In Disobedience, the latest from Chilean director Sebastian Lelio, Rachel Weisz plays Ronit, a woman exiled from the East London Orthodox community she was raised in after a transgression with childhood friend Esti (Rachel McAdams). But when her father dies, Ronit returns—as do lingering feelings that threatening Esti’s marriage and both women’s futures in the community. Based on Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel of the same name, the film takes an probing look at the struggle between community and personal desire.
In the new preview clip below, Ronit and Esti reconnect and realize their attraction has never faded.
Though Disobedience is his first English-language film, it’s not the first time Lelio’s addressed queer relationships: His 2017 film, A Fantastic Woman, chronicled the grief and rejection faced by a trans woman Marina (Daniela Leva) after unexpected death of her boyfriend, and won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“I really, really loved and connected with the fact that these are human beings trying to do their best, making mistakes,” Lelio told Backstage of Ronit and Esti. “People who are in flux, who are changing, who are trying to grow. And all this is happening against ideas and values that are more or less fixed. It’s a very strong motivation and a very old ancestral tradition, so I just loved the construct between these vibrating characters opposed to this eternal system of beliefs.”
After a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Disobedience will open in select theaters on April 27.