Movies, Drama
4 out of 5 stars

Though shot entirely in Yiddish, the father-son bonding in Joshua Z Weinstein’s moving domestic drama is universal and relatable.

Among its many subtle virtues, this all-Yiddish indie, shot on location in the Orthodox community of Brooklyn’s Borough Park, offers a textbook definition of that unluckiest of persons: the schlimazel. If the title character (Menashe Lustig, making a sensitive debut), a middle-aged grocery clerk, leaves his van’s back door ajar, a small fortune of fish will tumble out. If he leaves the oven unattended, his kugel will go up in smoke. Bad things happen to Menashe.

The worst of his tragedies: He’s recently widowed, leaving the fate of his teenage son (Ruben Niborski) in question. The plot is a touch obvious, but Menashe still plays like a more culturally specific Kramer vs. Kramer, setting up a testy, fascinating dynamic between micromanaging rabbis and a naturally warm dad with wisdom of his own.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday July 28 2017
Duration: 82 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joshua Z Weinstein
Screenwriter: Joshua Z Weinstein, Musa Syeed, Alex Lipschultz
Cast: Menashe Lustig
Yoel Falkowitz
Ruben Niborski
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