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Menashe (Yiddish with English subtitles)

Menashe lives in a deeply orthodox Jewish community in New York City and has recently become widowed. He has a son Rieven who, because of strict rules that require children to be raised in two-parent households, lives with his Uncle. The rabbi allows Menashe to have one week with his son, and Menashe tries very hard to show his brother-in-law and the rabbi that he can be a good father and fit better into the orthodox community. I really loved this story. I did some reading after the fact and discovered that the director could get into a deeply orthodox community and used a lot of the people in that community as actors; thus, most of the roles are played by people in the community. The result is a film that feels very authentic; it is so amazing that he could to tell this story from within the community. The story is also based loosely on the life of the man who plays Menashe (Menashe Lustig). Big thumbs up from me for a film that, despite the setting, has universally recognizable themes of fatherhood and social conformity. I loved this movie.

 

About Gary Burkholder

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