Enter the Hasidic Community of Brooklyn in Trailer for A24’s ‘Menashe’

Written by on April 20, 2017 

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The road to a respectable life is a demanding one for Menashe. He barely makes enough money as a grocery clerk to pay the rent of his small apartment. He is shunned by his family, neighbors, and boss for not conforming to the customary way of life. He’s in danger of losing complete custody of his son following the death of his wife. While aspects of this logline could be the basis for more than a few character studies each year, Menashe sets itself apart by its striking specificity, taking place in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn and performed completely in Yiddish.

Picked up by A24 following its Sundance premiere, the first trailer has now arrived for the summer release, including a quote from our review. I said, “Director and co-writer Joshua Z Weinstein understands that this entry point into the story must be more than just that and crafts an intimate, sympathetic portrait of faith and fatherhood.”

Check out the trailer and poster below.

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.

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Menashe opens on July 28.


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