The ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities have begun to have a notable presence in the audiovisual offer thanks to the praised miniseries ‘Unorthodox’, from the film ‘Disobedience’, starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, and even (though not ultra-orthodox) thanks to the hilarious ‘Shiva Baby’, that portrays in a comical key the culture shock between a young bisexual Jewish woman and a series of archetypal characters from the community.
In the midst of dramas and comedies (doesn’t this phrase seem like something out of a Fangoria song?) It is born ‘An unorthodox life ‘, a Netflix docuseries that tells the adventures and misadventures of Julia Haart, a fashion icon whose story we did not know until now.
The one who was creative director of La Perla in 2016 She was also the creator of the iconic dress made with 85,000 crystals that Kendall Jenner wore at the 2017 MET gala, but for some reason, little was said about her figure. Shortly after, Julia met Silvio Scaglia, the Italian businessman who controls the international network of Elite World model management agencies and who is now her husband.
In 2019 Julia was named executive director of the Elite World group of modeling agencies replacing Paolo Barbieri, but only six years before he lived in a strict Orthodox community located in Monsey of which, as he assures in an episode, he thought he only had two alternatives: flee or take your own life.
The complexity of creating a docuseries that sometimes seems like a reflection of ‘Gossip Girl’ (every time the family’s imposing ‘penthouse’ appears in Tribeca or we see their Valentino bags placed as props on the table in their office, it is impossible not thinking about Serena Van Der Woodsen) and that at times delves into the repressive environment in which women from ultra-Orthodox communities live, is that you think you are watching an HBO documentary bathed in the stratagems of the Bravo factory, responsible for the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise.
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Therefore, between conflict and conflict and between social criticism and empowering message, a helicopter, an aesthetic treatment as a birthday gift or a sequin jumpsuit are in charge of putting bubbles (pink, of course) to the vindictive cocktail. However, The important thing is that the figure of Julia Haart, who will soon release her memoirs with Penguin Random House, has finally come to light. Kendall’s suit didn’t make it, but Netflix wants to make it. After all, as she herself admits in a meeting with the heads of the agencies, “You don’t know anything about me. I’m not on Google. Basically, before 2013 it didn’t exist ”.
Now she is willing to let the whole world know who she is, and for that reason in the docuseries she strives to denounce abusive behavior in fashion, in getting models to use their social networks to ensure a future after the age of 35 and in promulgating the need for women to enjoy their pleasure.
That message was the one he instilled in his eldest daughter, to whom he gave a vibrator years ago. Who wants their first LuisVi having their first Vibri? When her daughter’s husband asks her not to wear pants for “not being ready yet,” Julia indicates that she has no right to tell a woman what she can and cannot wear. Her young daughter applauds her mother, who in turn celebrates her little girl’s bisexuality, who does not hesitate to appear at every meeting or event with a new girlfriend with whom she snorts at her mother’s smile and her sister’s displeasure. .
Julia Haart’s story has all the elements Netflix can dream of: diversity, conflict, sex, fashion and alcohol. What it lacks, however, is a consistent tone. capable of unifying such disparate themes, but what the hell: what matters to us is to praise the figure of Haart, whose 14-year-old young son who continues to live in Monsey with his ex-partner, rebels against his mother like any teenager would … Doing the opposite of what she wants.
The surprise is that Julia wants her son to enjoy sex and freedom, while the young man insists on not talking to women and dedicating his life to religion. Mothers of the world: if you believe in reverse psychology, you already know how to make your children pursue celibacy and studies as a symbol of rebellion …
Here we have to make a parenthesis because of the way in which the docuseries shows that rebellions or attempts to embrace freedom can always be seen from different angles. For Julia, the only way to “deprogramme” (a verb that she uses) is to dress in mini skirts, low-cut dresses and dizzying heels, those that by the way, were the ones that opened the doors of fashion when he created his own brand and his designs became a success.
While it is gratifying to see that feminism is shown on the small screen between sequins and necklines, thus making it clear that there is neither a feminist uniform nor a single way of understanding feminism, sometimes the ‘show’ causes those who do not embrace the sexiest trends to be branded as puritanical.
Returning to the conflict of the pants of Batsheva Weinstein, his eldest daughter (which by the way, is ‘tiktoker’), that her mother and sister are unable to understand that Batsheva sees like them underscores the problematic idea that there is only one way to be a feminist.
As he points out when reading the draft of his mother’s memoirs, “The interesting thing about the book is that all the stories are told from a single perspective,” and that is precisely the problem with the show, which hardly tricks his speech. While of course it is empowering (her daughter Miriam is hacking the cybersecurity genome to prevent rape at universities and Julia claims to be wiping out all the sexual predators in her path from the industry), sometimes the show seems like a ‘branded content’ of the Julia Haart brand.
However, in moments as turbulent as this, The fact that Netflix elevates a self-made woman who denounces abuse and defends an incessant search for freedom cannot seem wrong to us, as much as sometimes we are surprised not to see Blake Lively, Sarah Jessica Parker or Yolanda Hadid suddenly appear in the room to enjoy a brunch bathed in rosé.
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