Photo Credit: Sharon Dobuler Katz

More than 100 Jewish women gathered at Cinema City in Jerusalem Thursday night to socialize at the VIP lounge, enjoy refreshments and then view a screening of the new smash hit ‘Wonder Woman,’ featuring Israeli-born actress, Gal Gadot.

The private event was completely sold out — a feat that took only a week to organize. The ‘superwomen screening’ was organized by Sharon Katz of Efrat, who last week saw an interview with Gadot, and watched as one Arab country after another began to ban the film due to Gadot’s Israeli roots.

Efrat’s resident ‘wonder woman’ organizer Sharon Katz (C) and Hana Levi Julian (R)
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“One person going to the movies in Israel wouldn’t make a difference in the world,” said Katz in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com, “but a room full of women applauding Gadot would make a nice gesture.” She immediately reserved a private screening room at Cinema City in Jerusalem, and posted an invitation on social media to Israel’s ‘wonder women’ – mothers and daughters – to come and see the film together.

“I hoped for 80 women,” Katz said. “But the idea caught on like wildfire.

“Before Shabbat, every seat in the theater was filled with 129 women who decided that cheering on Gal Gadot was a meaningful, Zionist thing to do.” The price of the ticket? NIS 33, the gematria (Jewish numerology) of “Gal” – the first name of the actress.

Gadot grew up in Rosh HaAyin as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and when she turned 18, served her tour of duty in the IDF as did her fellow teenagers — an experience that one clearly sees shine through on screen in her role as Wonder Woman.

In real life as well, Gadot has no qualms about expressing her pride about her homeland, her Jewish faith and about the IDF. She has even posted a photo on social media of herself and her daughter lighting Shabbat candles and praying for the safety of Israel and the fighters in the IDF.

Those who managed to make it in to the theater – and there were those who didn’t – talked about the impact of “all the layers of messages relevant to all generations,” as one participant wrote the next day on Facebook. But it’s a movie that takes time to absorb. Coming out of the theater, most of the women were on a “high” but reluctant to discuss their reactions.

Was it really a “Zionist” movie as some have claimed? “Not really,” said most of the people interviewed by JewishPress.com. Feminist? “Oh yes. It was certainly that,” everyone interviewed agreed. One could hardly avoid that message in this film. Did it have a happy ending? “Hm. Yes…” said one woman on her way out of the theater, but she qualified it by adding, “It was a mixed bag. This was not Disney by any means. It was profound.”

How unique is that for an American comic book hero? The director of Wonder Woman and Israeli actress Gal Gadot together have created a complex character who delivers a multi-faceted message on social, military and policy levels.

How very Jewish of them.

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Cautionary note: The movie contains limited nudity, sexual innuendo and pretty graphic violence.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.