Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
Brooklyn Int'l Film Festival - June 1-10, 2007
Director: Stefan Schaefer & Diane Crespo
United States, 2007, 89 mins.
Format: HD-CAM (screening) - HDCam Video (shooting)
Two women - one an Orthodox Jew named Rochel (Zoe Lister Jones), the other Muslim named Nadira (Francis Benhamou) - meet and become friends as first year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common such as teaching procedures- overcoming cultural barriers, instructing children on togetherness, giving lessons to the school principal Mrs Jacoby (Marcia Jean Kurtz) on the right of people to believe and dress as they wish in various cultures, and not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages which they do not want. The two women come together and set the wheels in progress to unhitch their family's staunch convictions. Overcoming the traditional ways the two women become friends for life.
The film displays a more than mutual respect of two people in this Brooklyn community, but a sincere friendship that the world should learn from. As for the two main characters, Rochel (Zoe Lister Jones) as the quiet but stern young Jewish teacher portrayed a natural presence on screen, while Nadira the young Muslim teacher created a spunky and rebellious character that was the perfect match in the casting. The supporting cast of John Rothman, Mimi Lieber, Laith Nakli and Daniel London are the members of their family who add a great sense of humor and sincerity in the script.