documentary

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

Out Of Europe

Two new documentaries — one on a Ukrainian writer, the other on a German artist — paint a vivid canvas of World War II and its aftermath.

07/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The outsider’s perspective is generally a fresh one, especially if the outsider in question is a great artist. That certainly is the case with two excellent new documentaries that will have their U.S. theatrical premieres at Film Forum in the coming weeks. The translator Svetlana Geier and the painter Anselm Kiefer have unique, unusual viewpoints on the bloody 20th century, and in “The Woman With Five Elephants” and “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” those viewpoints are given particularly cogent visual expression.

Svetlana Geier, above, the subject of "The Woman With the 5 Elephants," and Anselm Kiefer,"Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow,"

All The News That’s Fit To Stream

Times documentary ignores some questions about the Gray Lady and its future.

06/21/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

With all due respect to the Jewish Week (and all other Jewish newspapers), it is the New York Times — and not the Jewish papers — that is the Jewish community’s newspaper of record. I know this from being a lifelong reader of the Times and I know this from my years as a Times employee.

The Cauldron That Is Hebron

New documentary looks at IDF’s thankless job as buffer between settlers and Palestinians.

06/14/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The first images one sees in the new documentary “This Is My Land ... Hebron” are seemingly familiar ones, young men wearing balaclavas and throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. It is only as the scene continues that one realizes that these young men are also wearing tzitzit and shouting in Hebrew and English. Welcome to Hebron.

Middle men: Scenes from “This Is My Land … Hebron,” with IDF soldiers trying to keep the peace.

Sleepless In Seattle

Documentary explores the manic life of
Steven Jesse Bernstein, father of ‘grunge’ and outsider artist.

12/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Steven Jesse Bernstein only lived 40 years, but to judge from the new documentary about him, “I Am Secretly an Important Man,” which opens on Dec. 15, his four decades were a whirlwind that encompassed enough writing, performing, sex, drugs and alcohol for a small army, and ended with an inexplicable but unsurprising suicide. That makes it all the more surprising that his advice to other poets, performance artists, musicians and, most of all, to himself was six simple words: “Just go and do your job.”

Bernstein, above, who eventually settled in Seattle, as pursued by demons.
Syndicate content