Coming off a Foreign Language Oscar win for A Fantastic Woman, writer/director Sebastián Lelio is already back on the festival circuit in support of his latest project, Disobedience.
Starring Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola and premiering in TIFF before moving on to other festivals, including Tribeca, the adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel takes as its focus the Orthodox Jewish community of North London. Following Ronit, a woman (Weisz) who returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend, the film watches as the pair meet again, passions are revived, and Ronit and her lover explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
“I had done a film called Gloria, and somehow I started for the first time to receive some offers to direct in English. I didn’t like any one, until Frida Torresblanco, one of the producers of the film, came to me and told me the basic idea of the novel,” Lelio recalled, appearing at Deadline’s Tribeca Studio today with Nivola and Weisz. “I really loved the dynamics between the characters, and the environment where this triangular love story was taking place, and the fact that Rachel was attached. The idea of working with her was a big part of the equation.”
Growing up “three stops on the tube” from the area where the film takes place, Weisz was captivated by the exploration of a space so close to her geographically, yet so removed from her own understanding. “[London’s] Orthodox Jewish Community] was a completely hidden, secret community for me. It’s very private, and I was just fascinated by the themes,” Weisz said of the film and its focus.
To hear more from the team behind the Bleecker Street feature—as they discuss their universal story with “big universal questions”—click above.
The Deadline Studio at Tribeca is presented by Nespresso.