Oh dear. I gave into temptation last night and binge-watched all four episodes of Unorthodox on Netflix. Here is a promo:

Then I lay awake for an hour trying not to think about it.  As good sleep is necessary to keeping safe and healthy during the pandemic this was all unfortunate. However, the combination of a traditional religious culture, marital bad luck, and travel to Berlin made for a thoroughly absorbing story.

I noticed, though, that the heroine never witnesses a sane, fruitful heterosexual relationship in Berlin. There is a startling amount of homosexual cuddling, but then I suppose that would be the most startling aspect of contemporary life to a 19 year old from an isolated religious community. What I remember from my very first day of university, besides wearing the absolute wrong clothing, are posters of grainy black-and-white photos of same-sex couples snogging stapled on trees and taped to lamp-posts with the superscription: “Enjoying your orientation?” That was startling. It also made me feel that I did not belong. It was the era of the kiss-in, when people with same-sex attractions would make out with each other to make “the straights” feel uncomfortable, to make us stew in our revulsion. The posters belonged to that school of thought.  Come to think of it, at least the heroine  of Unorthodox was witnessing affection, not an “F.U., straight Catholic girl” demonstration.

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