Natalie Portman, who started filming the movie adaptation of Amos Oz's 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' in Jerusalem Tuesday, is facing a backlash from the ultra-Orthodox community.
Portman, who has begun production on her directorial debut, is filming in an ultra-Orthodox part of the Nahlaot neighborhood. According to Israel's Channel 10, while she coordinated the shoot with the Jerusalem Municipality, officials failed to inform the residents, who wrote a letter complaining that the filming will take place near synagogues and yeshivot.
“The scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don’t offend anybody’s sensitivities,” the letter stated.
Several ultra-Orthodox residents have already sprayed graffiti against what they call the "foreign invasion" of the neighborhood. The municipality has assured residents the actors will be dressed modestly.
Jerusalem deputy mayor Rachel Azaria told Channel 10 that there is constant tension between the determination to celebrate Jerusalem's diversity and the efforts by extreme groups to prevent it, but that the city's "appeal, unique architecture and entertainment projects will continue to blossom."
Portman and her husband Benjamin Millepied, French dancer and choreographer - who recently announced he is in the process of converting to Judaism, - are currently in Israel with their two and a half year old son Aleph for the duration of filming.