(JTA) is a gay Russian-Jewish teenager coming of age in Brighton Beach in the touching new independent film Minian, a subtle and sensitive drama that tells an unexpected story about a large Jewish immigrant community in Brooklyn.
Based on a story by David Bezmozgis, author, He fought for a long time with the Jewish-Russian identity with subtle and research methods.Eric Steele finds a unique way to illuminate perverse topics through the prism of Orthodox Jewish culture, which values masculinity and strength in numbers. If, as the film suggests, the meeting of 10 men for prayer is a sacred act, then, undoubtedly, two men united in love should also have a certain degree of holiness.
Levin, thrilled by the Broadway audience with “Legacy,” becomes the lead singer who in 1986 lived as David, the only son of a Soviet Jewish immigrant family. Levin plays it in a quiet and strangely haunted style. for his parents: his mother (Brock Bloom) insists on sending him to a yeshiva where he is constantly bullied, seemingly blind to his true needs, while his cruel and deceitful father seems to convey misconceptions about masculinity … To punish his son for a fight with another yeshiva student who mocks him for being David’s Russian father punches him in the face.
Instead, David is drawn to his grandfather Joseph (Ron Rifkin), whose calm, realistic rituals comfort him. With the opening of the film, Joseph decides to look for a new apartment for himself after the death of his wife. Here we see why the film is called Minyan: Joseph can only get a stable apartment in the synagogue after David agrees to join him, because they are parishioners together. Ten Men Needed for Prayer…
In all these buildings, filled with Jews experiencing the accumulated part of the trauma of generations (both the Holocaust and the purges of Soviet Jews are often recorded), David finally discovered a small part of himself. His synagogue neighbors are two old men who live together. They have a story to explain their agreement, which the society accepts, but they clearly find more comfort in this secret than they could get in the Soviet Union. Shortly after their meeting, David begins to explore a local gay bar, losing his virginity to an overworked waiter (Alex Hurt), who, in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, seems shocked by the youth of his new lover and ignorance of the disease. the blessing of his parents, does not understand, now he may be condemning himself to another.
For now, the species is cautiously trying to navigate its surroundings. … With the aid of Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg, the film highlights the moments when his character comes to his home: leading the Kaddish prayer over the mourners, remembering the living conditions of another Jew, or simply listening to his mother as the consolation she can give him. A new life in which he won’t be targeted because of his Jewishness.
Steele’s previous filmography – a highlight of his previous directing – the controversial 2006 documentary The Bridge, which secretly depicts annual suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge – indicated that the film was intended to address a delicate and humane story such as Minyan. But Steele grew up both gay and Jewish himself in the 80s, and he skillfully combined Bezmozgis’s source material with his own memories to create a film with a personal touch. The film even coincides with the work of Ira Sachs and Andrew Hay, reigning kings of layered and disparate stories about LGBT communities, while they are furious Jews. Minian is an intimate story of outcasts in many forms.
Minyan opens today at the IFC in New York and expands to Los Angeles and leases on October 29th.