Israeli Divorce Drama Wins Big at Hamptons Film Fest

'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem' named best narrative feature; Ronit Elkabetz clinches special acting award.

Yuval Aharoni

The Israeli film about one woman's years-long saga to obtain a divorce from her husband in rabbinical court on Monday clinched the award for best narrative feature at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

"Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem," the final part of a trilogy from siblings Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, has garnered critical acclaim, awards and nominations since debuting at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year.

The film won the Best Picture Award at last month's Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of the Academy Awards. That win also made "Gett" Israel’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Oscars.

"It is simply wonderful and moving," Ronit Elkabetz said of the Hamptons festival award. "The truly important recognition the film is getting in Israel and the world is working wonders. There is a great opportunity here to discuss the status of women, and bring about change, in the world and certainly in Israel. That is what I hope and believe."

"Gett" beat four other films in the official competition at the festival, and also landed Ronit Elkabetz a special jury prize for outstanding performance by an actress.

"Calling attention to a male-dominated and sometimes decade-long process, and set entirely in the courtroom, this brilliantly written and acted film reveals the slow dissolution of a marriage between Vivane (Ronit Elkabetz) and Elisha (Simon Abkarian)," the judges wrote. "Balancing the seriousness of what’s at stake with an often-humorous tone, 'Gett' offers a deeply moving take on an otherwise painful procedure."
 

Amit Berlowitz