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Mendy

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ultra Orthodox Jew Mendy struggles to adapt and find his place in modern secular society Told through Yankel and Bianca - the former his childhood friend who left the community years earlier and now leads a hedonistic lifestyle; the latter his roommate, a black Brazilian woman who offers an alternative view of the secular world, one that does not involve going from one extreme to another. An emotional and honest portrait of the human condition, MENDY tells the universal story of a young man on a quest for understanding, wisdom, and love.

Special Features

  • Director's commentary
  • Trailer
  • Interview with co-writer Heshey Schnitzler
  • 2 music videos by The Sway Machinery

Product Details

  • Actors: Deana Barone, Elizabeth Cano, Kristen Cecala, Spencer Chandler, Gabriela Dias
  • Directors: Adam Vardy
  • Writers: Adam Vardy, Heshey Schnitzler
  • Producers: Adam Vardy, Dardo Toledo Barros, Donald Rabinovitch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lifesize Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LSBXHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,742 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mendy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Dascalu on November 29, 2010
Format: DVD
Firstly, I thought that the depth of this film lay primarily in the portrait of its three central characters. It does not have a particularly compelling narrative, but then my spouse likes to point out that I am attracted to films that lack a clear narrative. It is beautifully acted.

I should add here - and this point is really why I bothered to write this - that the film is not terribly accessible to an audience that is not acquainted with Chassidic culture (or at least Orthodox Jewish culture). Unlike in cheesy movies like "A Price Above Rubies", in Mendy Chassidic culture is neither spoon-fed to the viewer, nor is it avoided. It simply textures most of the film, which is exactly how it functions in real life. (A brief aside: I am an Orthodox Jew, very familiar with the culture being portrayed on screen, and I have never seen it more convincingly portrayed. Neither in English language or in Israeli cinema. The actors' command of Yiddish (in Hungarian dialect) is fantastic, their body language perfect... I was convinced that they are former Chassidim, and shocked and amazed to discover that they are not.)

Also, in response to some comments about gratuitous swearing and hedonism, this element of the film will be instantly understood by anyone who has encountered people who grow up in such a protective and insular environment and break out of it. They very often tend to extremes, and former Chassidim (particularly from Satmar, as they lack many of the social and language skills to integrate into broader society; although in Lubavitch a period of hedonism is almost a rite of passage) sometimes fall into such lifestyles. So in short, I do not believe it is gratuitous at all - it is simply realistic.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Constantin Anatolievich on March 1, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this movie in the Manhattan theater in June of 2006.This is one great movie that you will fall in love with. Although it's my belief that some knowledge (of) and/or Jewish background is necessary in order to grasp the meaning of the movie and not to misjudge the characters and the plot. Otherwise, you'd be asking (just like Bianca in the movie did) "So, your G-d is a racist then".

I think that this is a very honest movie and raises some important issues that we don't usually want to deal with or even admit to ourselves (well, this does apply to me) they (issues) exist and affect us in one way or another.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Koeeaddi on April 29, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am sorry this movie is so poorly reviewed and is looked upon by many as a two-dimensional contrast between a frum/halachic life or descent into Yetzer Hara. Or that some see this as a denial of Yiddishkeit or are offended by the significant questions it raises. The fact is that Haredi or Hassidic sectarian Jews makes up a tiny fraction of the Jewish population, so Mendy "mainstreaming" is the state that the vast majority of Jews are now living. If you see Judaism as a Soulful religion rather than a Spiritual religion, then the question is "what is Jewish Soul?" Can you be Jewish, or connected to Jewish Soul, without being strictly halachic?
The movie contrasts two characters; Mendy and Yankel. Yankel is truly a "lost soul." He is completely involved in drug use and sexual encounters, hanging out in strip clubs and dealing X. He says "women are like lemons, you squeeze what you can and then throw them out." Mendy on the other hand sees the emptiness and pain, and may I say insanity, in Yankel, and does not accept or strive for a life ruled by soullessness and indulgence in the yetzer hara. He can also no longer live a Haredi life. So, what is he to do? What understanding does he need to come to?
Many reviews intimate that this movie rejects Yiddishkeit, that Mendy is a "bad Jew." But I think Mendy says it all when speaking of Yankel, "He cannot be a good human because he could not be a good Hassid." Who could not get the meaning when Mendy walks away from Yankel to go to the mikvah? Or be moved when Mendy is himself is spontaneously moved to lay tefillin which he is traveling with in his backpack?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dross on August 31, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Mendy must be taken from true accounts of ultra orthodox people leaving their homes to explore the world around them. Some of the stereotypes could be taken to be very negative, however to the average person it appears it could be true to life. It is well done, and the ending was surprising.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
So interesting to see the mixture of cultures. And the ending was just what I had hoped for -- not corny, not what I expected. I learned a lot about hasidic Judaism, which highly interests me. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kerjman on November 11, 2011
Format: DVD
This work is about new time and new exodus of youth leaving Orthodoxy-in this case, of the Jewish origin.

Mendy, a Chassidic teen, was on large for his sexual explorations and sheltered by Yankel having made his way from 62nd Str. D/N Station in Brooklyn, N.Y.C., into a secular world years earlier.

Viewers might agree or not about all intense shown, of which international drug trafficking is a part of, but what is utterly clear-no visual traditional attributes-no job wherever, is hardly to quarrel with, by the most of those having done this way even centuries ago.

That is, probably, a reason for all the jobs depicted story's Jewish secular characters doing.

English subtitles provide context much diplomatically than original Yiddish while I could place this low-budget movie on my shelf anyway.

Music is very kosher, the last song accompanying cast list, definitely.

Bianca is wise and beautiful, and actor plays Mendy simply brilliantly.

Enjoy!
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