• 11 Apr - 17 Apr, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

It movingly grabs your attention with a strong stoyline and amazing performances!

Unorthodox is a four-part miniseries loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir by the same name. It’s the story of Esty (an excellent Shira Haas), who at 19 leaves her husband of one year, Yanky (Amit Rahav), for the unknown world outside her ultra-Orthodox enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Life in that community is all she’s ever known and, in many ways, all she’s ever loved. But driven by desperation, she boards a plane for Berlin, where her mother Leah (Alex Reid) lives. When she leaves, Esty’s not quite sure what she’s searching for. She just knows she can’t keep living the way she has been. What led her to the breaking point? That’s part of the mystery Unorthodox unravels, with care and empathy for the characters involved. To help us understand, the series travels along two timelines. The first chronicles Esty’s new life in Berlin, where she fails to connect with her mother but falls in with a crowd of young musicians at a conservatory. The second details her old life in Brooklyn as she tries to follow the rules while growing up with an absent mother and an alcoholic father and gets married. To its immense credit, Unorthodox resists making anyone into the bad guy, nor does it succumb to easy stereotyping. Instead, the series introduces us to people who are trying to do what they firmly believe is right and gently teases out some other threads. Though they’re both American, born and raised in New York, Esty and Yanky’s first language is Yiddish. So, it frequently switches languages from Yiddish to English to German as Esty builds a life for herself in Berlin.