Owen Gleiberman
February 13, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Praying With Lior

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
87 minutes
Limited Release Date
02/01/08
director
Ilana Trachtman
distributor
First Run Features
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B

In Philadelphia, Lior, a boy with Down syndrome, is getting ready for his bar mitzvah. The moment that his rabbi father says, ”He’s not stupid, he’s retarded — there’s a difference!” the theme of this bite-size, rewarding documentary comes into focus. It’s that the embrace of Lior — by his family, and by the Judaic community around him — completely transforms the way he feels about his mind. The boy has a penetrating spirit and a passion for davening (i.e., praying), and though the film gets a bit repetitive, in its moving climax Lior does more than just have his bar mitzvah — he earns it. B

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