Thursday, January 24, 2008

Orthodox Stance -- Go See It!

ORTHODOX STANCE will begin its exclusive NYC theatrical engagement at Cinema Village on January 25th and tickets are now on sale!

The film will screen daily at 1:30 PM, 3:20 PM, 5:10 PM, 7 PM, 9 PM, and tickets can be purchased at and at the box office:

Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street (University Place & 5th Avenue)
212-924-3363. N, R, 4, 5, 6 or L train to 14th Street/Union Square

This film has been getting a lot of attention largely because the subject, Dimitry Salita, struggles in a respectful way with living in both the secular world of boxing and the religious world of Judaism. He is a solid young man with a lot of talent and he tries his best to live a life according to the mitzvot. As I am sure you have heard, he won't fight on Shabbas (listen up kids!)

I am always taken by these kinds of stories, stories where people try and bring holiness into a place where holiness is not often found, because it takes a lot of a person to be a pioneer in this way, or to stick to their convictions when not sticking to their convictions would be easier. I will have more to say about the film after I have seen it. I have seen earlier versions of it and have met Dimitry (and seen him fight).

What I would like to emphasize here is the dedication and the tenacity that the film maker, Jason Hutt, has brought to this, his work for the last couple of years. Jason likes to avoid attention and so I will not say too much about him here-- about his own ability to navigate the different worlds of Judaism and secularism, his own gentlemanly and pugilistic spirit, his own powers of observation and how they help to create a better world, but I will say that Jason deserves a lot of appreciation for sticking with this project and making sure that it was something that would be compelling, honest and engaging. He has believed in Dimitry, the film, the struggles of living in this dual world, the capacity of film to enter people into new worlds and important struggles, for a long time. If the fly on the wall had as much talent and passion as Jason for its art, we would surely put down the swatter and invite it to lunch (or fund its next projects).

Many of you have seen Jason Hutt at the shul over the past couple of years. He has been one of the supporters coming from Park Slope, dancing Tango at the Purim Bang, davenning Tisha b'Av on the floor with candles, and davenning with us on occasion on a Shabbas. He speaks kindly of our shul and we should make sure to return the support by spreading the word about his film and going to see it.

If you can, please try and see it this weekend so that interest will continue to be generated and it will get a longer run at Cinema Village. This way more people will get to see it.

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