6.5/10
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15 user 64 critic

Menashe (2017)

PG | | Drama | 28 July 2017 (USA)
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Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.

Director:

Joshua Z Weinstein
4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Menashe Lustig ... Menashe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoel Falkowitz Yoel Falkowitz ... Fischel
Hershy Fishman Hershy Fishman ... Zalman
Ruben Niborski Ruben Niborski ... Rieven - Menashe's son (as Ruben Niborsk)
Meyer Schwartz Meyer Schwartz ... The rabbi
Ariel Vaysman Ariel Vaysman ... Levi
Yoel Weisshaus Yoel Weisshaus ... Eizik
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Storyline

Menashe, a widower, lives and works within the Hasidic community of Borough Park, Brooklyn. Since his wife passed away a year before, he has been trying hard to regain custody of his nine-year-old son, Rieven. But the rabbi (and all the community behind him) will not hear of it unless he re-marries, which Menashe does not want, his first marriage having been very unhappy. Father and son get on well together, but can Menashe take care of Rieven properly? Not really for all his goodwill as he holds down a low-paid job as a grocery clerk that consumes too much of his efforts and energy. Always late, always in a hurry, he endeavors to improve himself though. But will his efforts be enough to convince the rabbi that he can be a good father without a wife at home? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's Nothing Orthodox About Him

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

Yiddish | English

Release Date:

28 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brooklyn Yiddish See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,078, 30 July 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,703,036, 19 October 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over the course of two years. See more »

Soundtracks

Ivdu Es Hashem Mit Simcha
Written, performed and copyright by Michoel Schnitzler
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User Reviews

 
Old world story of personal struggle, low-key and affecting
30 July 2017 | by PotassiumManSee all my reviews

This quiet drama portrays the scuffling life of a man within the Hasidic community in Brooklyn as he endeavors to regain custody of his son in the aftermath of his wife's passing. He is expected to find a new wife and achieve stability as he holds down a low-paying, labor-intensive job as a grocery clerk that drains him of his time and his spirit. He has difficulty keeping his own modest life in order, let alone being strong enough to provide for another human being.

His efforts to better himself in order to regain custody of his son are met with dismissal from those around him, including his more devout and financially stable brother-in-law whom the community has decided should look after the man's son. He gets little encouragement from those within his community, yet he persists.

There is a considerable schism within the Hasidic community that comes to light in this film, especially on account of the man's less-than-pious lifestyle and more secular demeanor. He doesn't readily embrace the hard-line teachings of his sect as forcefully as his peers, but he nevertheless wants what's best for his son and wants to fulfill the requirements of his denomination in order to remain a real father. In that regard, this is an exceptional portrayal of loyalty to one's religious faith in the face of ongoing personal conflict. It's definitely not for many viewers who wouldn't relate to religious doctrine as a deciding force in one's life, but it's still a story that's effectively conveyed and devoid of proselytizing. Recommended to open-minded viewers.


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