Menashe | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


The issues of loneliness and family strife are all too universal


Joshua Weinstein directs this gentle dramedy set in Borough Park, Brooklyn, within an insular Hasidic community. Menashe (Menashe Lustig), whose wife died a year ago, plods through his life, somewhat unsatisfied. He has a tiresome job as a supermarket cashier, suffers the contempt of his in-laws, and is resisting various matchmaking efforts. Worst of all, he no longer has custody of his sweet teenage son, Rieven (Ruben Niborski), who, under religious law, cannot live in a single-parent household; Rieven is under the care of Menashe’s brother-in-law. Menashe is torn — though an observant Jew, he balks at some of the strictures; why can’t his boy live with him, or get ice cream? It also doesn’t help that Menashe is a bit of a mess, prone to clumsiness and not as neatly dressed as he should be. But he misses his boy: Should he compromise, and accept the dictates of the community over his cautious toe-dips into individuality? There is not much more plot than that, but the nonactors Weinstein employs are warm and engaging. They inhabit a world that is in many ways quite different from modern secular life in New York City, but the issues of loneliness and family strife are all too universal. 

Women & Non-binary Bike Summit
9 images

Women & Non-binary Bike Summit

By Mars Johnson