An evocative feature debut from documentary filmmaker Eric Steel (The Bridge), Minyan is a tender portrait of self-discovery set in a rapidly changing 1980s New York. David is a 17-year-old yeshiva student living in Brooklyn with his Russian Jewish immigrant family: an overbearing mother and an abusive father. Though he has tender relationships with the senior citizens around him—a doting grandfather (Ron Rifkin) and a pair of elderly closeted Jewish men—David is stifled by the constraints of his conservative religious community. He seeks solace in James Baldwin books, nips of vodka, and eventually an East Village gay bar and the dashing bartender (Alex Hurt of Bonding, Frameline42) who works there. As David experiences a sexual and spiritual awakening, he begins to confront his intersecting identities as immigrant, Jew, and homosexual.
Steel himself came of age as a gay man in New York during the dawn of AIDS, and his lived experience permeates Minyan’s tight direction, extending to the understated but energetic performance of Samuel H. Levine as David, fresh off his acclaimed Broadway debut in The Inheritance.
— ELLIOTT BREEDEN
Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 8:30pm Wednesday, September 23 followed by the Q&A.
Bank of America, N.A.
- Language: In English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian with English subtitles