Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017...10:17 am

Life holy and profane on the Mount of Olives

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In director Yaelle Kayam’s Mountain, now available on DVD from First Run Features, a young Orthodox woman raises her family in a stone house set in the fabled Mount of Olives cemetery overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Her husband teaches in a yeshiva; and when her children go off to school, Zvia (Shani Klein) cleans house and strolls through the vast graveyard. She meets a varied cast of characters — including an Arab gravedigger and a South Korean poet visiting the grave of the beloved Israeli poet Zelda — and then discovers that prostitutes use the Mount of Olives to conduct business with their clients at night. These shadowy characters add a new dimension to Zvia’s circumscribed life. — Mordecai Specktor

(American Jewish World, 3.24.17)

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