Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski’s deeply moving coming-of-age tale, loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s memoir Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, follows the extraordinary Shira Haas as Esty, a 19-year-old Jewish woman who flees her ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn community. Her destination? Berlin, the home of her estranged mother, where she is able to come to terms with her past and finally decide on her own future. It’s clear-eyed about the restrictions Esty has had to contend with but doesn’t villainize her staunchly traditional, close-knit circle, nor her husband (Amit Rahav) who comes after her, determined to bring her home.
When They See Us
Ava DuVernay’s masterful four-part miniseries is undeniably harrowing—but it is also essential viewing. It casts the infinitely talented Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, and Marquis Rodriguez as the Central Park Five, the teenage quintet who were wrongfully accused of the rape and aggravated assault of a white woman in 1989. With steeliness and compassion, we’re taken from that fateful day to the boys’ arrest, distressing interrogations, trials, and eventual convictions, despite conflicting accounts and a lack of evidence. We then watch as they each complete their terms in juvenile facilities—except Korey Wise, the eldest, who is in adult prison—and struggle to readjust to the outside world. More than a decade later, the real perpetrator confesses, the five are exonerated and later awarded a settlement, but their lives are, of course, never the same again.
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Hayley Maitland, Radhika Seth