Director: Joshua Z. Weinstein. Starring: Menashe Lustig, Yoel Weisshaus, Ruben Niborski. USA 2017. Yiddish with English subtitles. 82 mins.
The ultra-orthodox Jewish community of Borough Park, South Brooklyn is the setting for this touching drama. Menashe (comedian Menashe Lustig in his first serious role), recently widowed, fights to retain custody of his ten-year-old son (Niborski). Hasidic strictures insist that the boy should be brought up in a household with a wife. When Menashe argues for an exemption, he is granted one week with his son. In a role that is loosely autobiographical, Lustig gives a passionate and humane performance. The community’s attempts quickly to find him a wife or farm the boy out to his wealthy estate agent brother (Weisshaus) and his family are not without wry humour. Better known as a documentarian, co-writer and director, Joshua Weinstein brings authenticity to his first feature and provides a rare glimpse into a secretive and self-contained world.