From a pioneering journalist to a Jazz Baroness and beyond, all in week two of the N.Y. Jewish Film Festival.
Special To The Jewish Week
One of the most thankless tasks of a film critic is to troll around the depths and breadth of a festival looking for a theme that unites all the films on offer. Of course, the New York Jewish Film Festival’s entries all reflect on the Jewish experience in some way — “Doh,” as Homer Simpson might say — but this year there seems to be a bit more than that going on. Many, indeed most of the films in this year’s festival seem to be imbued with the spirit of a particularly resilient and indomitable Jewish womanhood. Push aside all the Jewish mother jokes, the Jewish American Princess jokes, all that self-defiling “comical” claptrap, and you find that she ferocity with which Jewish women have defended their heritage and their families is a significant reason why the Jews have survived for four millennia.
Is Mel Gibson a cynical manipulator or an insensitive true believer? Those are two theories being floated in trying to explain the increasing controversy over Gibson's upcoming film, "The Passion," his bloody retelling of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some leading interfaith experts say the film, which the 47-year-old Gibson co-wrote and is due out in February, violates Catholic teachings and will foment anti-Semitism worldwide.