Divan | EW.com

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DivanA worn couch is the inanimate star of Divan, but the heart of this delightfully personal documentary is filmmaker Pearl Gluck's affectionate arm's...DivanDocumentaryPT77MA worn couch is the inanimate star of Divan, but the heart of this delightfully personal documentary is filmmaker Pearl Gluck's affectionate arm's...2004-03-17Zeitgeist Films
Divan
B+

Divan

Genre: Documentary; Director: Pearl Gluck; Release Date Limited: 03/17/2004; Runtime (in minutes): 77; Distributor: Zeitgeist Films

A worn couch is the inanimate star of Divan, but the heart of this delightfully personal documentary is filmmaker Pearl Gluck’s affectionate arm’s-length attachment to her Hasidic family. Having broken with the traditions of her Orthodox Jewish clan – she’s single at the age of 30 and secular in the city – Gluck nevertheless has effected a creative way to be-yet-not-be a keeper of the traditions: She takes it upon herself to retrieve a turn-of-the-century family divan languishing in Hungary – upon which, the story goes, a number of revered rabbis once slept – and keeps a video diary of her quest.

”Divan” intersperses Gluck’s journey to liberate the furniture – a pilgrim’s progress as cockeyed as any classic folktale – with interviews and commentary. In addition to hearing from the philosophers, noodges, and would-be matchmakers who manage to love her while wishing she were someone else, Gluck listens to the stories of other men and women who have left Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Judaism and whose lives are shaped by rift and realignment, with none of the wailing and teeth-gnashing that wore down ”Trembling Before G-d”. The serious struggle in this lilting doc is told with an inviting light touch and a big heart.

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