7:30pm Encirclements (“Hakafot”)
Israel, 2015 (98 min Hebrew with English Subtitles
Thirteen-year old Aharon Ninio, the only child of parents who are unable to conceive again, is determined to win the honor of carrying the main Torah scroll on Simhat Torah. The belief that he who carries the Torah may ask God for anything on behalf of others can elevate Aharon’s status in the neighborhood and win his distant father’s approval and love. But after Aharon wins the honor, his achievement brings ancient tensions to the surface. Encirclements (“Hakafot”) uses cultural and religious rituals, with humor and drama, to depict the kind of private ceremonial traditions that exist in every family – which “encircle” us but can be ultimately liberating.