My Old Addiction

I Love You Rosa (Ani Ohev Otach Rosa)

I Love You RosaBBB.5

(out of 5)

Rosa is a woman of extreme years who tells her great-grandson Nessim the tale of the boy after whom he was named, flashing back to late nineteenth-century Jerusalem, when she was a beautiful girl who was widowed in her early twenties.  Her late husband’s younger brother Nessim has not even had his bar mitzvah but insists on fulfilling the requirements of the law as laid down in Deuteronomy, that a childless widow become the bride of her brother-in-law in order to continue her husband’s line.  The two of them create quite a row in their community when Nessim goes to live with Rosa and she takes over care of him (in a motherly way), he continuing to insist that she become his wife, taking up his brother’s profession and reacting with jealousy when she is courted by other men.  Poignant acting brings to life a tender love story that takes the age-old trope of coming of age and placing it at the centre of cultural tradition that by the late 1800s is already starting to be a bit unwieldy.  It’s also a terrific comedy, as every bit of sweetness between the main characters is matched by scenes of hilarity from the shouting women who are constantly judging them.  It’s a small film with a short running time, but its heart is large and the effect is delightful.

Leisure Media, Noah Films

Israel, 1972

Directed by

Screenplay by Moshe Mizrahi

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1972

Cannes Film Festival 1972

I Love You Rosa2


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