Pinsky: A Comedy Full of Family Drama

Rebecca Karpovsky as Sofia Pinsky and Larisa Popova as Marina Pinsky in Pinsky.

Any LGBTQ Jew is going to relate to Pinsky if they have an estranged relationship with a grandparent as a result of coming out.

Just like anyone in the LGBTQ Jewish community, this is a film in which I can fully relate to the lead character of Sofia Pinsky.  Sofia has an estranged relationship with her grandmother as a result of coming out.  When the film starts, it had been some three years since the two of them had talked.  This only speaks to how coming out can hurt your grandparents.  This film really shows how badly coming out can be in the Russian-Jewish community.  Anyway, her grandfather suddenly collapses and Victor (Ara Woland) informs Sofia that she needs to come home for the Shiva.  This leads to a chat with Sofia’s grandmother, (Larisa Popova).  Again, the two of them do not have the best relationship.

Upon her return home, Sofia gives us the rundown.  This includes the connection between her family and that of the Selibovsky family.  The two families are closely connected at the hip with each other.  You really cannot escape them no matter how hard you try.  Sofia is currently recovering from a breakup with girlfriend Dina.  But because she’s back home, this means her grandmother will resume plans to straighten her out by marrying her off to Trevor Selibovsky (Jacob Brandt).  Where would we possibly be without Jewish grandmothers?  Oh right–this is because dysfunctional families only strive on dysfunction!  To say that this family is very dysfunctional would not be an understatement!

The date with Trevor goes as bad as it could so they set up a rouse for later on.  So what’s next for Sofia but turning to an open mic night.  She needs to put this Queer-Russian-Jewish-American sense of humor to good use!  There is truth in comedy so what better outlet than to at least give stand-up a shot.  How does this thing end up getting resolved?  They add a bit more family dysfunction during Shabbas dinner with one hell of a shocker.

I can relate with Sofia’s story but only to an extent as I am a Jewish woman who came out as transgender.  My own grandmother passed away this past December.  We didn’t have the best relationship.  But enough about me!

All in all, Pinsky is not a long film as the total running time is just shy of 80 minutes.  For what it’s worth, Pinsky is able to offer some insight into the Russian-Jewish community.  By all means, you should check it out if this is your cup of tea.

DIRECTOR:  Amanda Lundquist
SCREENWRITERS:  Rebecca Karpovsky and Amanda Lundquist
CAST:  Rebecca Karpovsky, Larisa Popova, Ara Woland, Jacob Brandt, Maria Natapov, Galina Gutkin, Sam Jay, Alan Blumenfeld, Avery Bargar, Allison Smartt, Nelcie Souffrant

Breaking Glass Pictures opened Pinsky in theaters on February 8, 2019 and VOD on February 12, 2019. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.