6.5/10
1,207
15 user 64 critic

Menashe (2017)

PG | | Drama | 28 July 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joshua Z Weinstein, who is neither a member of a Haredi community nor a speaker of Yiddish, used a translator on set. See more »

Soundtracks

Boro Park
Written, performed and copyright by Ytizchak Fuchs
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A father's endearing love for his son and the challenges he faces
20 August 2017 | by Howard SchumannSee all my reviews

The Hasidic tradition that a child must be raised in a household where there is both a mother and a father is one of the cultural issues brought to the fore in Joshua Weinstein's bittersweet film Menashe. Co-written by Alex Lipschutz and Musa Syeed ("A Stray") and set in the Hasidic community in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn using all non-professional actors, Menashe is an engaging character study that provides rare insight into a society largely hidden from the outside world and a father's endearing love for his son and the challenges he faces strike a universal chord.

Spoken almost entirely in Yiddish, Menashe (Menashe Lustig) is a widower who wants to live his own life and raise his young son Rieven (Ruben Niborski) by himself. Unfortunately, the ultra-Orthodox community of which he is a part does not see it that way. In his opposition to Hasidic cultural norms, he risks his son's expulsion from school and jeopardizes his status in the community. Menashe wants to do right by his son, but the Talmud says that a man needs three things: a nice wife, a house and dishes (presumably no paper plates). Without a wife Menashe has to allow Rieven's gruff and super critical uncle Eizik (Yoel Weisshaus) to raise the boy. The burly, sloppy-looking Menashe fancies himself as a rebel, refusing to wear a hat and jacket required by Hasidic custom, but he is a rebel without a cause.

Weinstein, however, does not stand in judgment of his main character and tells his story in a straightforward, if not entirely sympathetic manner, but it is a hard sell. Menashe's job stocking shelves at a local market is barely enough to make a living and his ineptness draws the ire of his boss when one thousand dollars worth of gefilte fish falls out of the van he is driving. In addition, the small unkempt one-room apartment is a dubious environment to raise a child. Menashe feeds his son junk food and sodas for breakfast, but the boy, though critical of the way he treated his mother, still loves him.

The stakes are high but Menashe refuses to remarry, telling friends that his previous arranged marriage with an Israeli woman was filled with constant conflict and unhappiness and tells a beggar to avoid marriage because "it's better for your health." He goes on a date with a widowed mother with children who is not reticent about telling him what a fine husband he would make. When Menashe shows his reluctance to enter into a marriage of convenience, however, she condemns Hasidic men, saying that "First your mothers spoil you, then your wives." Menashe appeals to the rabbi (Meyer Schwartz) but he is unyielding. Eventually he takes pity and offers a compromise: Rieven can stay with Menashe for one month, but if he hasn't remarried after the anniversary of his mother's death, the boy must return to Eizik.

Desperate to prove himself to be a worthy father, Menashe asks the rabbi if he can host a memorial for his deceased wife in his small apartment. Reluctantly all agree that "even a bear can learn to dance." Menashe raises complex issues about the conflict between social acceptance, religious dogma, and human needs and desires. Unfortunately, the film's running time of eighty-two minutes seems inadequate to explore the complex issues the film raises. Weinstein, however, does not want to go there. He said, "I was interested more in the non-plot elements than the plot of the film. It was about the texture, the anecdotes, faces, moments." These poignant faces and moments are what we cannot forget.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed