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Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Praying with Lior asks whether someone with Down syndrome can be a “spiritual genius.” Many believe Lior is close to God -- at least that's what his family and community believe -- though he’s also a burden, a best friend, an inspiration and an embarrassment, depending on who is asked and when. As this moving and entertaining documentary moves to its climax, Lior must pass through the gateway to manhood - his Bar Mitzvah. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apart from its intriguing religious implications, the film is also a compelling look at the family, community and congregational pillars that support Lior.
  2. Though the film gets a bit repetitive, in its moving climax Lior does more than just have his bar mitzvah -- he earns it.
  3. Reviewed by: Maureen M. Hart
    75
    Trachtman says she made the film to illustrate the plight of disabled Americans who must contend with houses of worship that lack handicapped access, but her documentary itself isn’t always so sensitive.
  4. Lior is an irrepressible character as he works a room, doing exactly what a bar mitzvah boy should: challenging, instructing, and, in his own way, healing the world.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    What makes this involving beyond its subject's slightly freakish fascination is helmer Ilana Trachtman's capturing of a complex family dynamic in which Lior isn't the only intriguing personality.
  6. Trachtman's gentle profile does make for touching viewing, but she leaves too many questions unanswered.
  7. Reviewed by: Julia Wallace
    60
    Trachtman’s movie is not technically accomplished--the camerawork is run-of-the-mill, the structure is rambling--but it’s redeemed by the deliciously complex, practically Balzac-ian family at its center.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
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