Firstly: why the big gap in posts? It was on principle, about Word Press privacy and security. I am dismayed that you’re all having to agree to nonoptoutable cookies to read this, and I wish to register that 1) I disapprove 2) it’s contrary to GDPR and 3) I as author in no way place anything on you or track you or know anything unless you wish to share it.
So if there’s another gap or this blog disappears, you’ll know why.
I rather like that I’m starting again with Disobedience. It makes a naughty title!
It’s a film I’ve been awaiting all year, and was thrilled to be able to twice see it before its British release, this weekend. I read Naomi Alderman’s novel again in between.
On paper, it is natural for it to appeal to me: a story of love between women set in a religious community and featuring a favourite actress (Rachel Weisz, opposite Rachel McAdams).
So far, that’s a synopsis of my own first novel. But perhaps that can be a recipe for disappointment as much as delight. Fortunately, I felt much of the latter.
I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of anyone who has not yet seen or read this story, so instead I will share brief insights and comparisons.
In the opening moments, I wondered if I had savoured a film so much.
The last time I recalled doing so was a film which I could make several comparisons to:
Doubt by John Patrick Shanley – another one which is special to me.
Its title too is a single word beginning with D; a noun, or rather a state of being, something that is seen as sinful by organised religion, although both stories question that;
both are set in the narrow enclave geographically and religiously that their authors grew up in; a mostly three hander (two women and a man) where homosexuality is central and transgressive; and starts with a sermon and ends in a religious garden.
Much of my other musings about Disobedience have been about the changes between book and film. As an author of both, this is of concern. It’s not just about this book, or books in general: what might they do to mine?
I won’t list those changes, but I will say that some were improvements, and some felt arbitrary. I sometimes wonder why filmmakers option work which they intend to change so much. I noted that the filmmakers were non Jews, and that the area and even country were unfamiliar to some of them; and that this female penned and led story was directed by a man. I missed the opportunity for Dovid’s colourful headaches to be shown visually.
The other area of thought was about the way women are treated – and to some extent, men too; and how traditional Jewish ideas about women and our bodies have pervaded Western culture and other faiths.
Lastly, I would like to add two insights.
The silver snuck in the sack – is this a reference to the Joseph story? Or David and Jonathan?
The final shot in the cemetery, a dense city of monoliths: is that meant to look like Manhattan?
And as for the film itself: the fact that I have already been twice and been checking for the film tie in novel for some weeks should be encouragement enough.
My next post will be another adaptation involving Alessandro Nivola – this time, he plays the naughty one.