Netflix to premiere film about hassidic life

Streaming service joins up with team behind ‘Jesus Camp’ to create ‘One of Us’

August 2, 2017 11:20
1 minute read.
ultra-Orthodox wedding

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox take part in a wedding linking two prominent Hasidic dynasties in Netanya, on March 16. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Netflix is on a roll when it comes to commissioning Israeli and Jewish content – and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

The streaming giant announced on Tuesday that it has produced an original documentary, called One of Us, about hassidic life. Netflix said the film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, and be available worldwide later this fall.

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One of Us, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, “explores the opaque world of hassidic Judaism through a cadre of fascinating characters.” The filmmakers spent three years delving into the lives of those who chose to leave their insular ultra-Orthodox communities.

Ewing and Grady, of Loki Films, are best known for their 2006 documentary Jesus Camp. The Oscar-nominated film spotlighted an Evangelical Christian summer camp in North Dakota.

“The three brave people we chronicle in One of Us buck the exacting rules of their ultra-Orthodox community to experience the world for the first time as true individuals,” said Ewing and Grady in a statement. “Their journey is a profoundly human one that took us by surprise. We hope audiences are as affected by this story as we are.”

Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentaries, said she could see some parallels in the film to Jesus Camp early on, “and knew they would address such subject matter with integrity and empathy.”

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