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Film

The Present: A Palestinian Film About Israel’s Occupation

To its Palestinian inhabitants, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is a source of anger and humiliation. Israeli checkpoints curtail their freedom of movement and Israel’s settlements, military camps and roads divide the West Bank into archipelagos of isolated enclaves, rendering the prospect of a contiguous Palestinian state all but impossible. Farah Nablusi’s film, The […]

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Film

The Good Traitor

Danish career diplomat Henrik Kauffmann was one of the unsung heroes of World War II. A fervent anti-Nazi, he generated newspaper headlines when he declared Denmark’s embassy in Washington independent of the Danish government following Germany’s invasion of Denmark on April 9, 1940. With Denmark cooperating with the German occupying force, he decided he could […]

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Film

Green Book

I missed Green Book when it was released in 2018, but thanks to Netflix, I was able to watch this hugely entertaining and uplifting movie. A drama with comedic overtones, it takes place in 1962, when Jim Crow racial laws were still deeply embedded in U.S. southern states. During this era, African Americans driving through […]

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Film

Amundsen: The Great Explorer

Roald Amundsen was arguably the most renowned explorer of the snow-bound, ice-capped polar regions. The first to reach the South Pole in the Antarctica, he was also ¬†the first to circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean. Espen Sandberg’s movie, Amundsen: The Great Explorer, which will be available on VOD platforms on April 6, explores the adventures of […]

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Film

Normalizing The Occupation

It may be hard to believe, but Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has lasted nearly 55 years. I was a young man when Israel conquered it from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War. In the intervening years, Israel has consolidated its grip on the West Bank, which is presently inhabited by 2.6 million […]

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Film

Six Minutes To Midnight

Six Minutes To Midnight, a British thriller directed by Andy Goddard, reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 espionage classic, The Thirty Nine Steps, in terms of its ambience. Be that as it may, Goddard’s movie — which will be available on VOD platforms and in selected Canadian theatres on March 26 — is nowhere near […]

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Film

The Mohel

Charles Wahl’s quirky Canadian movie, The Mohel, deals with an ancient religious tradition, the brit milah, the solemn yet joyous circumcision ceremony which initiates an eight-day-old Jewish male into the fraternity of Jewish peoplehood.¬†Performed by a mohel, a rabbi trained in this specialized surgical procedure, it’s the oldest custom in Judaism. Wahl’s competently-crafted film, 14 […]

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Film

Death Of A Ladies’ Man

The first image in Matthew Bissonnette’s reflective movie, Death of a Ladies’ Man, is a giant-sized mural of the late poet Leonard Cohen on the side of a building in Montreal. This is not a haphazard choice on the part of the director. The spirit of Cohen’s songs, at once melancholy and plaintive, permeates this […]

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Film

Combat Girls

Germany’s neo-Nazi scene is at the center of David Wnendt’s wrenching movie, Combat Girls, which will be digitally screened from March 11-13 by the Goethe Institut in Toronto in conjunction with the Toronto Jewish Film Society and the Neuberger Holocaust Education Center. Wnendt focuses on two young, impressionable women who are drawn into a skinhead […]

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Film

The Renegades

Thousands of starry-eyed young European men joined the Islamic State organization after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed what would be his short-lived caliphate in Syria and Iraq in 2014. They were predominately Muslims, but some were Christian converts to Islam. Two of the recruits, Ferhat Keskin, a German Muslim, and Oliver N, an Austrian […]