Natalie Portman Is Filming “A Tale of Love and Darkness” in Jerusalem, And Orthodox Locals Aren’t Happy

… because they wanted to vet the scenes first. Read More

By / February 11, 2014

The news that Natalie Portman is directing a film adaptation of Amos OzA Tale of Love and Darkness has been received joyously in many quarters, but not everyone’s happy.

Ultra-Orthodox residents of Nachlaot sent a letter of protest to the Jerusalem municipality after learning that filming would take place in their neighborhood—without enough notice for them to vet the scenes: “The film shooting is set to take place on several sensitive streets close to synagogues and yeshivas, and the scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don’t offend anybody’s sensitivities.”

The Times of Israel reports that graffiti has been sighted in the neighborhood, “denouncing the ‘foreign invasion’… The municipality has said that all the actors involved in the filming will dress modestly while in the neighborhood.”

It’s hard to imagine what Portman (or the city of Jerusalem) would do if anyone actually raised any objections to the scenes. It’s also hard to imagine any other city in the world where residents ostensibly have the right to vet scenes that are going to be filmed in their neighborhood. But! The show goes on. And we can all look forward to seeing Portman on our screens in a year or so as Oz’s mother—speaking Hebrew like a boss.