At first blush, Shmuel (Adam Silver) is a pious Hasidic man leading a fairly simple life. By day he dutifully prays at the local synagogue and manages a busy dry cleaner. But when his wife and daughters leave town for a few days, Shmuel will step out of his simple daily life and into a more complex world lit by the night. When he misplaces his black hat along the way, Shmuel’s two lives will interconnect in a way he never expected.
The 15-minute short drama Black Hat follows twenty-four hours in the life of one Hasidic man that must wrestle with his own repressed identity. Through Shmuel’s story, writer Phillip Guttmann and director Sarah Smith raise the notion that these often mysterious and misunderstood religious individuals, typically only seen by the outside world on streets covered by hats and sheitels, are perhaps more complex – more like us – than we previously imagined.
Black Hat is “a story about loneliness and the feeling of being trapped between two worlds,” said director Smith. “Ultimately, this is a character study of a man searching for his place in the world, and our artistic approach will aim to support this main theme.”