There is an inherent dilemma in being the child of a public figure. Are you just an extension of your parent’s public persona, or does the opportunity exist for you to create your own identity? And what if that identity is counter to the belief system of the parent?
These and other issues are explored in The Rabbi’s Daughter. Director Racheli Wasserman, herself the daughter of a rabbi, explores the bond between her three characters and their relationships to their fathers, and their fathers’ work.
Each has chosen their own path, different from that in which they were raised. Here is the underlying conflict of the film, is their choice a rejection of their fathers? Or is it more complex than that, that the ability to go your own way demonstrates a strength that is the true legacy these women have been given?
It would have been easy to make a film with the religious conflict at the forefront. However the more subtle rendering of these complex issues has resulted in a film that belies its short running time. In avoiding the specific religiosity of the relationships, it expands the dilemmas to be applicable to anyone with parents who operate in the public sphere. The lessons learned here, and the love and respect between the parent and child transcends Judaism and becomes universal.