Film: Ushpizin

Ushpizin (Hebrew אושפיזין) (lit. "Sukkot guests", from Aramaic uspizin אושפיזין 'guests') is a 2005 Israeli film directed by Gidi Dar and written by Shuli Rand. It starred Rand, and his wife, Michal, who had never acted before. The movie did well among secular audiences, and proved surprisingly popular among the ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic communities, who do not patronize movie theaters.

The plot centers on Moshe and Mali Bellanga, an impoverished, childless, Hasidic baal teshuva ("returnees to Judaism," basically Ultra-Orthodox Jews who were not raised Ultra-Orthodox) couple in the Breslov community in Jerusalem. After Moshe is passed over for a stipend he expected, they cannot pay their bills, much less prepare for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Moshe admires a particularly beautiful etrog, or citron, one of the four species required for the holiday observance, but cannot even afford a "bargin bin" fruit. They console themselves by recalling a saying of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov that difficult times are a test of faith. After some anguished prayer, they receive an unexpected monetary gift on the eve of the holiday and Moshe buys the etrog for 1000 shekels (approx. $300), a large sum of money that is much more than he can normally afford. Just as the holiday begins, the couple is visited by a pair of escaped convicts, one of whom knew Moshe in his earlier, non-religious life. Following an ancient tradition, Mali and Moshe invite these guests (ushpizin) into the sukkah, creating many conflicts and straining Moshe and Mali's relationship. The situation is further complicated by one of Moshe's friends, whose efforts to help the couple celebrate the holiday can be more trouble than they are worth.

The movie contains examples of: