Unorthodox is a 2020 series featuring a 19-year-old girl, Esther Shiparo (Shira Haas). It is based on the New York Times bestselling memoir of Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox.
The title Unorthodox stands for ‘contrary to what is usual and traditional’.
Esther, often referred to as Esty, plays the role of a girl whose life is dictated by religion, who then chooses the unorthodox way.
She shows us that it is possible, though hard, to break away from cultural and religious ties which we feel are not serving us. It is possible to find yourself and become your own person.
This limited series surrounds the Jewish religion and its ways. Arranged marriages, women shaving their hair after getting married, then wearing wigs or a cloth to cover their head.
Women are meant to birth many children. If a married woman does not bear a child within a year, people start asking questions.
Esty is married young at age 17 to Yokav Shapiro (Amit Rahav), through an arranged marriage. The process of consummating proves painful for Esty. Yokav is always informing his mother and sisters of how he and Esty are fairing on in bed. Esty doesn’t like this. I mean, who would? A year later, they consummate and Esty conceives.
By then, Yokav is already tired of waiting. His mother has already consulted a matchmaker for him. He asks for a divorce.
This kills Esty and she flees Williamsburg, Brooklyn for Berlin, Germany. Where her mother stays. Her mother, who had also fled the community. Esty was forcefully taken away from her. On Esty’s wedding, she gave Esty a note. In the note were details of where Esty shall find her if she tires of the community and its ways.
Esty builds a life at the art school in Berlin, and she makes new friends. She loves playing the piano. She also loves singing. A thing we all learn about at the end of the limited series. She intrigues the judges and we are sure she will be accepted into the scholarship that she believes will change her life.
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