Menashe movie poster

A compressed telephoto shot — think Midnight Cowboy’s Joe Buck walking the crowded streets of Manhattan — opens the film. But instead of a male hustler flattened against a noontime throng, it becomes a matter of singling out our titular frum amid a sea of bearded Hasidim. With the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death just days away, Menashe (Menashe Lustig) is worried (and not without reason) that his young son will be bounced from the cheder if a replacement mom is not found. His abandonment of the traditional frock hat and coat makes Menashe a rebel in his son’s eyes, but to the rest of the mishpacha — most notably his covetous brother-in-law — he’s nothing more than a schlimazel. To some, Orthodox Judaism is as puzzlingly impenetrable as the Muslim religion, and while a frum Jew’s treatment of women is nowhere near as reprehensible, there are certain sections of the culture that still frown upon women drivers. The curious are welcome, but this one fits snugly in the category of “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish, But…” Directed by Joshua Z Weinstein. 2017.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

danny Sept. 2, 2017 @ 9:04 p.m.

That was quite a Maher-worthy review.

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