bat-Sheva Rand), lack the money to buy the booth and other items required to celebrate the traditional, biblical (Leviticus 23:3443) festival. But on top of their financial difficulties, the couple seems unable to have children. In desperate need and with Succoth upon them, the Bellangas turn to the God of Israel, fervently praying for a great miracle. And God answers. On the evening before the beginning of Succoth, a friend gives Moshe a large and lavish booth. And after he assembles the booth, Moshe is surprised by unexpected guests from his irreligious past. Guests during Succoth are considered holy guests (Ushpizin in Aramaic) and a sign of Gods blessing, so Moshe and Malli gladly invite them to stay. But when the guests turn unpleasant, Moshe and Mallis faith, integrity and marriage are challenged.

A Hebrew language film with English subtitles, Ushpizin provides great insights into present-day Judaism. From beginning to end, the film reminds viewers of the beliefs and traditions that are practiced in orthodox Jewish communities around the world. For Christians, the film highlights similarities and differences between Judaism and Christianity. It contains powerful depictions of prayer, worship and belief in the all-powerful God of the Old Testament, who is able to do miracles in his peoples lives. Yet the absence of Gods grace in Christ is also clear as Moshe and Malli are often worried that they have failed Gods tests and will miss out on His blessings. Adding to the interesting religious elements, Ushpizin also tells a fabulous story about faith, doubt and unexpected blessings in hard times. And with very little questionable content, the film easily earns positive acceptability marks and Previews recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Once moderate (p-ss 1)

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times mild (man breaks bottle and threatens another man with it as a weapon, man slaps another man, men shown mocking and shouting at each other, woman angrily chases men with a sharp cooking utensil)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times mild (characters smoke cigarettes in a community that frowns upon smoking, wine drinking with meal); moderate (men drink shots of hard liquor, and one begins to show signs of intoxication)

Other: Numerous appropriate references to God, faith and worship in God, all in the context of modern-day orthodox Judaism); portrayal of modern-day orthodox Jewish faith and worship during the biblical festival of Succoth (Booths), escaped convicts run from police and act in an irreligious and disrespectful manner toward the orthodox Jews, portrayal of Jewish religious practices in a way that may be considered superstitious, discussion of how faith in God can change a person

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Youths and adults

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