Jameson Cinefest 2016. Review of “Jewish Blind Date” by Anaëlle Morf

Swiss newcomer Anaëlle Morf’s graduation short is an entertaining and touching work that leaves its viewers happy and hopeful. The short was submitted to the Cannes short film corner this year and has played at numerous film festivals, including the Jameson Cinefest in Miskolc, Hungary, where it screened in Competition.

It follows Mary Lou, a young woman who has had several rather disappointing love affairs with goys (non Jews) which makes her decide to revert to her religious roots and marry a practicing Jew. To do so, she has to attend a Shidduh, a match-making event meant to lead to marriage. She is determined to make a good impression, as this Shidduh is, according to her, her last chance to make a success out of her life.

Morf delves into questions of religious identity here, from a highly personal place, without however putting too much emphasis on this aspect but rather by embracing this personal aspect as something that has inspired this story. It is for that precise reason that “Jewish Blind Date” succeeds. It is raw and natural all the while keeping the emotions and humor balanced. She never goes overboard and maintains a tight grip on her material in terms of directing. Although it has comical elements, it also delivers an important message of peace, love and understanding. It is a film about self-confidence, tolerance and compromise; a universal story that can touch anyone from any part of the world regardless of their religion. It also shows how people turn to religion in desperate times and even though not everyone will agree, many will identify with it because of its universal characteristic, light tone and enchanting characters. Never criticizing the Jewish religion, Morf’s short is also edifying, informative and offers a peek into the Jewish lifestyle, customs and culture from a different perspective, and with therefore, a refreshing approach.

Charming, irreverent, compelling and original, “Jewish Blind Date” gains in entertainment, sincerity and delight as it unfolds. A very good graduation short, it clearly hints at a bright future in film for Morf.



Production: ECAL/Dreampixies (Switzerland 2015)
Executive producer: Emmanuel Gétaz
Director: Anaëlle Morf
Screenplay: Anaëlle Morf
Cinematography: Tangi Zahn
Production Design: Michel Imhof
Costume design: Aidan Büchi
Editing: Souliman Schelfout
Cast: Estelle Darnault, Axel Fernández, Raphael Vachoux, Joëlle Séchaud, Fabien Ferrari, Sarah Cohen
Color – 15:54 min.

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