By the Grace of Heaven

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2021
  • 54 min.
  • Director(s): Yariv Mozer
  • Producer(s): Ronen Manelis‏, Sigal Rosh

Synopsis

A rare look into life in Bnei Brak, Israel amid the coronavirus outbreak, which completely engulfed and paralyzed this ultra-Orthodox city, is the focus of a new feature documentary called, By the Grace of Heaven.

Less than 20 minutes from Tel Aviv, the city of Bnei Brak is Israel’s ninth largest, with a quarter-million residents and, in effect, the capital of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community.

When the virus erupted in Bnei Brak in April 2020, a complete closure was imposed on the city.

The mayor, Rabbi Avraham Rubinstein, went into solitary confinement after his wife was infected with coronavirus, while setting up a dedicated emergency headquarters under the command of IDF Retired Major General, Roni Numa, who, together with other reserve officers, took control over the blockaded city.

All of this happened just days before Passover, requiring the ultra-Orthodox community — with its diverse Hasidic, Lithuanian, and Sephardic sects — to immediately adapt to the realities of holiday life, in the shadow of coronavirus and the subsequent city closure, isolation, and curfew.

Suddenly, as only in Israel can happen, the ultra-Orthodox religious community joined forces with soldiers and army commanders to meet the challenges imposed upon them.

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Credits

Director(s)

Yariv Mozer

Producer(s)

Ronen Manelis‏, Sigal Rosh

Script

Yariv Mozer

Reviews

  • The documentary "By the Grace of Heaven" was shot like a fly on the wall, with a minimum of intervention, out of reverence for those being filmed and without judgment. This is not a journalistic craft, this is a documentary craft, which seeks to bring the complexity of the ultra-Orthodox society, its world, faith and way of life and all this from an honest and respectful look, at eye level and without arrogance. The film brings to the screen a mosaic of characters, scenes and customs, which seeks to depict the chaos that took place in the city under the Corona plague. The city is the main protagonist of the film and the camera meets people on the street, balconies, windows and focuses on their interiors and their unique lifestyles.
    MAKO
  • An unprecedented glimpse into the complexity of public life in Bnei Brak during the closure in the city, through interviews with residents, the mayor, opinion leaders and military personnel, alongside documentation of sights never seen before
    SRUGIM

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