Menashe brings Yiddish back to the big screen for the first time in some 60-70 years.
Directed by Joshua Z Weinstein, this is his first narrative feature. The screenplay was written by Weinstein, Alex Lipschultz, and Musa Syeed.
Starring Menashe Lustig, the film is loosely inspired by his life. Given that the film is in Yiddish with English subtitles, it will be interesting to see what will happen come awards season and whether it will be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Menashe works at the grocery store. He’s been struggling since the death of his wife, Leah, and his brother-in-law adopts their son, Rieven. Because of the way things work in his ultra-Orthodox Chasidic community, children need to be in a two-parent home or they get kicked out of school. It’s not right but that’s just the way it is. Heartbroken, all Menashe can do is go on dates even if he’s not up to it. The rabbi gives him special permission to be with his son during the week preceding Leah’s memorial. If Menashe is unable to prove himself to those around him, it won’t sit well for finding respect in the community.
The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year. A24 will open Menashe in NY/LA on July 28th. Menashe will open in Chicago on August 4.