Film

Israeli movie takes top prize in Tokyo

10/31/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An Israeli movie took the grand prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

"Intimate Grammar," based on the Israeli novel "Book of Intimate Grammar" by David Grossman, was awarded the $50,000 Sakura Grand Prize Film Award on Sunday.

The film, directed by Nir Bergman, is about the son of Holocaust survivors growing up in Israel in the early 1960s.

The Filmmaker As Therapist

Jay Rosenblatt and the healing power of cinema.
10/04/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

 Jay Rosenblatt’s parents would probably have wanted him to be a doctor. After all, that’s what Jewish parents of baby boomers usually wanted for their kids in Sheepshead Bay. And Rosenblatt, born there in 1955, almost accommodated them. He was a mental health therapist for several years, working in hospitals and leading group therapy sessions. He was working towards his master’s degree in counseling when the lightning bolt hit him.

Answering The ‘Nuremberg’ Call

For Sandra Schulberg, a sense of obligation surrounded her restoration of her father’s film of the historic Nazi trial.
09/20/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The road from Auschwitz to Nuremberg is a twisting, uncertain one. Some of the Nazis who walked it did so in shackles, much deserved. For others, it was a liberation in the most profound sense. Ernest Michel was one of those lucky few.

A cameraman films during the Nuremberg Trials.

Film Of Cantors’ Poland Trip Goes Flat

‘100 Voices: A Journey Home’ offers little historical context.
09/15/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I feel utterly certain that the new documentary “100 Voices: A Journey Home” is the most exasperating film I will see in 2010. The film, which documents the concert tour of a hundred members of the Cantorial Assembly to Poland, dashes all over the place, offering quick histories of the American cantorate, the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, the Yiddish theater, and the personal stories of several cantors and musicians whose families survived the Shoah.

“100 Voices: A Journey Home”

Being Ruth Gruber

The pioneering, nonagenarian Jewish journalist is a perfect documentary subject; fortunately, the film landed the perfect director as well.
09/07/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Ruth Gruber, the subject of a wonderfully economical and crisp documentary, "Ahead of Time," is a magnificent one-of-a-kind figure in 20th-century Jewish history. Gruber is the product of, she recounts with a grin, "a shtetl called Brooklyn. … Everybody there was Jewish." She was a prodigy who entered New York University at 15 and earned a doctorate from the University of Cologne at 20. But the attractions of the academy couldn't compete with the turmoil of worldwide economic depression, the New Deal at home and the rise of Fascism in Europe.

Ruth Gruber

New Holocaust Film: Recycling History

Long avoiding Shoah films because of her personal connection, Yael Hersonki was compelled to analyze ghetto images used by Nazis in “A Film Unfinished.”
08/09/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

It’s a rather odd admission for a director whose first feature film is a ground-breaking documentary about the Holocaust, but growing up in Israel, Yael Hersonski avoided films about the Shoah and memorial sites like Yad Vashem. She had a much more vivid reminder of the events at home.

Israeli filmmaker Yael Hersonki used footage from unfinished Nazi propaganda to show life in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Mississippi’s Burning Questions

In “Neshoba,” Micki Dickoff paints a vivid picture of the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers, and justice still unserved.
08/09/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

In 1964 when she was only 17, Micki Dickoff asked her father if she could go to Mississippi to work with the volunteers  of  Freedom Summer, registering black voters. Her father, a Mississippi native, refused to allow her to go. His was the only Jewish family in a small Mississippi town, and he feared what she would find there. Not long after, his worst fears were confirmed when three of the volunteers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by local Klansmen, all of them deputy sheriffs of Neshoba County. 

After 50 years, Edward Ray Killen, a former KKK member, remains unrepentant for his role in the murder of three young activists,

Hate-Group Members In Love

Danish film ‘Brotherhood’ explores an unlikely romance between gay neo-Nazis.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

 There have been many films that explore the pathology and sociology of fascist movements. It’s a subject perhaps better suited to documentary than to fiction simply because the issues are a bit too complex, the strands of race, ethnicity, class and “tribal” allegiance too densely interwoven for dramatization within the allotted time of a conventional feature film.

Danish film ‘Brotherhood’

Samuel Maoz’s 20 Years’ War

As ‘Lebanon’ opens theatrically, the director reflects on his war experience and what it took to turn it into a film.
08/02/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Samuel Maoz was only 20 years old when the first Lebanon War broke out. He was a gunner in a tank crew and at 6:15 a.m. on the morning of June 6, 1982, he killed a man for the first time in his life.

“It was a release to make the film,” Maoz says.

Chaplin’s Splendid Audacity

The daring of ‘The Great Dictator’ and how it speaks to us through the years.
07/26/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I believe it was William L. Shirer who said that if someone had pulled down Adolf Hitler’s pants in public in 1923 he never would have become Reichschancellor. Ridicule, in the right hands, is a powerful weapon. That was probably what was going through Charles Chaplin’s mind when he began work on “The Great Dictator” in 1938. 

Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel: Taking on Hitler was an act of cinematic boldness.
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