Summer's Overflowing With Jewish Films and Festivals

Blockbusters, Art Films and Docudramas Fill Theaters

By Ezra Glinter

Published July 25, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

‘Captain America’

Captain America

The Captain America character, created in 1940 by writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby, was originally an allegory for American intervention in World War II. Now a summer blockbuster by director Joe Johnston, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” casts a nostalgic eye on a more innocent-seeming time. But with the sheen of American interventionism having worn off, how much appeal does the character still have in 2011? A lot, writes John Semley.

Read more


‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key

In the French film “Sarah’s Key,” by director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, a journalist tries to find out more about France’s notorious Vel’ d’Hiv roundup, in which thousands of Jews were arrested and interned in Paris’s velodrome and the Drancy internment camp before being sent to Auschwitz. But for an episode in which millions of ordinary people stood passively by in the face of evil, all of the film’s characters seem to have been the ones who did the right thing. While depicting the event this way is the emotionally easier route to take, it also obscures the real horrors of the time, writes Jenny Hendrix.

Read more


‘Mabul’

Mabul

July and August are big months for Jewish film festivals. The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which is the oldest event of its kind in the U.S., launched its 31st season with the Israeli film “Mabul,” which picked up numerous awards at the Haifa International Film Festival and the Israeli Academy Awards. “Mabul” tells the story of an autistic boy whose care falls to his bar mitzvah-aged brother, and the effect that caring for him has on his family. Though it doesn’t romanticize autism, the film still sounds a triumphant note, writes Elizabeth Stone.

Read more


‘The Woman With the 5 Elephants’

5 Elephants

Today, Svetlana Geier is the most accomplished translator of Russian literature into German, but her own life story is no less dramatic than those of the characters whose exploits she translates. Born in Ukraine, Geier lost her father during Stalin’s purges, and her best friend was murdered by the Nazis at Babi Yar. In a new documentary, whose title references the five major Dostoevsky novels Geier has translated, director Vadim Jendreyko follows her by train as she returns to her homeland for the first time since the war. In “The Woman With the 5 Elephants” Jendreyko’s has created a textured portrait of a poetic and humble woman, writes Myra Mniewski.

Read more


‘The Law in These Parts’

Mabul

Winner of the prize for Best Documentary at the Jerusalem Film Festival, “The Law in These Parts” explores the legal side of military rule in the occupied territories. Director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz shows how law is a kind of narrative that relies on interpretation, and draws a parallel between the process of legal judgment and that of documentary filmmaking. Both are undertaken by people with their own views, goals and agendas, writes Olga Gershenson.

Read more

Read more film coverage on The Arty Semite blog here.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.