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Last of the Unjust Probes A Terrible Dilemma

Filed in Arts by on April 20, 2014
Last of the Unjust Probes A Terrible Dilemma

Long after his nine-hour documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah, was released in 1985, the French filmmaker, Claude Lanzmann, reviewed footage he had been forced to cut. He was probably flabbergasted by what he had left out, particularly an intriguing interview with Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein, the last living “elder” of a Nazi ghetto. Murmelstein, who died […]

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Portrait Of A Palestinian National Poet

Filed in Arts by on April 20, 2014
Portrait Of A Palestinian National Poet

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was the national poet of the Palestinians, a man whose lyrical poetry distilled the essence of loss and exemplified the dream of statehood. Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin’s empathetic biopic, Write Down, I Am An Arab, will be screened at the Canadian International Documentary Festival (Hot Docs) in Toronto on April 27, April 29 […]

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Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2)

Filed in Arts by on April 19, 2014
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2)

This year’s edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, a major event in the city’s cultural agenda, runs from May 1-11 and lives up to expectations, judging by the roster and quality of the movies. A sampler: If you’ve ever visited the Lower East Side in New York City, you may have come upon a […]

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New York’s World Fair, 50 Years On

Filed in Guest Voices by on April 18, 2014
New York’s World Fair, 50 Years On

It had no fewer than three official themes, “Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe,” “Peace Through Understanding,” and “A Millennium of Progress.” Its symbol was a 12-story high, stainless-steel model of the earth, the Unisphere, which still can be seen in Queens, New York, where it was held. The New York World’s Fair […]

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Nikolai Gogol’s Influence On Sholem Aleichem

Filed in Arts by on April 18, 2014
Nikolai Gogol’s Influence On Sholem Aleichem

A portrait of the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) adorned the  office of Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916), the renowned Yiddish writer. According to Amelia Glaser, a professor of Russian and comparative literature at the University of California in San Diego, Sholem Aleichem’s attachment to Gogol  was anything but surprising. Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Sholem […]

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Graphic Documentary Focuses On Battle For Syrian City of Homs

Filed in Arts by on April 17, 2014
Graphic Documentary Focuses On Battle For Syrian City of Homs

Homs is one of the flashpoints of the civil war in Syria, which is tearing apart the country. Peaceful protests in Homs, north of Damascus, were met with a brutal response by government forces, forcing rebels to take up arms in a bitter struggle that has degenerated into a military stalemate symptomatic of the war […]

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Meet the Patels — A Revealing Glimpse Into the Indo-American diaspora

Filed in Arts by on April 17, 2014
Meet the Patels — A Revealing Glimpse Into the Indo-American diaspora

Ravi Patel, 29, is a bachelor, a status his traditional Indo-American parents can no longer abide. Strong believers in arranged marriages, they’re certain they can find their son a suitable Indian girl, someone who shares his values and Hindu religion. Bachelorhood, they assert, is not for a nice Indian boy.   Ravi Patel Meet the Patels, […]

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Toronto Jewish Film Festival (1)

Filed in Arts by on April 16, 2014
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (1)

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the finest cultural event in the city’s Jewish calendar, gets under way on May 1 and runs until May 11. As usual, there are films for every conceivable taste. A sampler: Bernard Natan was one of the founders of  the modern film industry in France. A Rumanian Jew whose original […]

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The Face of Love Is Beautifully Crafted

Filed in Arts by on April 14, 2014
The Face of Love Is Beautifully Crafted

Are there second chances in romance? Arie Posen’s beautifully-crafted film, The Face of Love, starring Annette Bening and Ed Harris, delves into that complex and tantalizing question with the persistence and ardour of a long-denied lover. Its premise seems simple-minded at first glance. Nikki (Bening), an attractive widow in her mid-50s still grieving over the […]

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The Oldest Hatred

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on April 13, 2014
The Oldest Hatred

Shortly after World War II, the German philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno wrote in their book, The Dialectics of the Enlightenment, that antisemitism was no longer possible after the unprecedented horror of the Holocaust. Six decades on, their thesis appears incredibly foolishly and profoundly naive. What were they thinking? After Auschwitz, antisemitism never vanished, […]

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