“Unorthodox” Review: A Remarkable Breaking Free

“God expected too much of me”: that’s one of the most powerful quotes of the Unorthodox series, a story inspired by Deborah Feldman’s best-selling book. The script features Esther Shapiro (Shira Haas), nicknamed Esty, a nineteen-year-old jewish who leaves home in Williamsburg, and follows a new journey alone in Berlin. Under pressure from outdated rules dictated by an orthodox community, she decides to escape the obvious fate and create her own path, leaving the bonds of religion behind.

With only four chapters, the series cleverly shows how many women have been forced to accept a role of a perfect wife, who should have children and take care of the home. And all of this always prioritizing men's well-being over their personal satisfaction. So, as the story unfolds, Esty expresses a dissatisfaction facing her arranged marriage with Yakov (Amit Rahav) and finds in Germany all she ever dreamed. A place where she can be whatever she wants and can still show her real hair in public, without any concern.

Esty's father is an alcoholic and her mother left when she was a child, after decides to leave the community. That said, she was raised by her grandmother and grew up with the teachings of the Jewish religion. Following tradition, she married at a young age, after a beautiful ceremony, but soon began to have problems with her husband's family because she was facing trouble getting pregnant.

The nightmare nights, which were part of her routine after the wedding, only were left behind when she befriends students at the Berlin Conservatory of Music. Esty also decides to take a test to be admitted at the same school, since she was prevented from continuing her piano lessons to be a wife in the past. Living in the same city of her mom’s and with the support with friends, she faces a fresh version of herself, testing new habits and responsibilities.

  1. 1. Orthodox Culture

    In addition to the narrative itself, something very striking is how the production managed to bring various elements of orthodox culture in a respectful way, but putting the story of women who have been silenced for years and years under the light. In short, and to avoid spoilers, this is a breathtaking series that brings a strong woman as a protagonist and is very worth watching her whole transformation and growth.

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The article above was edited by Carolina Grassmann.

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