written on 19/10/2020
by Michael Lutz

German-American miniseries about a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who flees her arranged marriage and religious community to start a new life abroad.

Unorthodox | 2020 | Drama Mini-Series | 4 x 55 min | Yiddisch, English, German, Italian, French or Spanish with subtitles in English, Italian, German, French or Greek

Esty, a 19-year-old Jewish woman, is living unhappily in an arranged marriage among an ultra-Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She runs away to Berlin, where her estranged mother lives, and tries to navigate a secular life, discovering life outside her community and rejecting all of the beliefs she grew up with. Her husband, who learns that she is pregnant, travels to Berlin with his cousin, by order of their rabbi, to try to find her.

Unorthodox is inspired by Deborah Feldman's 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots (see an interview with her here), and the first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish

The series received eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series (Shira Haas), and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series (Anna Winger), winning for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series (Maria Schrader).

The series is available on Netflix. 

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