Back then, there were two key Netflix shows that we were all obsessed with; Tiger King, and Unorthodox. And, while the former has been picked over and pored over via a glut of new documentaries and spinoffs, the latter has remained…
Well, it’s remained beautifully untouched.
Based on Deborah Feldman’s memoir of the same name, it told the story of young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman Esther Shapiro (Shira Haas), who is forced to flee her arranged marriage when she struggles to consummate the relationship and produce a baby.
After making her escape, Esty heads to Berlin with almost nothing – just her passport and a handful of cash – and does her best to start a new life. There, she auditions for a music scholarship and finds friends who accept her.
The series, however, ends on a cliffhanger; Esty remains a woman in transition, still standing at the crossroads. We are left with no concrete ideas as to what happens next and, as creator Anna Winger has made all too clear, we never will.
“We’re not doing a sequel to this because we feel that we really told this story. It was always designed as a mini-series,” she told the Metro.
“I suspect that I will work with these actors again, and with many of my collaborators from this project. We have a lot of new things in development. So it’s not the end of the road for this constellation, but I don’t think we’ll tell this story again. We’ve told it.”
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While Esty’s fate remains a mystery, however, Netflix has now confirmed that it’s bringing us a new docuseries inspired by the show’s success in the form of My Unorthodox Life.
And, yes, we’re already hooked.
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the plot of My Unorthodox Life?
The documentary revolves around Julia Haart, a former member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community who turned her life completely upside down to become the CEO of Elite World Group.
“Since taking the reins of a global talent empire, Haart has been on a mission to revolutionise the industry from the inside out – all while being a mother of four,” promises the official Netflix synopsis.
“Her children include a TikToker, an app designer, a lawyer, and a high schooler torn between two conflicting cultures, and Haart helps them reconcile their Orthodox upbringings with the modern world.”
Promising an inspirational story, the synopsis concludes: “My Unorthodox Life takes you on a journey through Julia Haart’s untamed, unpredictable, and unorthodox life.”
Is there a trailer for My Unorthodox Life?
Haart shared a teaser for the series via her official Twitter account, which you can view for yourself below:
It feels like a documentary crossed with a reality series, and we have a feeling that’s exactly what the people need right now.
Who is Julia Haart, the woman at the centre of My Unorthodox Life?
Born Talia Leibov, Haart married Yossef Hendler – a Yeshiva student five years her senior – when she was just 19 years old.
For many years, Haart lived an Orthodox life. In fact, it wasn’t until she was 43 that Haart left her Jewish community, going on to launch a successful luxury shoe company. Just three years later, she became the creative director for the Italian luxury fashion brand La Perla – and, in 2019, she became the CEO of the international Elite Model Management agency.
Who are the creators behind My Unorthodox Life?
The executive producer team for My Unorthodox Life includes Bling Empire’s Jeff Jenkins, Ross Weintraub and Reinout Oerlemans, as well as Julia Haart herself.
When will My Unorthodox Life become available for streaming?
Netflix have confirmed that My Unorthodox Life will premiere in the UK on 14 July, alongside a whole host of brilliant films and TV shows.
Make sure to add it to your watchlist, stat!
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.