Happy Purim

Directed By: Ori Gruder / 60 Minutes
Israel / 2015 / Hebrew (English Subtitles)
Documentary / Other

Original Title: א-פריילעכן פורים


Purim is the happiest day in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates the day when, back in the ancient Persian Empire, the Jewish people were saved from slaughter. It is a time for celebration, sharing joy and giving back to those less fortunate. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are famously as strict about observing the rules of their faith as they are defiant to modernity, yet for this film they let the cameras explore their celebration with enthusiasm. The film follows a diverse cross-section of society – from the charity workers helping the poor, to the rabbis preparing to read the Book of Esther and the women preparing the food and drinks – giving us a deep insight into what makes Purim so special to the Jewish community. This documentary is a fascinating exploration of a key moment in Jewish life, both spiritually and socially. Director Ori Gruder, an Ultra-Orthodox Jew himself, shows how deference towards the rites blends with daily secular life, and his insider’s voice makes us feel like we’re invited to the table with everyone else.