Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

SF Jewish Film Festival: “Three Mothers”

Posted by Oyster on August 5, 2007

three mothers sfjff07

Three Mothers (Shalosh Ima’ot), 2006: Flora, Rose, and Yasmin Hakim

Queue Jewish mother jokes… [wait for it]… now.

This emotional saga of the lives of Egyptian Jewish triplets that spans 60 years from Cairo, Egypt to Israel. The film (co-presented with JIMENA) starts off as Yasmin, one of the triplets, discovers that her chronic kidney failure was terminal, and that she had 3 months to arrange for a transplant. Flora, “the intelligent one” and former songstress Rose are left to cope and to work to save their sister’s life. This existential urgency leads to a cascade of revelations, where mothers reveal to their children the truth of their past that had been hidden from them their entire life.

Though some might term it a ‘chick flick‘, I thought it was an interesting film showing how three strong mizrahi sisters maintained a iron-clad bond that kept them together. Whether external disasters such as the death of their parents or their unceremonial (they were honorary ‘princesses’ of King Farouk of Egypt) expulsion from Egypt, or internal conflict from husbands, children, or each other, their priority was always to remain together and to be there for one another. Even if it means plotting against their own husbands and children. This movie is highly recommended; Rose’s 20-something character is quite the singer and a beauty as well. The love songs she sings set the mood for the film and help transition the story’s flashbacks from Egypt, to 70’s Israel, to present-day.

You can still see “Three Mothers” at the SF Jewish Film Festival tomorrow, Monday, in San Rafael.

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