“Menashe” is a life-affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son, set entirely in the Hasidic community of Brooklyn.
The American Yiddish language film directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, where it was acquired by A24 for U.S. distribution.
A widower attempts to gain custody of his son in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
The plot is loosely based on the life of Menashe Lustig, who plays Menashe in the film. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times he said that “unlike Menashe in the film, I’m not a schlimazel by nature. Maybe just a schlimazel by situation.”
The film was shot over the course of two years in Borough Park, Brooklyn, a decision that Weinstein has said was motivated by a desire for authenticity. In an interview before the film’s Sundance premiere he said “when I thought about making a film in Borough Park, in Yiddish, with real Hasidic Jews, to me it was just as interesting as any documentary I ever made.”
Watch the first trailer here: