Kant Do It

There are many paths to sexual repression, and not all of them are paved by religious puritans. The rejection of worldly pleasure is an idea just as likely to be held by a teenage philosophy student as a gray-locked rabbi. But as Karin Albou’s suggests in her film, La Petite Jerusalem, that doesn’t mean the two worlds are compatible. Set in the low-income suburb of Sarcelles, France (the area known as Little Jerusalem), Albou tells the psychologically complex tale of a Tunisian-Jewish family and its struggles with piety. Despite living under the same roof and with the same mother, sisters Mathilde and Laura worship completely different gods. Mathilde’s an Orthodox Jew, married with children. Laura’s an unwed, disinterested philosophy student who’d rather cozy up with an old Immanuel Kant book than the Torah -- or a man. Of course, being young and beautiful, Laura’s self-repression only strengthens her urges. And it doesn’t help any when she finds out Mathilde’s husband has been cheating. So does Laura have to choose between the world of ideas and the pleasures of the flesh, or can she have them both? La Petite Jerusalem is shown Friday through Sunday at Cinema Paradiso (503 NE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-525-FILM, or visit www.fliff.com.
April 28-30
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Jason Budjinski