Film Review: ‘Menashe’ Appearing at The Washington Jewish Film Festival

Fuelled by fantastic performances and effective cinematography, Joshua Z. Weinstein’s Menashe brings to light the world of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community through the story of a widowed man’s struggle to keep custody of his son.

Menashe (played by Menashe Lustig) is an Orthodox Jew struggling to keep his life together after his wife passes away. He works as a grocery clerk and toils under an unscrupulous boss who has no sympathy for Menashe’s troubles. He also is also looked down upon by his community because he insists on raising his son, Rieven, without a mother, which goes against their traditions. But therein lies the problem. Because of his status as a widow, Menashe risks losing his son.

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