Unorthodox a film ,mainly in Yiddish

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boomer47's picture
Unorthodox a film ,mainly in Yiddish

Not often I become so immersed in or touched by a film. A mini series in four parts ,from Netflix.

I'm starting this thread because I think the topic and how it is portrayed may be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered about the world of the ultra orthodox Jew . Initially, it may trigger ridicule, even mirth. Stick with it and you may be rewarded with something I find too rarely; perhaps a little understanding of and even compassion for a courageous young woman and a very different group of people. Or not.

The group of people are a community of ultra orthodox Jews in New York. It was foundedT by a group of Holocaust survivors just after WW2. They live and work in one area/suburb of New York

The protagonist is a young woman trapped and stifled in an arranged marriage. She leaves without telling anyone and goes to Berlin, where her estranged mother is living.

Based on a true story, with the author consulting. The film tells of this remarkable young woman's new life journey and of the effect her leaving has on herself, her husband, family and welded-together community .The film was shot in New York and in Berlin .The lead, Shira Haas is a terrific Israeli actor and the supporting cast is outstanding .

Worth watching if only to have glimpse of a world few outsiders ever get. Or even as a cautionary tale about what rigid and dogmatic religious beliefs can do to people. *** And what such a community can do to the individual, both positively and negatively.

I'm be most interested in any comments from anyone else who has seen this miniseries.


***this community lives by the Law of Moses, the 613 commandments known collectively as the Mitzvot. These commandments control every aspect of daily life, from birth to death and everything in between . The rules marital sex are mind boggling. Esty's wedding is shown in some detail and is also mind boggling to watch.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
It is an excellent series.

It is an excellent series. SWMBO and I are enthralled.

Envis's picture
I've watched it and quite

I've watched it and quite liked it. That there weren't a ton of episodes makes it a show worth watching even if only for an educational purpose. It is interesting that it is about such a religious society yet there is little discussion of God or faith but rather instead about convention and tradition. That the woman left didn't really have a lot to do with her belief, but about her oppressive environment.

Watching this show really highlighted the isolation groups like this experience. She lived in New York which is such huge city yet her whole life was limited to a single neighbourhood. Her lack of freedom, options and the experience of breaking loose was very vivid. I particularly liked how they didn't just focus on what she was running FROM but also on what she was running TOWARDS. It isn't just a bad life that motivates her, but also an innate wish for something more.

If you like this series, or am like me interested in learning more about different religions, communities and countries I would also recommend the show Shtisel. It is set in Israel and follows a couple of Orthodox Jews in their everyday life. It is a bit longer, but worth at least watching for a couple of episodes.

boomer47's picture


I watched an episode of Shtisel. Didn't find it especially compelling, so won't bother watching more.

I'd really like to see some shows dealing with the Israel/Palestinian enmity. From both sides. That mutual hatred is millennia old.The current conflict tis simply the most recent expression of that blood feud.

My position: Israel's position cannot be morally justified. A state does what it needs to survive. No state has a right to exist. The rule of thumb is that a state will exist for as long as it can prevent its neighbours from taking it. Israel is surrounded by enemies that want to destroy it.

I think I understand ,but I do not support their position.

Addendum :.Seems " Shtisel" was made before "Unorthodox",I spotted a younger Shira Haas

Envis's picture
I'd agree that is isn't

I'd agree that is isn't particularly compelling or overwhelming, I mostly had it on in the background while doing other stuff. It is not the kind of show you'd watch and get an strong impression of. But for people interested in the everyday life of other communities it is still interesting. Though I would recommend the show as a good show to watch for fun. (And yep, "Shtisel" preceded "Unorthodox", Haas has a longer plot line later in "Shtisel".)

I agree, I'd also like to see some content about the conflict. There doesn't really seem to be any standout depictions of it. I tried looking around but while there are some dealing with smaller issues, I couldn't find any dealing with the big questions. However, I'm not really watching a lot of media content about the Middle East so perhaps someone more informed might have a recommendation.

I honestly have no strong opinion about Israel, in the sense that I know very very little about it. Basically: the UN unilaterally created the nation after WWII and subsequently the Israel/Palestinian started. I'd tentatively agree with you that I'm not on the Israeli side though.

And I'd agree with you that no state has a "right" to exist. Reforming states, redrawing nation lines and changes in the world order seems mostly administrative in essence. Though I guess there could be some moral aspect to it as well. A state which has a population which supports and accepts its rule seems more moral than one where the population opposes and denies its rule.

izabelns's picture
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megansutton's picture
Really nostalgic with

Really nostalgic with information sources about the series. Easily access and search diverse information sources. Continue updating and bringing attractive topics

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