Movie Review: Yentl
Everyone at one time or another has felt out of place. Feeling unsure of one's place in society is an experience that every young adult faces but deals with differently. Some rebel while others comply with whatever has been set out for them by society or their parents, or both. The role of the woman in society is forever changing. Where women were once obligated to stay in the home and dote on their husbands, they are now working in the same types of jobs as their husbands. What was typically the male role has been blurred and practically obliterated. Religious roles have followed society's lead in their evolution. For example, since its creation over five thousand years ago, the Jewish religion has evolved in some movements to involve women and men equally in ceremonies. The orthodox movement has always remained traditional in its belief that women have their place in the home, cooking and raising children, and serving their husbands. Education remains the man's duty. The movie Yentl starring Barbara Streisand, shows this traditional belief through its plot, characterization, music, lights, camera angles, and symbolism.
Set in Eastern Europe in 1904, Yentl captures the essence of the Jewish woman's eternal struggle. It is the story of a young girl, in love with learning but forbidden to do so by Jewish tradition. Upon her father's death, Yentl disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva (religious school) and continue her studies. She befriends Avigdor, a male scholar at the yeshiva, and falls in love with him. Driven by her love for him, Yentl will do all that she can to ensure that he is near her and that her secret is not revealed. Yentl struggles with her secret until the day she can no longer remain silent. She tells Avigdor what she has done, and of her love for him, but he cannot accept a woman who refuses to act as a traditional woman should. So Yentl departs for America in hope of a different mentality, but...
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