24 user 15 critic

The Secrets (2007)

Ha-Sodot (original title)
2:57 | Trailer
In The Secrets, two brilliant young women discover their own voices in a repressive orthodox culture where females are forbidden to sing, let alone speak out. Naomi, the studious, devoutly ... See full summary »


Avi Nesher
9 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1943 Berlin, a Nazi officer's wife meets and starts a passionate affair with a Jewish woman.

Director: Max Färberböck
Stars: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Johanna Wokalek
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nothing - not her father, not the church - can stop unruly Angela from being with her childhood best friend turned great love, Sara. Based on a true story, Viola di mare, presents a ... See full summary »

Director: Donatella Maiorca
Stars: Valeria Solarino, Isabella Ragonese, Ennio Fantastichini
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman is hospitalized and in a coma after a serious accident. Through flashbacks we learn of her feelings for another woman.

Director: Jesús Garay
Stars: Diana Gómez, Ariadna Cabrol, Laura Conejero
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A drama centered on two women who engage in a dangerous relationship during South Africa's apartheid era.

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Parvin Dabas
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at the life of 19th century Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister (1791-1840), who lived openly as a lesbian and kept diaries chronicling the details of her daily life.

Director: James Kent
Stars: Maxine Peake, Anna Madeley, Susan Lynch
Short | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Camp Belvidere is the story of camp leader Rose and how her friendship with Gin, the camp nurse, evolves into a passionate love affair.

Directors: Astrid Ovalles, Oriana Oppice
Stars: Astrid Ovalles, Molly Way, Stacee Mandeville
The Gymnast (2006)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The talented Jane Hawkins (Dreya Weber, Lovely & Amazing) was an impressive gymnast at the top of her game until a devastating injury ended her career. Now she pours the passion, strength ... See full summary »

Director: Ned Farr
Stars: Dreya Weber, Addie Yungmee, David De Simone
Affinity I (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A grieving upper class woman becomes a "Lady Visitor" at Millbank prison, hoping to escape her troubles and be a guiding figure in the lives of the female prisoners. Of all her friendships ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Fywell
Stars: Zoë Tapper, Anna Madeley, Domini Blythe
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of Nan Astley who falls in love with three different women on her journey to stardom and happiness in 1887 Victorian England.

Stars: Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, Anna Chancellor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An uptight and conservative woman, working on tenure as a literacy professor at a large urban university, finds herself strangely attracted to a free-spirited, liberal woman who works at a local carnival that comes to town.

Director: Patricia Rozema
Stars: Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, Henry Czerny
Elena Undone (2010)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Fate brings two diversely different women together, and sets them on a collision course that will shatter their preconceived notions about love, life and the power of one's soul.

Director: Nicole Conn
Stars: Necar Zadegan, Thunderbird Dinwiddie, Gary Weeks
Kiss Me (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman engaged to be married finds herself in an affair with her soon-to-be stepmother's lesbian daughter.

Director: Alexandra-Therese Keining
Stars: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes, Krister Henriksson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Fanny Ardant ... Anouk
Ania Bukstein ... Noemi
Michal Shtamler Michal Shtamler ... Michel
Adir Miller ... Yanki
Guri Alfi ... Michael
Dana Ivgy ... Sigi
Talli Oren Talli Oren ... Sheine
Tikva Dayan ... Rabbinit (as Tiki Dayan)
Alma Zack ... Racheli (as Alma Zak)
Seffy Rivlin ... Rabbi Hess (as Sefi Rivlin)
Rivka Michaeli ... Mrs. Meizlish
Yossi Alfi Yossi Alfi ... Rabbi Hillel
Ronit Eitan Ronit Eitan ... Bracha
Efrat Milo Efrat Milo ... Seminary Girl
Sivan Talmor Sivan Talmor ... Seminary Girl


In The Secrets, two brilliant young women discover their own voices in a repressive orthodox culture where females are forbidden to sing, let alone speak out. Naomi, the studious, devoutly religious daughter of a prominent rabbi, convinces her father to postpone her marriage for a year so that she might study at a Jewish seminary for women in the ancient Kabalistic seat of Safed. Naomi's quest for individuality takes a defiant turn when she befriends Michelle, a free-spirited and equally headstrong fellow student. When the pair encounters a mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past named Anouk (the iconic French actress Fanny Ardant) they begin a risky journey into forbidden realms. In the hopes of easing her suffering, Naomi and Michelle secretly lead Anouk through a series of Kabalistic cleansing rituals. The process opens up overwhelming new horizons for the girls who find themselves caught between the rigid male establishment they grew up in, and the desire to be true to... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity, sexuality and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


