Toronto Jewish Film Festival 2021: Our Review of ‘Kiss Me Kosher’

Toronto Jewish Film Festival 2021: Our Review of ‘Kiss Me Kosher’

When Shira first met Maria, she knew that there was something special about their relationship. Maria unexpectedly proposes (or did she?). So Shira becomes nervous about telling her parents about her impeding engagement to a non-Jewish German woman. What’s more, the vast cultural and religious differences between the two women bubble to the surface. When Maria’s parents arrive, Maria and Shira must navigate their past. All the while, Shira’s younger brother attempt to document their relationship on video for a school project.

Directed Shirel Pileg, Kiss Me Kosher is a thoroughly engaging comedy that successfully walks the fine line between hilarious and heart-breaking. Featuring some wonderful chemistry between its leads, Kosher is anchored in love and humour, even as it navigates through the complexities and darkness that lie in conversations surrounding the Holocaust. In this way, Kosher is ultimately a film about reconciling with the past. Though Shira and Maria deeply love one another, the shadows of the Second World War weigh heavily on their relationship.

Despite the fact that they remain removed from the events of the Holocaust by two generations, they still find themselves attempting to navigate the pain of the past. They consistently hit roadblocks in their desire to be together. That’s true whether it’s attempting to reconcile Maria’s family history or simply just attempting to move past their own cultural biases. For these two lovers, history still affects the present.

However, though they still feel the agony of their past, Kosher also acknowledges a path for hope. Pileg doesn’t simply move forward. Instead, her tale points to the need to own and acknowledge the hurts that affect us now. In doing so, there can be a path to freedom and love that helps provide the healing necessary to step into the future.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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