‘One of Us’ Trailer Exposes the Dark Side of Modern Ultra-Orthodox Religions
With the Toronto International Film Festival in full swing this weekend, studios are giving us our first good look at a handful of films and documentaries due to hit theaters this fall. One such film is Netflix's One of Us, a new documentary from the filmmakers of Jesus Camp that also tries to expose the way a community’s religious requirements affect believers and non-believers alike. And if the film is anything like its first trailer, it’s not going to be a particularly easy watch.
In the trailer (via IndieWire), we are introduced to three members — or former members — of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, each of whom is trying to navigate their loss of family and personal identity after leaving their religion behind. This comes only a few months after the release of Menashe, a Yiddish-language fictional drama that also explored the ways in which the orthodoxy of the Jewish community bumped up against modern family concerns.
The film also comes at a time when some religious communities in America are under intense scrutiny for acting complicit in some of the terrible actions of the current administration. When religious leaders are suggesting that politicians are anointed by God to punish a foreign power, it’s fair to explore the ways in which religious organizations might exploit or even abuse some of their must vulnerable members. Keep an eye on the early reviews for One of Us; if the film can capture one-tenth the power of the trailer, it’s sure to become one of the most talked-about documentaries of the year.
Here’s the full synopsis for One of Us:
“Nobody leaves the Hasidic community, unless they’re willing to pay the price.” One of Us offers a look into the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism and those who wish to escape that community for a life among the non-religious, whatever the costs.
One of Us will have its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend and hit Netflix on October 20, 2017.