A Lens For Healing

The Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers behind '5 Broken Cameras', a portrait of life in a West Bank village, look beyond their anger.
Special to the Jewish Week

Seen together, filmmakers Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi could be one of those clichéd “odd couple” pairs so beloved of unimaginative contemporary Hollywood action comedies. Davidi is Israeli, tall, thin, weedy, mercurial. Burnat is Palestinian, shorter, solid, graying and insistently sober in demeanor. The peculiarly theatrical atmosphere of a morning with them is amplified by the central object in the chic quiet of their Midtown hotel — a large cylindrical aquarium filled with exotic fish.

Burnat with his damaged video cameras.

Second Avenue Redux

Michael Tilson Thomas remembers his grandparents, the Thomashevskys, the first family of Yiddish theater.
Special to the Jewish Week

The story of Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky is a classic American success narrative. Although they were born only a few miles apart in “the middle of a Ukrainian nowhere,” as their grandson Michael Tilson Thomas puts it, they met in Baltimore when he was performing with a traveling Yiddish theater troupe and she was a star-struck girl working in a tobacco factory. They went on to fame and acclaim, stars of the Yiddish theater from the late-19th Century until the Depression.

Judy Blazer as Bessie and Shuler Hensley as Boris Thomashevsky in new DVD, top. Right, Blazer and Eugene Brancoveanu.

Netanyahu Recalls His Heroic Brother


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.”

Israeli Filmmaker Aiming ‘Big’ On Herzl Project

Prestigious N.Y. Public Library fellowship a large step forward for Shimon Dotan’s ambitious biopic.
Staff Writer

Imagine a biopic about Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Talk about a dream team. But the match-up is a wild dream that the accomplished Israeli director and former Hollywood filmmaker Shimon Dotan got one step closer to realizing last month. 

Theodor Herzl saw need for Jewish homeland after hearing anti-Semitic taunts against Dreyfus.

A Father-And-Son Team Take On Freud And Mahler

Percy and Felix Adlon tease out the famous counseling session in ‘Mahler on the Couch.’
Special to the Jewish Week

When he began working with his father, Percy Adlon, on the script for their new film “Mahler on the Couch,” Felix O. Adlon felt a heavier than usual weight on his shoulders.

Filmmakers Felix and Percy Adlon.

Sebald: ‘Don’t Put Me In A Box

Film looks at the life and work of German novelist W. G. Sebald.
Special to the Jewish Week


There are times when you are out walking that a kind of hypnotic paralysis overcomes you. You are enwrapped in the rhythms of your gait, the pleasant sameness of the countryside, and you become oblivious to anything but the forward motion, the almost imperceptible bobbing of your gaze.

W. G. Sebald

The Art Of The Steal

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

Amos Kollek’s Latest ‘Crisis’

Seven years in the making, the Israeli filmmaker’s new, very personal work to open here.
Special to the Jewish Week

Amos Kollek is back in New York. Although he has lived in the city “for long periods,” he says, he is now living in Israel full time, and is back for what he suggests is a fool’s errand: supporting the May 4 opening of his latest film, “Chronicling a Crisis.”

Filmmaker Amos Kollek, left, and his father Teddy Kollek in scene from “Chronicling A Crisis.”

The Kibbutz At 100

Documentary looks at ups and downs of Israel’s noble experiment in collective living; ‘Dolphin Boy’ considers a very different kind of experiment.
Special to the Jewish Week

For many Jews in the diaspora, the ideal of the kibbutz has always spoken loudly about what the State of Israel was supposed to be. Some of the avatars of modern Zionism would have agreed. After all, they were among the pioneers who created the first kibbutz, just over a century ago, at Degania.

“Inventing Our Life,” top, looks at the changes in Israel’s first kibbutz.

Eytan Fox’s Yossi, 10 Years On

The sequel to ‘Yossi and Jagger’ at Tribeca fest, marks the subtle changes in the former IDF commander.
Special to the Jewish Week

It has been 10 years since Jagger died, and Yossi (Ohad Knoller), his erstwhile commander and lover, hasn’t recovered yet. Now a cardiologist working in Tel Aviv, Yossi is still closeted, living in an emotional straitjacket woven of loneliness, mourning and the fear of being devastated by more tragedy. If only something would change...

Ohad Knoller plays a closeted, conflicted cardiologist in “Yossi.”
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