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2005-01-28óMovie Review: Advice and Dissent

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2005 blog


Movie Review: Advice and Dissent
How wise was this rebbe?
,  Jan. 28, 2005

movie file       February calendar for San Diego County Jewish community

Advice and Dissent, directed by Lieb Cohen, USA, 2002, 21 min., Beta SP, Color, English

Reviewed by Donald H. Harrison

At first, you'll gasp at the advice the Rebbe (Eli Wallach) gives Jeffrey Goldman (John Pankow) about how to get rid of the wife he doesn't love.

The rebbe tells him that the Talmud says if someone makes a pledge to charity and doesn't pay it, God will strike down that man's wife. So, Goldman tells a local synagogue he will contribute $150,000 for its new library, then renegs, and waits with grim satisfaction for the inevitable to befall his wife Ellen (Rebecca Pigeon)

When nothing happens, he returns to the wise rebbe, who tells him that, of course, the Talmud meant this would be the punishment for a man who actually loved his wife. Perhaps, suggested the rebbe, Goldman could fake it?

I don't want to spoil the ending of this lovely 21-minute, straightforward  story for anyone who plans to see it  at 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13, or again at noon Monday, Feb. 14, at the AMC Theatres in La Jolla, as part of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

But this much I will say.  I know many of the happily married  women who chose films for the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.  I'm willing to bet they are not at all unhappy with this little bonbon's ending.