Fire Dance, an Unorthodox teen drama at Series Mania (review)

fire dance series mania
Yes Studios

The emancipation of a suicidal young Israeli, crushed by the weight of the traditions of the ultra-Orthodox community in which she lives.

It is a real cultural experience. In official competition at the Series Mania 2022 festival, fire dance immerses us in the heart of a religious community with overwhelming ancestral practices, an ultra-Orthodox micro-society living in isolation in Israel, and within which women have only a limited place.

All-consuming for 18-year-old Faigie, who grew up in a broken home, fatherless and with a violent abusive mother. Depressed, the young woman wants to end her life. But the handsome Nathan, 35, son of the Rabbi who leads the whole community, saves her in extremis. For him, she will then try to rebuild herself and find her place…

fire dance is undoubtedly a disconcerting series, depicting the quasi-sectarian practices and the way of life of a community completely out of step with any idea of ​​modernity or equality. A community where the group and its traditions take precedence over the individual. It’s disturbing, especially since this Israeli drama will obviously recall the excellent mini-series UnorthodoxNetflix’s global hit, which introduced the world to these “Haredim” with their unshakable faith and predominant rites. Except that Unorthodox knew how to distance himself from his subject, where fire dance is in total immersion. To the point that it sometimes lacks a little perspective. Even so, the emancipation story behind it is quite fascinating. Striking. Thanks to a stranger: Mia Ivryne. Behind her big trifocal glasses, the Israeli actress bursts the screen, with a performance different from that delivered in 2020 by Shira Haas, but just as explosive, stormy, overwhelming, resplendent. A magnificent discovery. And as a sign of fate, Shira Haas is precisely a member of the jury this year at Series Mania…

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