An intimate, insightful, and sensual film that tells the story of a young independently-minded Syrian-Jewish woman from Mexico City who ekes out a living as an artist while living with her family in a cloistered Jewish neighborhood. Pressured to find an appropriate suitor, serendipity leads to a passionate courtship with a non-Jewish writer who shows her a world of possibilities beyond her sheltered life. But as their feelings deepen, she must weigh their unsanctioned relationship against rejection by her family and community, where religious values and traditions run deep.
A heartfelt, dramatic, and contemporary take on a timeless love story ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel.
Isaac Cherem | Drama | 95 minutes | Mexico | Spanish with English Subtitles | $12
Rating: Mature Audiences – contains nudity and sensual scenes.
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“Debut film by Mexican duo, ‘Leona’ is way more than a Jewish ‘Romeo and Juliet’. There’s a level of maturity and realism to this story that is thrilling. Clearly this is a movie rooting for Ariel and Iván to reject the old ways and be together. But it is not naïve enough to think this is simple. Nuance, attention to detail, and ultimately, believability make for a gripping journey into Mexico’s insular Syrian Jewish community.” – Jordan Hoffman, The Times of Israel
“Contemporary and intimate, “Leona” is a female-empowerment character study of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself through her art, her lovers and her family history.” Linda Cook, Quad City Times
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