The movie Felix and Meira tells the story of a ḥasidic woman unhappy with her marriage and her community who toys with leaving the fold and pursues a dalliance with a Gentile. The movie, writes Shulem Deen, succeeds because, unlike other treatments of restless Ḥasidim, its characters are humans rather than archetypes:
Felix and Meira is the story of one ḥasidic woman, not ḥasidic womanhood; this is not a woman’s rebellion against religion, but the story of a wife and husband badly paired, who simply want different things out of life. [Her husband] Shulem wants the life he was born to live. A typical ḥasidic young man, he wants to study, pray, raise children, and maintain his good standing within the community. His wife wants more, but he does not understand her. . . .
Meira is not a one-dimensional figure with traits plotted along the dots of common ḥasidic female stereotypes. She’s given a voice and a psychological profile that is at once endearing and exasperating. Shulem, too, while possessing fewer distinguishing characteristics, is well cast; he comes across as balanced, having neither great passion nor great dullness. His equanimity may not stir in us great sympathy, but we cannot dislike him, either.