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SJFF: WHERE LIFE BEGINS
March 19 • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Every summer, the Zelniks, an ultra-Orthodox French family, spend time on an estate in southern Italy to collect perfect citrons for Sukkot. Faith, family, and freedom are tested when a spark develops between Esther, the rabbi’s daughter, and divorced farmer Elio who both share a deep yearning for freedom and connection.
In-Person Showtime: March 19 | SJCC | 5 pm • Streaming Window: March 20-26
More on WHERE LIFE BEGINS (Tu choisiras la vie)
Stéphane Freiss| Narrative Drama | France, Italy | 2022 | French, Italian w/English subtitles | 101m | G
Every summer, the Zelniks, an ultra-Orthodox French family, spend a short sojourn on a southern Italy farm on a sacred mission: to collect citrons perfect enough to be considered kosher for the holiday of Sukkot. Hosting the large family on his estate is Elio, an even-keeled, non-devout Catholic with a penetrating gaze who has been lost since his wife left him. In this sunny, bucolic setting, Elio meets the intense and quick-tempered Esther, the rabbi’s rebellious daughter, who is trapped between affection for her family and the desire to emancipate herself from the constraints imposed by her religion and her imminent arranged marriage. “Leaving God is like a divorce,” Esther tells Elio. Can their unexpected bond give Esther the courage to forge a life of her own making and give Elio the inner peace he so desperately craves? Set in the idyllic Calabrian countryside, this intimate and elegantly rendered romantic drama about family, faith, and freedom explores the importance of connecting with someone who ignites the spark within you.
Stéphane Freiss is a French film, television, and stage actor who has appeared in more than 90 films, most notably in Agnes Varda’s VAGABOND (1985) and Steven Spielberg’s MUNICH (2005). WHERE LIFE BEGINS is Freiss’s directorial feature film debut. View on IMDB.
Film Sponsors: Jacquie Bayley, Ruth Etzioni and Ross Kling
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