Ronit Elkabetz : the moral conscience of Israeli society
Ronit Elkabetz was born in 1964 in a Moroccan Jewish family at Beersheba, a city right in the middle of the Negev desert, and she started her career as a model. Her first film appearance was in “The Appointed” by Daniel Wachsmann (1990). As of her second film, “Eddie King” by Gidi Dar (1991), a Godard-like, modernist thriller, she stood out with her audacity and her taste for taking risks. But it was thanks to “Sh’Chur” by Shmuel Hasfari (1994) that she won the respect of critics and stepped into the limelight. She plays a young woman of Moroccan descent, locked away in a mental hospital because she is mentally unstable, who discovers she has supernatural powers. “Sh’Chur” was one of the first Israeli films to dare break taboos concerning the representation of Sephardic culture on screen, going beyond the caricatural, stereotyped vision of this community, especially the one in the ethnic Bourekas comedies (Bourekas being the name of an oriental pastry), greatly popular Israeli-made films in the 1960s and 1970s. She then composed a gallery of militant women, often from the deprived areas of Israel, who fight for their place in a masculine society which is often chauvinist and discriminatory.