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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 […]

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Film

A Starry Sky Above The Roman Ghetto

Fascist Italy’s persecution of its Jewish citizens is hardly a new theme in Italian cinema. Vittorio De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi Continis (1970) and Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (1998) were both commercial and critical hits, winning the Academy Award in the best foreign film category. Giulio Base’s A Starry Sky Above The […]

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Film

Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn

Radu Jude’s jolting and sometimes bizarre Romanian-language movie, Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn, which opens in Canada on November 26, is unconventional, to say the least. To the best of my knowledge, it is the first mainstream film featuring hardcore sex. Yet it would be a huge mistake to define it by its occasional […]

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Film

Mish-Mish: Jewish Movie Pioneers In Egypt

David, Herschel and Salamon (Shlomo) Frenkel were pioneers in the truest sense of the word. They were the first filmmakers to bring the art of the animated cartoon movie to Egypt. Active in their adopted homeland from the mid-1930s until the early 1950s, the Frenkels created Misha-Mish Effendi, the Egyptian equivalent of Mickey Mouse. With the […]

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Film

Julia: Portrait Of A Great Chef

Julia Child was, as an observer of the American food scene said, “the first rock star chef.” She was one of the authors of the two-volume primer on French cuisine, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has sold more than two-and-a-half million copies since its publication in 1961. And she was the hostess of […]

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Film

Xueta Island

More than half a century before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, hundreds of Jewish men, women and children on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. They were to be known as Xuetas, which may come from the word “Jueto,” or “little Jew.” The converts became crypto-Jews, […]

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Film

The New York Times And The Holocaust

It’s no secret that The New York Times, the preeminent daily newspaper in the United States, downplayed the Holocaust as it unfolded in real time in Europe. Scholars and journalists have written reams of articles and monographs about its abject and unforgivable sin of omission. The Times’ failure was all the more shocking because it’s […]

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Film

Golden Voices

A plane touches down at Ben-Gurion Airport in September of 1990. The passengers are Russian Jews starting a new life in Israel. Victor and Raya Frenkel, an elderly childless couple, are among these immigrants. And so begins Golden Voices, an endearing Israeli drama by Evgeny Ruman about displacement and adjustment. Infused with comedic touches, it […]