We remember World War I as the first bloodbath of the modern era. But it was a conflict that combatants embraced and believed in.
You’d notice Marshall Berman, if you saw him. Back when I commuted to the City College of New York from my parents’ apartment in the late 1960s, my father certainly did. He rushed into our apartment to excitedly report that “a hippie” was entering our next-door neighbor’s place, a colleague of Berman’s at CCNY.
Eran Riklis feels its his duty to make films about the Arab-Israeli conflict. But his latest, ‘Zaytoun,’ also has a universal story at its center.
“Lore,” short for Hannelore and the title of a new film opening February 8, is the name of a strong-willed and idealistic teenager who tries to lead her four young siblings to safety through the war-ravaged and dangerous landscape of a German nation defeated in 1945. Her physical trek triggers an inner journey for this impressionable young person on the edge of adulthood. We gradually see her shed the Nazi faith she grew up with, and recoil against the hatefulness of the people around her.
There’s a conceit among movie critics to be, well, critical. And “The Other Son,” a French film by director Lorraine Levy opening in the U.S. October 26, has its flaws. But it needs to be said upfront that, although it does not seem particularly realistic, the movie does a nice job on its own terms.
The New School’s program, “The Jewish-American Relationship with Israel at the Crossroads,” raised my suspicions for two reasons: the one-sided composition of its panel and its scheduling from 4 to 6 PM on a Saturday afternoon. Was this meant as a deliberate slap at pro-Israel and religious Jews, I wondered?
“Tears of Gaza,” a Norwegian documentary about the Gaza Strip under assault during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead of December 2008 and January 2009, is presented in Arabic with English subtitles. It may be characterized as “truthful propaganda.” There’s no reason to doubt most of what you see, but the film makes no apology for showing only one side.
When emailing and skyping with Guy Davidi, the 33-year old Israeli co-director of “5 Broken Cameras,” opening May 30 in New York at the Film Forum, one encounters a sophisticated — albeit imperfect — speaker of English, with a vaguely British accent. His views, however, are always sharp: “My belief is that the construction of the wall has little to do with [the] security of Israel,” he said, because “there are still many settlers and settlements [on] the ‘Palestinian side’ of the wall. The choice to locate it within the occupied territories allows [Israel] to confiscate new Palestinian lands which makes any talk [of a] 2 state solution less and less relevant.”
Moshe Kagan, a fiercely left-wing American Zionist who died at 92, was a man of many friendships, none more surprising than his decades-long warm link to Ariel Sharon.