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    Natalie Portman Continues Filming New Movie in Jerusalem Amid Religious Controversy

    Natalie Portman, A Tale of Love and Darkness News Pictures/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES

    Natalie Portman isn't letting a little religious controversy halt production on her new movie.

    This week, the Oscar-winning actress-turned-director came under fire for filming scenes for her film adaptation of Israeli writer Amos Oz's memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahlaot. According to the Times of Israel, locals sent the 32-year-old a letter of complaint.

    "The film shooting is set to take place on several sensitive streets close to synagogues and yeshivas, and the scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don't offend anybody's sensitivities," the letter read.

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    Natalie Portman EPA/ABIR SULTAN /LANDOV

    Despite the reported backlash, Portman continued filming scenes for the movie today in Jerusalem. She was spotted wearing a blue dress while shooting scenes in front of the camera with a young male costar.

    On Tuesday, Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, was snapped directing crewmembers from behind the camera while working with audio and visual equipment.

    Meanwhile, an Orthodox rabbi debunked the reports that the Nahlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem is ultra-conservative, telling E! News, "Nahlaot is hippish, like a Berkley, definitely not like ultra-orthodox neighborhoods nearby."

    The rabbi added, "There is a huge divide between secular and religious communities in Israel: The secular communities want secular activities, they want to put Jerusalem on the map, but the ultra-orthodox are very sheltered. [They] are not used to seeing certain things and are aggravated when people come into their neighborhoods without asking their permission."

    —Reporting by Sara Kitnick

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