Divan 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… Divan 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… 2004-03-17 PT77M Documentary Zeitgeist Films
Movie Review

Divan (2004)

Divan | BARUCH ROSE MAKES A POINT Who knew a search for furniture could be so enlightening?
BARUCH ROSE MAKES A POINT Who knew a search for furniture could be so enlightening?
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Mar 17, 2004; Length: 77 Minutes; Genre: Documentary; 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.

Originally posted Mar 17, 2004 Published in issue #757 Mar 26, 2004 Order article reprints
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