NEW YORK PRAYS: enclave williamsburg
Enclave = “Area within a country or a city where people live who have a different nationality or culture from the people living in the surrounding country or city”.
This enclave is located in the heart of Brooklyn and is populated by Hasidic Jews, a special group within Orthodox Judaism founded in the mid-eighteenth century in Eastern and Central Europe by Jewish mystics. Like other religious revitalization movements, Hasidism was at once a call to spiritual renewal and a protest against the prevailing religious establishment and culture. After World War II, Hasidism was transplanted by immigrants to America, Israel, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Hasidism is a theocratic society where a dynastic leader - rabbi - combines political and religious authority. People live in courts, tightly knit communities known by the name of the town where they originated.
The Hasidic in Williamsburg belong to the Satmar dynasty who came from the city of Sat Mar on the Hungarian-Rumanian border. They are mostly descendants of Holocaust survivors and the community was started by Holocaust survivors after the war. The Satmar believe that Holocaust was a God punishment for assimilation and Zionism. They believe that the only way to prevent another Holocaust from happening is to develop a very strict lifestyle: any single rule is an extreme interpretation of a Jewish law. They believe that in this way they will peace God and he will have mercy on them. According to American-German writer Deborah Feldman, ‘it is a harsh environment because everything is fear driven. You are living in a constant state of fear and you are told that God exists only to be feared’.
The community is a very closed clan where there are many abuses and violations of human rights. A clan from which it is very difficult to escape and that completely determines your life. The individual with its desires is annihilated in the name of God and of a higher mission: to multiply! It is a very misogynistic community where women are little more than wombs condemned to give birth.
This series was shot in 2010.