‘The Get’ to Tell Story of Notorious Chasidic Rabbi

The show is based off a GQ article.
September 18, 2020
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 06: Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Wesley Morris and A.O. Scott speak onstage at The New York Times Magazine celebration of The Great Performers Issue at NeueHouse Los Angeles on December 06, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for The New York Times )

With the success of “Shtisel” and “Unorthodox” arousing interest in the ultra-Orthodox world, a just-announced project will tell the true story of Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who helped Charedi women whose husbands refused to grant them divorces by employing such drastic means as beatings and torture by cattle prod. “The Get,” based on a GQ article called “The Orthodox Hit Squad” by Matt Shaer, is being adapted for a feature film by writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner for the production company Sister.

“When it comes to a figure like Epstein, where should we draw the line between criminal and hero? And who, exactly, gets to make the distinction – the secular criminal justice system or the families that count themselves in Epstein’s debt?” Shaer, who will be one of the producers, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled Taffy is going to be the one wrestling with these questions. In addition to being a sharp, sensitive writer, Epstein’s background is a background she understands. She has a personal connection to the material, and the wit to bring it to life.”

“The subject matter is incredibly close to my heart. My family is ultra-Orthodox, and I’ve seen women close to me whose lives and plans have been derailed by the arcane and dangerous law that men possess the singular power to end a marriage, a state of affairs that tests some of their most abusive tendencies,” Brodesser-Akner, the author of “Fleishman is in Trouble,” added. “But I couldn’t begrudge Matt the story—his is the rare one story on this subject that actually gets the world of it right, and treats the Jewish community with respect, despite its flaws.”

She’s now adapting that novel for ABC Studios and will publish her second, “Long Island Compromise,” next year.

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