In Satmar Custody reveals the story of the Jaradi’s, a Jewish Yemenite family, one of many that were brought  from Yemen to the US (Monroe, NY) by the Ultra orthodox Satmar Community which operates a propaganda machine against the immigration to Israel.
The story exposes a deep cultural gap between the Yemenite families and the Yiddish Satmar Community that became distractive and tragic to families who have traveled thousands of miles to an entirely different planet of their own, with strange rules, norms, morals and lifestyles.
Still in Yemen, Yemenite Jewish families are brainwashed by skillful missionaries, unable to defend themselves in the eye of this intricate and deceptive operation. The film follows the life of Yahia and Lauza Jaradi who were brought from Yemen into the Satmar Community. It starts on the day that the Jaradi couple received an urgent phone call notifying that their two and a half year old daughter, Hadia, died in a hospital in Paterson, N.J. Through their search for their daughter’s body, they are getting closer and closer to what seems as the very painful truth about her faith.

2003 – Israel – 70 min.
Hebrew, Yemenite, English, Yiddish

English & Hebrew

Production company:
Yona Productions

Sponsored by: The New Foundation for Cinema & Television, Israel’s Documentary Channel/Noga Communications, The Israel Film Council, Soros Documentary Fund & SBS, Australia.

Director, Producer , Scriptwriter: Nitzan Gilady
Production Assistant:
Roni Aboulafia
Production Advisor: Ruth Lev-Ari
Camera: Yaron Orbach
Ron Goldman
On line Editor:
Yoav Raz
Original Music: Ophir Leibovitch
Soundtrack Designer: Aviv Aldema
Sound: Paul Kim

Video / Trailer

Press Releases, Reviews etc.

“A most stirring and disturbing film…..built like a thriller, in an
atmosphere of mystery.” Joan Dupont, The International Herald Tribune“The scene, straight from some shtetl described by Isaac Bashevis
Singer, conceals a contemporary tragedy of ancient Greek proportions in director Nitzan Gilady’s chilling and thoroughly engrossing documentary In Satmar Custody.” Village Voice By Leslie Camhi

“…Nitzan Gilady delivers a stranger-than-fiction story of group coercion with a poetic, elliptical style.” The Boston Phoenix by Matthias Frey

“In Satmar Custody has all the requisite elements- tension, pace,
pain, despair, hope, voyeurism and above all, a wonderful sense
of time and place…it is a sensitive, sad and sobering film,
providing a glimpse into the world of Satmar Chassidic Society…
Not to be missed!” Ynet, Israel

“Watching the film In Satmar Custody is both enraging and difficult,
due to it having been made so well. A feeling of helplessness is
mixed with hoping for a happy ending. The rage bubbles up
simultaneously with waves of sympathy and mercy…” Zman Tel Aviv, Israel

“This is an outstanding and enraging documentary film, directed
sensitively and expertly…” Alon Shaul, Leisure Plus, Israel

“In Satmar Custody is a poetry filled with endless sorrow. An
exquisite mixture of brave research, patient, talent and art. Not
to be missed” Yediot Acharonot, Israel

Festival List (partial)

Marseille Documentary Film Festival 2003 / Jerusalem Film Festival 2003 / IDFA 2003 /Golden Gate Competition – San Francisco International Film Festival / Newport Beach International Film Festival / Palm Beach International Film Festival / Input, Barcelona / Munich Documentary Film Festival / Beverly Hills Film Festival / Toronto Jewish Film Festival / Cork, Ireland / Cape Town World Cinema / Pioneer Theater, New York – A theatrical run


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