Joshua Z. Weinstein
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About the Movie
Set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son Rieven after his wife, Lea, passes away. Since they live in a tradition-bound culture that requires a mother present in every home, Rieven is supposed to be adopted by the boy’s strict, married uncle, but Menashe’s Rabbi decides to grant him one week to spend with Rieven prior to Lea’s memorial. Their time together creates an emotional moment of father/son bonding as well as offers Menashe a final chance to prove to his skeptical community that he can be a capable parent. Shot in secret entirely within the Hasidic community depicted in the film, and one of the only movies to be performed in Yiddish in nearly 70 years, Menashe is a warm, life affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son that also sheds unusual light on a notoriously private community. Based largely on the real life of its Hasidic star Menashe Lustig, the film is a strikingly authentic and deeply moving portrait of family, love, connection, and community.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 94
- Fresh: 91
- Rotten: 3
- Average Rating: 7.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: My heart broke a little near the end of "Menashe," a sweet comedy that's not without a bit of sadness. For sure, this funny and tender film prompts cheerful smiles, but sometimes they turn melancholy.
Fresh: It's a gentle, melancholy father-and-son story that's as notable for an evocation of its self-contained world as it is for its drama.
Fresh: Menashe is full of lovely grace notes in which nothing much happens, but which deepen our understanding of this self-segregated corner of the world.
Fresh: Some of the narrative developments and conversational tangents feel contrived, but "Menashe" has a rhythm (brisk but unforced) that speaks well of Weinstein's future in narrative storytelling.
Hasidic life struggles
This film tells a story of what Hasidic life in NY is like, and what struggles are faced when a family is broken. It has great character development and shares insight that many of us have never fully seen. They are many aspects of their life that anyone can relate to; work-life balance, wanting what is best for your children, complicated families, and everyone meddling in "getting you married".
Sorry doesn’t make the cut very slow movie and quite boring and most disappointing is the way it ends don’t waste your time
The Origin of Americas Custody Laws
Believe it, or not, this aspect of Halacha (Jewish religious law) is the origin of Americas modern child custidy laws. Prior to the wave of Jewish immigration (1880-1924) cusotdy usually went to the father. Not anymore.