Menashe | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG · 82 minutes · 2017

Comedy drama
Regional and cultural specificity can take a story a reasonably long way, but perhaps only so far. Menashe (Menashe Lustig) is a widowed Hasidic grocery clerk with a young son, Rieven (Ruben Niborski)—and as is the custom of this community, it’s expected that Rieven will be raised by his wife’s family until he remarries, which Menashe is in no hurry to do. Co-writer/director Joshua Z. Weinstein builds Menashe as a unique character, a shlimazel who shows his low-key rebellion to his conservative religious community through his resistance to wearing a hat and coat. But once you get past the intriguing details about the setting, there’s an underlying rote quality where it’s easy to anticipate every plot turn; if you don’t see what’s coming the moment Menashe puts a kugel in the oven, it’s possible you’ve ever seen a movie before. The interaction between Menashe and Rieven brings some complexity to a tale that’s basically about a hapless guy trying to do his best; there’s just more to hope for from any movie than, “Well, that was nice.”


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Director: Joshua Weinstein
Producer: Yoni Brook, Traci Carlson, Daniel Finkelman, Alex Lipschultz, Joshua Weinstein, Chris Columbus, Eleanor Columbus, Danelle Eliav and Adam Margules
Cast: Menashe Lustig, Ruben Niborski, Yoel Weisshaus, Meyer Schwartz and Yoel Falkowitz

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