What You Need To Know:
(L, V, B) 4 vulgarities & 1 profanity; brief violence; and, a positive portrayal of Hasidic Jewish customs and biblical principles.
In A STRANGER AMONG US, Melanie Griffith plays a New York cop, Emily, who goes into the Hasidic Jewish community to investigate a murder. This callous policewoman discovers more than just the guilty party as she finds herself touched by the warm and ancient culture of Hasidism. Emily lives with the Rabbi and his family in their intimate Hasidic environment. At first, she thinks of them as a “quaint” society, but soon learns their values and traditions. In fact, the bulk of the action centers on the family, relationships, traditions, and the Sabbath, instead of the murder case. Emily believes she is in love with the Rabbi’s adopted son, Ariel, who will one day be the rabbi of their community. So, in one brilliant scene, he explains to her the Jewish idea that God chooses one man for every woman and that He chose the daughter of a French rabbi for him.
The ideas in A STRANGER AMONG US are scrupulously authentic. Eric Thal studied the “Cabala” for his performance, and a Hasidic Jew was on the set at all times. It is interesting that the Disney company has brought us two films in one year (SISTER ACT and A STRANGER AMONG US) which portray a religious community with great care, love and reverence.
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