A Grunt’s-Eye-View Of Modern Combat

Samuel Fuller’s WWII epic ‘The Big Red One’ raises big moral questions.
09/24/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Lee Marvin in “The Big Red One.” Warner Brothers

Mizrahim In The Spotlight

Working-class families figure prominently in Israel Film Center Festival.

05/24/2016 - 12:39
Special To The Jewish Week

For the fourth installment of the Israel Film Center Festival, a welcome addition to the cultural calendar, family — especially the Mizrahi nuclear family — is everything. And while it may be too soon to call this a cinematic trend — running counter, as it does, to Israeli films that deal with politics and matters of war and peace — three films in this year’s festival tread over that little-cultivated ground.

Talking turkey farming: Asher Avrahami, left, and Navid Negahban in a scene from “Baba Joon.” United King Features

‘He Wasn’t Some Leftist From Tel Aviv’

Erez Laufer puts the focus on Yitzchak Rabin’s life, not his death, in new documentary.

05/03/2016 - 15:51
Special To The Jewish Week

Erez Laufer was 5 years old when he first met Yitzchak Rabin. Laufer’s father taught at the Kadoorie boarding school, a Rabin alma mater, and when the then – chief of staff of the IDF landed in the family’s yard in a helicopter, Erez was there to greet him.

Rabin at home: A shy but blunt man, Rabin kept his family out of the public limelight.

Remembering Ronit Elkabetz

The great Israeli actress-director could be a charismatic earth mother and a wry humorist; Viviane Amsalem trilogy spoke to ‘situation of women’ in Israel.

04/20/2016 - 10:15
Special To The Jewish Week

Back in the winter of 2015, I closed an interview with Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz by asking them if their film, “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” represented a farewell to the eponymous central character whose familial troubles had carried through a trilogy of singular intensity and nuance.

Ronit Elkabetz died this week at 51 after a long battle with cancer. Wikimedia Commons

From Hungary To Buenos Aires And Beyond

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival puts teshuvah and comedy in the spotlight.

04/12/2016 - 13:45
Special To The Jewish Week

Alan Sabbagh brings Purim to Buenos Aires in “The Tenth Man.” Alejandra Lopez

The Tribeca Film Festival has always included a generous helping of Israeli and Jewish-themed films, but seldom has the selection been stronger than it is this year. It’s not about the numbers, although the 2016 event, which opens on Thursday, April 14, includes at least a half-dozen features and a handful of shorts that will be of interest to Jewish Week readers. It is definitely about the quality.

Former Jobbik party head Csanad Szegedi, near right, and Rabbi Boruch Oberlander in scene from “Keep Quiet.” Gábor Máté

‘There Are Some Things That Can’t Be Shown’

Considering the Shoah-haunted films of the late Chantal Akerman.

03/22/2016 - 16:22
Special To The Jewish Week

About halfway through “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman,” a new documentary by Marianne Lambert, opening on Wednesday, March 30, the late Belgian filmmaker tells Lambert that, finally, all her films are really about her mother, a Holocaust survivor who died shortly before the interview took place.

Scene from Akerman’s last film, “No Home Movie,” a loving portrait of her mother. Akerman credit: Courtesy of Icarus Films

Last Chance For Closure

Director Atom Egoyan on his new film ‘Remember’ — a take on memory and revenge, and a very different kind of road movie.

03/01/2016 - 12:39
Special To The Jewish Week

The phone line between Toronto and New York seemed to crackle with impassioned urgency as the film director Atom Egoyan spoke of his compelling new movie, “Remember,” due to open here next week at the Angelika Film Center.

Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau in a scene from “Remember.” Photos by Sophie Giraud

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Two takes on mensch-hood at Rendezvous with French Cinema series.

02/24/2016 - 09:02
Special To The Jewish Week

What does it mean to be a mensch?

As anyone who reads this newspaper knows, it’s not the same thing as being “a man,” that rather less elusive category that obsesses American culture.

Nicolas Duvauchelle as the troubled Eddy in “A Decent Man.” Courtesy of Rendezvous with French Cinema

Activist Cinema

In week two of the NY Jewish Film Festival, activism and justice seeking is a theme that binds.

01/19/2016 - 15:16
Special To The Jewish Week

To the extent that one can identify a running theme in this year’s New York Jewish Film Festival, which runs through Jan. 26, it might be the ways Jews have managed to negotiate a tricky divide; many protagonists in the festival’s films are balancing quietist assimilation in non-Jewish societies with the compulsion to activism that underlies the biblical injunction to seek justice.

Emmanuelle Devos as Simone Veil, France’s minister of health in the government of Jacques Chirac. Jewish Film Festival

Carrying ‘That Destruction’ In Their Genes

‘Son of Saul’ filmmaker and star on what went into making the intense Sonderkommando story set in Auschwitz, and the controversy it engendered.

12/15/2015 (All day)
Special To The Jewish Week

László Nemes knew that when it came time to make his first feature film he wouldn’t have trouble finding a subject.

The Holocaust, in his native Hungary.

Director László Nemes and Géza Röhrig on the set of “Son of Saul.” Photo by Ildi Hermann, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
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