documentary

‘She’ll Help You Live A Happier Life’

Doc featuring Alice Herz-Sommer, world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, wins Oscar just days after her death.

03/04/2014
JTA
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Los Angeles — In her 110 years, Alice Herz-Sommer was an accomplished concert pianist and teacher, a wife and mother — and a prisoner in Theresienstadt.

Alice Herz-Sommer, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary. “Music is God,” she would say.  JTA

The Babe As Humanitarian

09/25/2013
Staff Writer
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Yankee great Babe Ruth was many things — prodigious slugger, as well as prodigious drinker and carouser.

But humanitarian and early Hitler critic?

Poster for “Universal Babe:" A different side of the Sultan of Swat.

Two States For Two People?

New documentary looks at the chances for a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.

05/14/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The cover of the latest issue of Moment Magazine asks, “Is the Two-State Solution Dead?” Israeli documentarian Dan Setton approaches the same question in his new film “State 194,” opening on May 17, with a sober, somber tread befitting the slow-motion train wreck that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have become.

Former PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad in scene from “State 194.”

Tainted Names and New Jewish Identities

As I write that descendants of prominent Nazis have chosen to live in Israel today, and that some of them – with surnames like Goering, Goebbels or Himmler -- are converted to Judaism or in process, I realize that readers will reread this sentence to make sure they didn’t misread.

The Holocaust As Family Affair

‘Six Million and One’ charts the emotional toll the Shoah has exacted on the filmmaker’s clan.

09/24/2012
Special to the Jewish Week

The first image one sees in David Fisher’s new documentary “Six Million and One” is a crumbling stone doorway bridged by a spider web. The visual irony is striking, with the rough yellow stone breaking down, the wispy lacework sturdy and undamaged. That irony is, perhaps, at the center of Fisher’s film.

Retracing dad’s footsteps: Filmmaker David Fisher and his siblings at Mauthausen, top, and on park bench.

Netanyahu Recalls His Heroic Brother

05/15/2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting on “Follow Me,” a documentary film opening here this week on the life of his heroic older brother, Yonatan, told The Jewish Week: “This film will show an American audience about Yoni’s humanity, his leadership, and his commitment to Israel.”

Yonatan Netanyahu, a highly decorated Israeli soldier, was killed leading the Entebbe rescue in Uganda in 1976 that saved the lives of more than 100 Israeli hostages.

Yonatan Netanyahu, with his wife Tutti, and dog, Lara, in new documentary, “Follow Me.”

The Art Of The Steal

The story behind the provenance fight over Egon Schiele’s ‘Portrait of Wally.’

05/08/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s not a very large painting, not much more than a square foot of oil on canvas. But Egon Schiele’s portrait of his beloved mistress Walburga Neuzil shook the art world in ways that the Austrian painter could never have imagined. This earthquake had almost nothing to do with the quality of the painting, “Portrait of Wally,” and everything to do with the sinister intersection of the sometimes shadowy world of art dealers and the black hole that was the Shoah.

Egon Schiele’s “Portrait of Wally” is focus of a new documentary at the Quad Cinema.

One Hungarian Town’s Lost Jews

There Was Once’ is an unusually effective and moving Holocaust documentary.

09/20/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Eva Gregory recalls the moment when she realized that her family was in great peril. Then a young girl, she had accidentally dropped and shattered an entire set of expensive china. Horrified at what she had done, she braced for her mother’s explosion, but all her mother said was, “It’s all right. This doesn’t matter anymore.” Gregory, now an elderly woman, says, “That’s when I realized how bad the situation was.”

The elementary school in Kalosca, Hungary, in 1942.

One Complex Family, One Complex Country

Tomer Heymann looks closely at his own family in ‘The Queen Has No Crown,’ and captures a changing Israeli society too.

07/19/2011
Staff Writer

Early in Tomer Heymann’s new documentary, “The Queen Has No Crown,” the director’s twin brother, Erez, stares directly into the camera and says in a low, cold voice: “You’re extinction, that’s what you are. … Biologically, you’re useless.”

The director Tomer Heymann.

From Pebble Seeker To High School Namesake

07/12/2011
Staff Writer

 Holocaust survivor and author Marion Blumenthal Lazan spent a few hours in her Long Island home sitting for a portrait by New York photographer Gary Rabenko one recent morning. The author of a 1999 memoir, “Four Perfect Pebbles” (Greenwillow Books) and the subject of a 2001 documentary, “Marion’s Triumph,” Lazan is often in front of a camera.

But the purpose of her latest photo session was unusual: her portrait is to be mounted this month in the front lobby of a high school named for her last year in her German hometown.

A high school in Germany was recently named for Holocaust survivor and author Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Steve Lipman
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