Opening 6 Sep 2018
Menashe (Menashe Lustig), a recently widowed Orthodox Jew has a young son, Rieven (Ruben Niborski) to raise alone. Hasidic law states that a single father cannot raise the children, who must be adopted by the closest relative where a mother is present. The Rabbi in the community grants Menashe and Rieven permission to be together the week prior to Menashe's wife's memorial before the adoption. Menashe has one week to prove to his community that he is capable and that he is the right person to raise Rieven. He will provide the love his son needs in spite of the fact that Menashe is often shunned by his own community for being his free-spirited self.
Joshua Z. Weinstein directs Menashe, on location, in the heart of the Hasidic community of Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. Practically the only movie to be shot in Yiddish in seventy-years, Menashe is a comedic, authentic and tender-hearted narrative where radical faith collides with the mishaps of real-life. Weinstein’s man-of-the-hour is none other than the real Borough Park’s You-Tube-famed Hasidic comedian, Menashe Lustig. Based on events in Lustig’s life, Weinstein trusts the non-actor to deliver a stellar performance playing himself. Prior to the Sundance Film Festival 2017 screenings, Lustig had never been to a movie theater so his first appearance was to attend the screening of his own film. (Karen Pecota)