France | Israel


Hebrew | French | English

Release Date:

26 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secrets See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,536, 30 November 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Hands Untied: Looking for Gay Israeli Cinema (2014) See more »


Performed by the film actresses and Avital Sela
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Film Unlike Any Other
14 October 2009 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is an absolutely amazing film. I have never seen an Israeli film before and didn't even know there were any. I bought the DVD because it featured Fanny Ardant and I like watching her. I don't know why Fanny Ardant is so totally fascinating, she just is. Quel surprise! Nom de Dieu! etc. I could hardly believe my eyes when the film opened with credits in Hebrew, a language in which I fear I am deficient and cannot even spell 'Moses', much less 'Ezekiel'. What unfolded before my amazed eyes was a truly wonderful film, a rich tapestry of conflicting traditions, longings, emotions, and a battle for the freedom of women from their intolerable suppression by the Ultra-Orthodox Jews and their notion of what they call 'the Law', a 2500 year-old codification of behaviour to which they appear to be utterly mentally enslaved. This portrayal of them by an Israeli filmmaker is extremely shocking. If anything is calculated to make one despise Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, this film is it, and it was made in the very country where so many of them live and where they are even represented in the Parliament. As for the story, it centres around two girls from religious families who meet as a result of having gone to study in a yeshiva (seminary), where they pore over religious texts and discuss what Deuteronomy means and such fascinating subjects as that. So restricted are these people in their thought processes that they are not even supposed to read the Talmud, but only the Torah. They are not supposed to study Kabbalah because that is heresy, and their persisting in doing so is an important part of the story. The two girls are utterly charming, played to perfection by the intense Russian-born Ania Bukstein as the character Naomi and 'Michal' (i.e., Michelle) Shtamler as the character Michelle. Their relationship begins with difficulty, because Naomi is humourless and serious, a brilliant scholar whose father is a famous rabbi, and she is engaged to the world's greatest bore, a horrid young rabbi pupil of his who is arrogant, humourless, grim, offensive in every way, and without a single redeeming quality. Michelle is a happy go lucky type with a smile that could melt the Arctic Ice Cap and the two girls are so different they have trouble hitting it off at first. Eventually, however, their friendship deepens so much that they become lovers. I can imagine the Ultra-Orthodox rioting in Jerusalem over this! It takes a very long time indeed for Naomi to lighten up, and to free herself from the brain-washing of her father and her upbringing, and to break off the engagement with the young monster rabbi. Intimately interwoven with the two girls' story is their encounter with a strange older woman in the same town, a character named Anouk, played by Fanny Ardant. Only Michelle can speak both Hebrew and French, but the two girls become drawn into the mysterious life of Anouk, who has come back to the town to die, as she has terminal cancer. Through her brilliance as a scholar Naomi finds rituals drawn from the forbidden Kabbalah to purge Anouk of her past sins, in order to ready her for death and to be 'forgiven by God'. Along the way, Naomi is shocked to discover that Anouk is not even Jewish, but her love for her past Jewish lover, whom she killed in a quarrel (she has spent 15 years in jail as a result), makes it psychologically necessary for her to go through this process. The girls risk their reputations by trying to help Anouk, and are eventually expelled from the yeshiva for heretical acts and for daring to go to Anouk's hospital bedside on the Sabbath. The film is made with such honesty and intensity, and such raw passion, that it is a searing cultural, religious, and social document as well as a human testament of immense power and relevance. All of the performances are intense and convincing. The minor character of Yanki, who should have been a rabbi but chose instead to become a musician, is charmingly portrayed by Adir Miller, who with self-deprecating smiles endears himself to everyone. The main performances by Ardant, Bukstein, and Shtamler are so radiant and compelling that this film is an instant classic. It should really be seen by anyone who likes great cinema, but even people indifferent to such things should watch it if they have the slightest interest in the Middle East, as this says so much about the melting pot which is Israel, where crazed fanatics and easygoing liberals live uneasily side by side. (Does it remind you of Beirut?) People complain about the intolerant and insane Wahabbi Muslims, but what about the Ultra-Orthodox Jews? They both suppress women, are totally humourless, and propagate grim doctrines which recommend a kind of hell on earth. Truly the extremists of the Middle East deserve each other. But do we deserve either of them? In any case, we do deserve this wonderful film, and it deserves us, in the form of our attention and admiration.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed