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Between the temples

Between the temples by Nathan Silver


Between the Temples, Nathan Silver



The Press Jury, composed of journalists Esther Brejon, Arthur Cios, Olivia Cooper-Hadjian, and Laura Pertuy, awarded the following prizes:

The Critics’ Prize for Best American Independent Feature to Between the Temples by Nathan Silver.



The Feature Film Jury, chaired by director and screenwriter Rebecca Zlotowski, along with actress, singer, and director Alma Jodorowsky, filmmaker and screenwriter Jimmy Laporal-Trésor, producer Marie-Ange Luciani, and director Nicolas Peduzzi, awarded the following prizes:


The Jury Prize for Best American Direction to Nathan Silver for his film Between the Temples. A grant of €2,500 from the festival was awarded to the director.





A cantor in the midst of a crisis of faith (Jason Schwartzman) has his world turned upside down when his elementary school music teacher re-enters his life as a Bat Mitzvah student.

With Jason Schwartzman, Carol Kane, Dolly de Leon, Caroline Aaron, Robert Smigel



It’s an understatement to say that this film did me a world of good during this period of rampant verbal and physical antisemitism.

Nathan Silver returned to the Champs Élysées Film Festival to present his new film, “Between the Temples,” featuring a prestigious cast. It’s a bittersweet comedy about transitions and human relationships.

Ben Gottlieb, in his forties, is the widower of a famous and alcoholic writer, and lives with his two mothers, Judith and Meira (Caroline Aaron and Dolly de Leon, the fantastic actress from the series “Mrs. Maisel”). He is infantilized, and his two mothers want either to remarry him or to have him leave the house. The door to his room doesn’t lock and hasn’t been repaired, depriving him of any privacy.

A s synagogue cantor, has lost his voice, and the rabbi is forced to sing in his place. He teaches Talmud Torah students at the synagogue, which is led by a mocking rabbi who plays mini golf with a shofar and is willing to make any sacrifice for a donation.

Ben’s life is in shambles until one evening he encounters his former elementary school music teacher, Mrs. O’Connor (Carol Kane), also a widow and depressed. Carla, her first name, wasn’t raised in the Jewish faith and wishes for Ben to help her with her Bat Mitzvah. Initially reluctant, he agrees.

Their lives then take a new turn. You can guess what happens next…


In this modern “Harold and Maude” with the Jewish humor we love so much (Ben confesses to a priest, “My paradise is in the State of New York”), Nathan Silver  is making fun of judaism precepts to our great delight (the interested rabbi’s license plate reads Tikoun Olam, which means “repair” in Judaism).


Because he loves his characters so much, Nathan Silver said he wanted to film them in close-up. This way of filming highlights the humanity of his heroes but also enhances the comedic effect. Nathan Silver confessed to having a poster of Arthur Brooks in his room.



The role was written for Jason Schwartzman,  one of favorite Wes Anderson’s favorite actor, contacted via the French actor Arthur Bonnard. Jason Schwartzman is a musician, a plus for the role. He is also the nephew of F.F. Coppola. Through this film, the actor returns to his roots, having lost his father when he was thirteen years old.

The film is filled with joyful and moving music, including some pieces by the legendary Arik Einstein.


“Between the Temples” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2024.


Interview with Nathan Silver by Perrine Quennesson at the Élysée Lincoln


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