ISRAEL: Shtisel

Shtisel is an Israeli show centred around a Haredi family in Jerusalem. I am absolutely hooked on it – a lot of shows about the ultra-Orthodox (or other religious groups, for that matter), tend to focus on people wanting to leave and join secular society. Shtisel instead has characters operating inside that community, with all the richness and complexity of real life and how people navigate their identity and relationships in real life.

It’s also really, really good – the characters are complex and real people with real motivations, and it’s extremely emotionally engaging. More than once I was looking through my fingers going “Akiva noooooo” as the protagonist puts his foot into it. It feels almost like a Haredi Jane Austen novel.

Shtisel was a huge hit in Israel; including with both the secular majority, and quietly among Haredis themselves – one of the show’s creators, Yehonatan Indursky, was raised ultra-Orthodox, and this shows in the attention to detail. There are two seasons out on Netflix, and they’ll be releasing a third soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s