“Director Eric Steel presents an impressively detailed slice of Jewish and gay New York history as he delves into a world full of contradictions, rituals and stifling family dynamics”
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A film by Eric Steel
Based on a short story by David Bezmozgis
David - Samuel H. Levine
Josef - Ron Rifkin
Herschel - Christopher McCann
Itzik - Mark Margolis
1987 New York City, Brighton Beach, aka ‘Little Odessa'
Moving in with his grandfather, David, played by Samuel H Levine (THE INHERITANCE) befriends their new neighbours, a closeted gay couple, survivors of the Holocaust. The friendship opens his imagination to new prospects outside of his tight knit Jewish neighbourhood in Brooklyn
He discovers another live beyond the yeshiva school, exploring New York’s East Village, he finds a world teeming with youth and forbidden gay bars.
There is a particular way that strangers move through strange lands. Immigrants, Jews, homosexuals — in order to survive, they have learned to be keen observers, listeners more than talkers, always on the lookout for danger and openings. They carry history under the skin, and make do with less to fulfill a promise in the future. This is the DNA and the ethos for Minyan — and very much the way I have moved through my own life.
I am inspired by a line from James Baldwin that I had copied into an old notebook when I was in high school — and that now plays a central part in Minyan: "Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself; but know whence you came."