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Past Films

Menashe

  • Starring: Menashe Lustig, Meyer Schwartz, Ruben Niborsk
  • Director: Joshua Z. Weinstein
  • Language(s): English, Yiddish
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 82 min.

Deep in the heart of New York’s ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe—a kind, hapless grocery store clerk—struggles to make ends meet and responsibly parent his young son, Rieven, following his wife Leah’s death. Tradition prohibits Menashe from raising his son alone, so Rieven’s strict uncle adopts him, leaving Menashe heartbroken. Meanwhile, though Menashe seems to bungle every challenge in his path, his rabbi grants him one special week with Rieven before Leah’s memorial. It’s his chance to prove himself a suitable man of faith and fatherhood, and restore respect among his doubters. [A24]

"Funny, heartbreaking, impeccably observed, and nearly flawless drama."
- Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"The result is an act of partial, tenderly observed guerrilla filmmaking. It works; it takes you somewhere, quietly but evocatively, and it’s affecting without pulling at your heartstrings with both hands. "
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Menashe is a warm, relatable and tender tale about parental love, religion and belonging, told humanely and with vivid authenticity. "
- Claudia Puig, TheWrap
"Menashe Lustig brings warmth and a lumpen charisma to Menashe’s lead role, giving life to a film based in part on his own experiences."
- Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"Joshua Z. Weinstein's charming Menashe immerses us in an authentic environment of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and makes it relatable by weaving a sweet story familiar in its general contours, of a single father struggling to hold on to the son he loves. "
- David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"With a deep understanding of the connective power of cinema, Weinstein manages to present this little Hasidic community upon relatable grounds by giving us Menashe, a resonant human being full of relatable pains in the face of a lifestyle kept secret. "
- tKyle Kohner, The Playlist
"Striking throughout are the seemingly caught-on-the-wing moments that subtly enrichen the film’s characterizations. "
- Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine
"Menashe works as both a rare introduction to a way of life largely unseen (or exaggerated by those outside of it) as well as a touching depiction of fighting for what’s most important in life. "
- Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
"The subtle on-screen chemistry between father and son gives this sweet and poignant drama a solid emotional base."
- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star

Showtimes