The Arts

The Doctors Of Evil

Robert Lifton discusses his interviews with the physicians who carried out the Nazi killing program.

09/28/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Early in the excellent new documentary “Robert Lifton: Nazi Doctors,” co-director Wolfgang Richter expresses his concern to Dr. Lifton about the sheer immensity of the Holocaust as a topic for study. Lifton, who is the very soul of calm and equanimity throughout the film, replies quietly: “One can only do so much ... One has to fail to comprehend the entire event. It’s elusive, but one can capture or illuminate some portion of it.”

Of the Nazi doctors he interviewed, Robert Lifton said: “They were looking for a kind of absolution.”

Answering The ‘Nuremberg’ Call

For Sandra Schulberg, a sense of obligation surrounded her restoration of her father’s film of the historic Nazi trial.

09/21/2010
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.

Allen Ginsberg: The Film Version

In dramatizing the beat poet, the experimental ‘Howl’ is a bold attempt to find a visual language for his ‘bop kabbalah’ rhythms.

09/21/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

About halfway into “Howl,” the edgy, thoughtful new docudrama by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, you begin to realize that, in his uncanny recreation of Allen Ginsberg’s speech and performance rhythms, James Franco is beginning to edge into an series of incantatory rhythms not unlike that of a chasid in the throes of ecstatic prayer.

Enlightenment on the page: James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in “Howl.”

Film Of Cantors’ Poland Trip Goes Flat

‘100 Voices: A Journey Home’ offers little historical context.

09/16/2010
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”

Caught In The Crossfire In Belfast

09/15/2010

As the rest of our society turns toward Halloween, we brave our own demons on Yom Kippur, in a particularly Jewish way that points toward the possibility of redemption. In Gavin Kostick’s new play, “This is What We Sang,” presented at the Synagogue for the Arts in Tribeca, five generations of a Jewish family in Belfast search their souls on the Day of Atonement to come to terms with the tangled, century-long past of their people and their region.

Paul Kennedy in “This is What We Sang,” about Jews in Northern Ireland.

Her Grandma’s Back Pages

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’

09/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’

Clair Burson's “Silver and Ash,” is based on her grandmother’s experience escaping Nazi Germany.

The Canvas Of Jewish Feminism

‘Shifting The Gaze’ explores groundbreaking Jewish women artists and Judaism’s role (or lack thereof) in shaping their perspectives.

09/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

What is the connection between Judaism, feminism and art?

Though it's on the view at The Jewish Museum, “Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism” is not a survey of Jewish feminist art. Rather, through a concise presentation of just 33 works — most of them paintings — as well as through a searchable website accompaniment, it is a brief look at the museum’s sometimes complicated relationship with women artists.

Miriam Schapiro’s “Fanfare,” from 1958, was part of one of The Jewish Museum’s earliest shows focusing on women’s art.

Strong Jewish Women, The CD: Galeet Dardashti's 'The Naming'

09/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Galeet Dardashti, founder of the all-woman band Divahn, never set out to be a Jewish feminist icon or spokeswoman. She just wanted to follow in the footsteps of her highly musical family.

Galeet Dardashti

Being Ruth Gruber

The pioneering, nonagenarian Jewish journalist is a perfect documentary subject; fortunately, the film landed the perfect director as well.

09/08/2010
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

Leaving The Bronx

09/07/2010

‘The longest journey in the world,” Norman Podhoretz once ruefully noted, “is the journey between Brooklyn and Manhattan.”

“A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx” playwright Gary Moregenstein: From city to suburbs.
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