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Film

Cabaret-Berlin, The Wild Scene

Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir’s documentary, Cabaret-Berlin, The Wild Scene, is a nostalgic excursion into a lost world. Currently being screened online by the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation, it’s a bold and brash movie, composed of a collage of eclectic images taken from movie clips, photographs, drawings and paintings. It is narrated in theatrical style by the German […]

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Film

Monkey Business

Curious George, the whimsical cartoon character dreamed up by the German-Jewish refugee couple Hans and Margret Rey, is an international cultural icon. An affectionate monkey of renown, Curious George has captivated the hearts and minds of children for decades now. The Reys produced seven books about this adorable creature, their last one having been published […]

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Film

Sixty Six

Paul Wieland’s appealing coming-of-age British drama, Sixty Six, unfolds against the backdrop of the 1966 World Cup in London. By chance, the final game of this global tournament coincides with Bernie Rubens’ forthcoming bar mitzvah. And herein lies the nub of Sixty Six, which is being screened online by the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation. A […]

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Film

Sheldon Leonard’s Wonderful Life

Sheldon Leonard was a Renaissance Man in the highly competitive business of show business, moving seamlessly between theater, radio, film and television. He appeared in Broadway plays, starred in Hollywood movies, churned out radio scripts, and produced TV sitcoms. Leonard’s contributions to middlebrow American culture are highlighted in Allan Holzman’s breezy documentary, Sheldon Leonard’s Wonderful Life, […]

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Film

Martin Buber: Itinerary of A Humanist

The philosopher Martin Buber (1878-1965) never deviated from his belief that dialogue is an essential component of human existence. A cosmopolitan bridge builder, he devoted his life to two interrelated goals — reconciliation between people and universal peace. It is hardly coincidental that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize seven times. Buber’s quest forms […]

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Film

Red Rocket

Sean Baker’s bittersweet movie, Red Rocket,  provides viewers with an unimpeded glimpse of flyover territory in the United States. It unfolds in Texas City, a somnolent, flyblown town in Texas hemmed in by highways and a railway track and dominated by the belching smokestacks of chemical refineries humming day and night ceaselessly. It’s an alienating […]

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Film

Klezmer — A Descent Into A Hellish World

Klezmer, a Polish film set in Nazi-occupied Poland, exposes viewers to a harsh Darwinian world where life is nasty and brutish. Streamed by Chaiflicks, an online provider of Jewish-themed and Israeli films, Piotr Chrzan’s dark and pessimistic movie unfolds in a forest near Bialystok in the summer of 1942 or 1943. Polish Jews who have escaped […]

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Film

Betrayed: Norwegian Jews And The Holocaust

Eirik Svensson’s spare, hard-hitting feature film, Betrayed, boldly exposes Norway’s heartless and callous betrayal of its Jewish community during the Holocaust. Norway was occupied by Germany in April 1940, seven months after the outbreak of World War II. Norwegian collaborators, headed by Vidkun Quisling, cooperated with the invaders, even as underground fighters fought Germany’s occupation. […]

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Film

Latter Day Jew

Something was missing from A. Alan Scott’s life. It turned out to be Judaism. A Mormon from Kirkwood, Missouri, he was drawn to it in his 20s and never looked back. Aliza Rosen’s endearing documentary, Latter Day Jew, partially traces his journey from Christianity to Judaism. It will be screened during the Hannukah Film Festival, which […]

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Film

The Crossing

During Germany’s occupation of Norway from 1940 onward, Jews were singled out for persecution. Shorn of their rights, they were maligned and marginalized. But the worst was yet to come. Within two years of the German invasion, 773 Jews were deported to extermination camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. More than 1,000 Jews managed to escape to […]