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Unorthodox on Netflix: Is it based on a true story?

Unorthodox on Netflix: Is it based on a true story?
Unorthodox is a new drama series on Netflix. Pic credit: Anika Molnar/Netflix

The latest Netflix original that people can binge-watch while isolating themselves from the world during the coronavirus pandemic, Unorthodox, has a bit in common with today’s fears.

The story is based on the New York Times bestselling novel about a woman trying to find her sense of self.

Trust us when we say, this is a series you will start watching and won’t be able to get up until it ends four hours later.

Is Unorthodox on Netflix based on a true story?

Unorthodox on Netflix is based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Feldman and it is an autobiographical memoir.

The novel tells the story of Feldman’s struggles when she is rejected by her Satmar community in Brooklyn, a group of ultra-orthodox Jewish people who rose up in New York following the horrors of World War II.

As viewers are watching her story on Netflix, the Unorthodox author said that she was already ready for the coronavirus pandemic and the sense of survival and self-isolation thanks to the lessons from World War II.

In an interview with the New York Times, Feldman said that her family believed in the end of the world because her grandparents saw their own end of their world during the Holocaust.

She said everyone was panic shopping and preparing for the worst, but she was already prepared and stocked up due to the fears instilled in her by her grandparents.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for corona,” she said.

What is Unorthodox about?

Unorthodox on Netflix tells the story of Etsy (Shira Haas). She lives in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn but then leaves for Germany.

She is pregnant and when her former community members learn about this, they send her husband Yanky (Amit Rahav) and his cousin Moishe (Jeff Wilbusch) to Berlin to bring her back.

Etsy left to find herself and she did in Berlin, where she fell in with the music community there and moved into a more secular life.

The show then bounces between her past, where viewers discover why she left Brooklyn, and the present, where she has to make important decisions about her life and her future.

The most shocking moments are those flashbacks to her past, as she marries her husband and then finds herself forced into intimacy through pressure to have children and sexual training tailored toward her husband, not herself.

As for how much of this is real and how much is fictionalized for the Netflix series, the past events are based on real-life and are pulled from the book. However, Etsy’s present-day life in Berlin is different from that of Esther, so the show is a mixture of fact and fiction.

Unorthodox is one of several new series that fans can binge on Netflix while in isolation. Don’t miss the amazing Tiger King, to understand what everyone is talking about, as well as the fun Love is Blind dating series, in case you missed it in March.

Unorthodox is now available to stream on Netflix.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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