Podcast: Shlomi Elkabetz on “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem”

Shlomi Elkabetz copyright The Kamla Show 2015

Filmmaker Shlomi Elkabetz’sGett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” was Israel’s entry for the 2015 Oscars. This is an intense, heart-wrenching and sometimes difficult to watch film that Elkabetz wrote and directed along with his sister Ronit Elkabetz, who plays the central character Vivian Amsalem.

The film revolves around Amsalem’s drawn out court battle to get a divorce from her husband. Set in a small court room the film uses a point-of-view style to tell the story of Amsalem that is at times difficult to watch. You wonder why does this woman need the paper as Elkmbetz points out in our interview. Why does she need the paper so much that she waits for years and keeps going back to the court repeatedly in spite of her husband’s obvious reluctance to sign the divorce papers?

The film is riveting and makes for an absorbing watch and mid-way trough the film I wondered where did the idea for the film come from? “The inspiration for the character of Vivian was our mother,”  points out Elkabetz. Their mother went through a similar struggle and that experience seems to have left a deep impact on her children.

“Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” is part of a trilogy that the Elkabetz siblings wrote and directed. The first one is “To Take a Wife,” and the second is “Shiva.” The films take you through Amsalem’s life starting from her marriage through bringing up children and eventually her burning desire to get a divorce from her husband.

We sat down to talk with Elkabetz to talk about the making of the film, working with his sister and their mother’s reaction to the film.   This interview was recorded during the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2014.

LISTEN: Shlomi Elkabetz on “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem”


Gett: The Trail of Vivian Amasalem,” releases on March 27, 2015 in San Francisco bay area.

Written and Directed by Shlomi and Ronit Elkmbetz

Starring: Ronit Elkabetz, Menashe Noy, Sasson Gabai and Simon Akbarian