I’m a sucker for Jewish stories that revolve around women, particularly going back to Biblical times. Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent was such story story that took the route and appeared on Lifetime a few years ago. It wasn’t the best adaptation but I give the network credit for even trying to tackle such a complicated, brave story (particularly as a former Lifetime staffer).
CBS is bringing another feminist, Biblical tale to the screen as a 4-hour mini-series callled The Dovekeepers (based on a book by Alice Hoffman). It premieres on Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).
Just in time for Passover, the story is about a group of women whose lives intersected during the siege of Masada. The film is based on true events at Masada in 70 C.E. when Jews were forced out of their homes in Jerusalem by the Romans and then ensconced in a fortress at Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. Besieged at Masada, the Jews held out for months against the vast Roman armies.
Of the 900 Jews who were captive in the fortress at Masada, holding out for months against the vast Roman armies, it is alleged that only two women and five children were said to have survived the siege. And as this story goes, it was Shirah, a powerful mystic and healer who was trained by Egyptian priestesses to be a faith healer and reader of omens who helps them escape through a system of subterranean cisterns.
For the first time in history, this story is being told from the female perspective. The women at Masada worked together as dovekeepers and shared a bond, all withholding deep secrets. We see flashbacks and hear stories about their mothers, their childhoods, what brought them to this point in history. While the film is a melodrama full of tension, violence and sex (perhaps a bit too much), it’s refreshing to see a major network bring a Jewish, feminist tale to the screen.
This story is a story of survival. It brings to mind the anti-Semitism that exists today and the fights that are ongoing in France and around the world. The main character tells us, “I’m not a woman. I’m a warrior.” It’s this kind of fierce ambition that will push us forward. And it comes from a woman.
Here’s a clip:
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I’m working with the folks at Role Mommy but all opinions are my own.