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Unorthodox

At the age of 16, filmmaker Anna Wexler decided to break away from her Orthodox Jewish community located in New Jersey, as she rejected the religious doctrine and social restrictions that were being pushed upon her. This rejection however resulted in the severing of ties to her family.

Anna decided to run away from her home, sleeping on the streets, and experimenting with sex and drugs with friends who had also broken from the Orthodox world that was closing in on them.

However, many of these Jewish kids ultimately end up traveling to Israel for a year of study. This year long trip is seen as a right of passage for many practising Jews and as an opportunity to sway those drifting from their roots back into the fold and it has a pretty high success rate with many who return being converted, this process has even been coined as “flipping”.

Once her friends returned from Israel, Anna discovered that many of them had rediscovered their religion. Feeling betrayed Anna decided to take things into her own hands. With the goal of understanding her friends transformation she follows three rebellious Jewish teenagers in their yearlong rite-of-passage journey from high school to Israel.

Anna confronts many difficult truths about belief and happiness along the way as she is forced to face her past. 

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  1. I absolutely loathe that the people in these documentaries always go from religious and pious to having sex with everyone they meet, taking drugs, etc. Not all of us Atheists are/start out like that. I left Catholicism when I was 14, but didn’t follow that departure with drugs, being a hoe, etc. I was still the same collected, mature person, just with more mental freedom.