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: 102
- Fresh: 99
- Rotten: 3
- Average Rating: 7.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
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.
Fresh: This is Weinstein's first dramatic feature; he's been a documentarian, and that comes through in his ability to show Menashe in the context of his world.
Fresh: Weinstein brings a palpable authenticity (attributable in part to a cast made up of local non-actors) to this universally resonant story, rendering it unique and specific in a meticulously detailed setting.
Fresh: In scene after scene, "Menashe" strikes complex notes without telegraphing how the audience should feel.
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.