“I am the mouth of a hundred children,” says the charismatic Menahem, after singing a cheerful song about a rabbi who teaches his children the alphabet. As a child, the 35-year-old singer and actor was known to his teachers for his diligence and beautiful voice. But he was also a “porno kid”: for years they sexually abused him. “Raped,” as he puts it plainly.
With French filmmaker Yolande Zauberman, Menahem returns after 20 years to Bnei Brak, the “capital” of the Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the scene of the abuse. Filming this world of the Haredim entirely in the evening, Zauberman captures an atmosphere that is oppressive to outsiders. Beardless and with a shaved head, Menahem is a striking figure here, but with his open mind, charming smile and sincerity, wherever he goes he attracts people willing to share their own story or discuss with him. The film thus reveals the scope and tacit acceptance of child abuse in this closed community.