Categories
Film

A Cinematic Portrait Of An Israeli Conscientious Objector

Molly Stuart’s 75-minute documentary, Objector, kicks off the ninth annual Human Rights Film Festival in Toronto, which runs online from December 3-10. Atalya Ben-Abba, a 19-year-old Israeli conscientious objector from Jerusalem, is at the center of this film, which begins six months before she’s due to be inducted into the army. Atalya grew up thinking […]

Categories
Film

The Last Vermeer

Dan Friedkin’s The Last Vermeer unfolds in Amsterdam after World War II as liberated Holland comes to terms with the legacy of the brutal five-year German occupation. Based on a true story heightened by astonishing twists and turns, this vivid drama grapples with a maze of interrelated issues ranging from Nazi-looted art to Holland’s conduct under […]

Categories
Film

Birth Right — An Israeli Short Film About Identity

Thousands  of young Jewish men and women from all walks of life and countries visit Israel every year free of charge thanks to the Birthright program. Inbar Horesh’s Israeli short film, Birth Right, explores it from a singularly Russian angle. Currently being screened online at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, it unfolds over the course […]

Categories
Film

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sequel Falls Short

I missed Sacha Baron Cohen’s first Borat film, so I have no way of comparing it to the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was released late last week. Judged on its own merits, the second one is sophomoric. With the exception of a few punchy scenes, I watched it with a straight face, disappointed by […]

Categories
Film

Ma’abarot: The Israeli Transit Camps

Seven hundred thousand Jewish immigrants poured into Israel during its first years statehood, straining its relatively limited absorption capacity. Yet immigration was one of the key priorities of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, after the 1948 War of Liberation. Approximately one-third of the newcomers were sent to abandoned British army bases. These rudimentary transit camps, […]

Categories
Film

Outremont And The Hasidim

Outremont, a sedate and generally affluent neighborhood in the center of Montreal, is embroiled in a running dispute regarding its willingness to accommodate its tight-knit, insular ultra-Orthodox population. This divisive issue has stamped Outremont as a place of conflict, laments its mayor, Philipe Tomlinson. The majority of Outremont’s French and English residents do not appear to […]

Categories
Film

Thou Shalt Not Hate

Mauro Mancini’s Italian-language feature film, Thou Shalt Not Hate, is driven by moralistic fervor. Scheduled to be screened online at the autumn edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, which runs from October 22 to November 1, it pits a middle-aged Jewish doctor against a young neo-Nazi thug. The first scene establishes its tone and […]

Categories
Film

Love In Suspenders

Jorge Weller’s entertaining Israeli romantic comedy, Love in Suspenders, is awash in geriatric romance. Set in contemporary Tel Aviv, it will be screened online by the Toronto Jewish Festival, which runs from October 22 to November 1. Beno (Yehuda Barkan) and Tami (Nitza Saul) meet under inauspicious circumstances when she bumps into him with her car. […]

Categories
Film

A Cinematic Survey Of Antisemitism

The world’s oldest, most persistent hatred is expertly surveyed in a two-hour documentary by Ilan Ziv. His movie, Antisemitism, will be screened online by the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, which runs from October 22 to November 1. Ziv’s substantive film covers a wide swath of ground, but focuses on France, whose treatment of Jews has […]

Categories
Film

Mrs. G, The Doyenne of Stylish Swimwear

Dalit Kimor’s intriguing biopic, Mrs. G, which will be screened at the forthcoming online Toronto Jewish Film Festival, is a portrait of Lea Gottlieb, who was probably the world’s finest swimwear designer. Known far and wide as Mrs. G or Mrs. Gottlieb, she was a Hungarian Holocaust survivor whose stylish, brightly colored bathing suits and […]