Bunbury Films
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Leaving the Fold

Leaving the Fold (2008)

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2009 Winner for Best Documentary, Religion Today Film Festival

2009 Official Selection, Montreal World Film Festival


«I crawled out of the fold with a crease across my head that never goes...»

What happens when a person is born a Hasidic Jew, but knows that they don’t belong?

Filmed in Montreal, New York and Israel. Leaving the Fold is a documentary film, which tells the story of five young people born and raised within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world who no longer wish to remain on the inside. As children they grew up in a closed society where deviation from the rules of conduct is often punishable by ostracism, intimidation or worse. As young adults they pay a steep price for abandoning their parents and community to seek the freedom to make their own choices.

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A story of courage.

Finding the courage to leave the fold is only the beginning for most of these young people. Those who have decided to take this step become pariahs, often completely cut off from the emotional and financial support of their families. To make matters worse, judged by our secular standards, they have no marketable skills. Many only speak Yiddish— or some Hebrew that is stilted and archaic because it is restricted to use only for prayer.

Ultimately, Leaving the Fold is a film about complex, spiritual journeys in the opposite direction, from the constraints and the strange beauty of religious fundamentalism inside the Hasidic world to the intoxicating uncertainties of personal freedom of those few who would escape it.


Written and directed by Eric Scott
Produced by Frederic Bohbot and Evan Beloff
Edited by Carl Freed
Distributed by Bunbury Films
Produced in association with SRC (Société Radio Canada)


Genre: Documentary
Category: Society, Religion
Production year: 2008
Language: English
Language dubbed: French
Duration: 43 & 52 minutes
Delivery format: HD (High-definition)
French title: Quitter Le Bercail
TV broadcast : Available immediately

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