December 1, 2020

“Unorthodox” on Netflix

One of the most remarkable shows I have seen on Netflix is “Unorthodox,” a four-episode dramatic series about a young Orthodox Jewish woman’s journey from her strict Satmar community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Berlin.

The show, based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman, is Netflix’s first show shot primarily in Yiddish and faithfully depicts the customs and rituals of conservative Jews living in a borough of NYC.

Actress Shira Haas soulfully plays Esty, the young woman searching for her place in the world. Moving from the U.S. to Berlin, she examines her traditional upbringing as she transitions to different hair styles and Western clothing, along with making multi-cultural friendships and pursuing her dream of making music in public.

The German director of “Unorthodox,” Maria Shrader, won an Emmy award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, and rightfully so.

I highly recommend watching the 21-minute film, “Making Unorthodox,” after you finish all four series episodes. Insight into the costumes, actor and advisor comments, plus interviews with author Feldman, director Shrader and creator Anna Winger is most enlightening. Hob anoe! (For us non-Yiddish speakers, that’s “Enjoy!”)

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