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Through a glance, or a gesture, or a swell of emotions seen in her eyes, we see that her Esty is proud and scared, self-assured and filled with doubt, but always defiantly and powerfully herself.
If only the miniseries that sets [Esty] free had more to say about the community she's fleeing, or the new world she throws herself into.
"Unorthodox" feels like a modest revelation: It uses familiar language to explore what it means to push beyond the strictures of ritual and community guidelines by digging into the mindset of a woman battling to think for herself.
Director Maria Schrader doesn't hold back on the tortures Esty has endured and includes staging what must be one of the most unerotic sex scenes in screen history. Rarely has a director's intent to make us feel a character's pain been so vividly realized.
"Unorthodox" is a lovely and very specific depiction of a woman for whom music is a form of truth, who is negotiating her path after virtually living in hiding for her entire life.
Explaining to her new friends in Berlin why she fled, Esty says: "God expected too much of me. Now I need to find my own path." The tension and the joy in this excellent series is watching her do it.
The limited series would not have been possible without Deborah's memoir, but it also would not have reached the lengths it does without the compelling performances of Shira Haas, whose range is incredible.
...chronicles the struggles of a young Hasidic woman to break away from a world that isn't right for her...
Unorthodox is a serious candidate for the top 10 of the year. I recommend you the documentary Making Unorthodox (on Netflix) where in just 20 minutes they will explain you the complexity of making a series like this. [Full review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for Unorthodox: Miniseries
5d ago"Unorthodox" tells a good story effectively by delivering an honest and important message. The series is fairly short for a TV series and while I did feel like it missed an opportunity to explore some more things more in-depth, I very much enjoyed the story is presented. I really didn't know who Shira Haas was before watching this show, but her performance here is worth noting. She creates a genuinely empathetic character who is likable and worth rooting for. I feel the story could have either been presented as a movie or a longer and more complex TV series. Nonetheless, the finished product is still a very solid and strongly acted miniseries that won't take many sittings to get through and tells a fairly complete story.
Mar 23, 2021An engrossing story of one woman's search for freedom and liberation from the fascism of orthodox religion. Brilliantly realised, with outstanding performances from the lead characters and especially the heroine. This series opened the door to an orthodox religious closet, normally kept fastened shut, to let the audience see the horrors within for themselves. It puts into stark relief the contradictions between absolute religious freedom where that "freedom" includes the subjugation of certain categories of individual, and personal freedom for all as constitutionally enshrined.
Mar 23, 2021Superb cast! The story resonates on so many different levels. I appreciated that the Hasidic community was not treated as a cult from which Esther needed to escape. Instead, we see a strong community seeking to preserve and protect itself.
Mar 22, 2021The tapestry of life — beautifully woven.
Mar 20, 2021This is a must-see exposé of the pitfalls of radicalized and literalist religion, and the strength required of those who wish to escape the bonds of such religions.
Mar 15, 2021Thought provoking, original and of high quality. Shira Haas is an amazing actress.
Mar 03, 2021So compelling and well done. Loved it.
Nov 18, 2020Overrated. I found it boring and the main character unlikable. I had no interest in her story and journey. I did find the Jewish orthodox traditions interesting.
Sep 21, 2020A boring and predictable series. The lead actress is anemic and uninteresting.
Sep 19, 2020Led by an absorbing performance from Shira Hass, Unorthodox depicts a touching journey of emancipation from a hostile religious environment that provides no easy answers.