UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem spends two dreary hours in a cramped courtroom, but this galling battle for a divorce can move audiences to outrage and grief.
“It’s easy to blame the one who yells. The one who whispers venom is innocent.” This line is uttered with such disdain by Viviane Amsalem—played by Ronit Elkabetz with exquisite emotional restraint that allows for this perfect burst of contained anger—that it hits you like a sharp, fast switch to the face.
By this point in Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the title protagonist has been appearing before the beit din, rabbinic court, for years trying to obtain a gett, the Jewish divorce papers that a wife can only receive with her husband’s permission. Viviane can barely hold eye contact with her estranged—and that’s putting it mildly—husband, Elisha, who exudes the sliminess of a snake oil salesman with a dose of irritating cowardice thanks to Simon Abkarian (better known to American audiences as Alex Dimitrios from Casino Royale).