Unorthodox: Unorthodox (Netflix mini-series)
March 29, 2020 5:12 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Loosely based on Deborah Feldman's 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, Netflix's Unorthodox tells the story of a young woman's leaving the ultra-Orthodox community of Satmar Hasidim in New York.

Unorthodox is the first Netflix series to be filmed primarily in Yiddish. A "making of" documentary released alongside the miniseries, and is a fascinating look at their attention to detail.

Reviews: NPR | Vulture | IndyWire | NYT | The JC (Jewish Chronicle)
posted by Westringia F. (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm about halfway through and I am really liking it. At least so far, the acting in particular really stands out.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:56 AM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah! Shira Haas is especially expressive & nuanced.
posted by Westringia F. at 2:38 PM on March 29, 2020

I watched the first episode last night and was enthralled... now the issue will be how not to binge it. I didn't know till the end credits rolled that it was based on a nonfiction account.

And I'd forgotten that Hasids speak Yiddish in daily life, not Hebrew! I'm watching it in Chile, which means Spanish subtitles... so it's fun to try to seize on the few Yiddish words that fly by as I process the text.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 11:57 AM on April 1, 2020

I totally binge watched this, which was a bad idea because I started watching it at midnight. I really loved the job done by Shira Haas and Amit Rahav as her husband.
posted by Julnyes at 8:18 PM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm about halfway through and I am really liking it.

I finished the series a couple of days ago, and it just kept getting better and better.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 AM on April 2, 2020

It was fascinating and depressing.

Linguaphiles: the caption/subtitles frequently say folks are praying in Yiddish but wouldn’t the be praying in Hebrew?
posted by Jesse the K at 4:30 PM on April 2, 2020

This felt like a show 100% tailored for me: a story set in an obscure religious sect + Berlin, in Yiddish that sounds so similar to the Austrian German that I learned as an exchange student, with beautiful international students playing classical music, and a badass female character sticking it to the patriarchy. The language switching between English, Yiddish, and German was so fun to hear. I watched it in two sittings, loved the “making of” episode, and have the book on hold from the library. I loved it, even if the beautiful international actors couldn’t actually play their instruments nor act half as well as the Hasidic actors.
posted by Maarika at 8:23 PM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Shira Haas reminds me so much of Judy Garland: the big brown eyes, the intensity, and she even sings!
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:48 PM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Wow, that was incredible.
posted by Coaticass at 2:51 AM on April 12, 2020

I enjoyed watching this. I did think it was amazing how it was always sunny and beautiful in Berlin, and all the people are beautiful, and the apartments are beautiful, and the people have senses of humor (unlike the Orthodox) and are immediately friendly... a little more subtlety would have been nice.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

We're watching this immediately after finishing both seasons of Shtisel (also on netflix, at least in canada).
It's really interesting to see differences and similarities between the new york and jerusalem lifestyles for the orthodox community. Sharing an actress is also interesting -- how many people can act these parts? How many who can would choose to have anything to do with TV?

Watching Ruchami Esty is especially interesting. More than once I've realized that I have her backstory mixed up, but it still works pretty well! She was easily one of the best parts of Shtisel, too, and in about 2 weeks once my memory is nice and muddy, I'm sure I'll remember this as all one story with Ruchami rejecting the lifestyle and escaping to berlin.

I would also like to give this viewing tip for anyone that wants to watch Shtisel. Any time an older man speaks, you can preface their statement with "now let me give you some bad advice which you must nonetheless take". It helps. The flips in that show between yiddish and hebrew took me an embarrassingly long time to notice, but once I did it was fascinating to see who used which language when. I think there are some deep unspoken norms that I will never understand.
posted by Acari at 10:43 AM on May 18, 2020

Just finished this last night, and to echo what others have said, Shira Haas is amazing. Such an acting powerhouse in a tiny little frame! It's interesting that the director/creator has experience in caper and espionage films because the wife and I felt uncommonly stressed out while watching it - will Esty escape? Will Yanky and Moishe catch her? I think the story and the discordant music combined for that feeling.
I highly recommend it; it's an interesting look into a world so few of us are familiar with, and it's easily one of the best things we've seen on Netflix in a while.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 10:13 AM on June 26, 2020

Don't know why it took me so long to get around to this one. Now that I've seen it, I know I'll watch it again.

(Watching the documentary about the series, I kept asking myself where I had seen the director before. Maria Schrader played Rauch's aunt in Deutschland 83 & 86.)
posted by kingless at 6:57 AM on June 30, 2020

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