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Film

Germans & Jews: A Cinematic Exploration

Janina Quint’s informative documentary, Germans & Jews, illustrates the degree to which their relations have radically improved since the Nazi era, yet remain troubled. Seven decades after the collapse of Adolf Hitler’s racist regime, Jews in the Diaspora continue to be suspicious of Germans and often recoil when they hear German, while Germans tend to feel […]

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Film

Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg

The release of Kjell Grede’s feature film, Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg, was unfortunately timed, having come out in the same year as Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Which meant, in hindsight, that it was drowned out by the sheer power and popularity of Spielberg’s epic movie, the recipient of seven Academy Awards, including best picture. Both films […]

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Film

All Eyes Off Me

Hadas Ben Aroya, a young Israeli filmmaker, delves into the lives of Israel’s Generation Z in her unconventional, somewhat sexually explicit movie, All Eyes Off Me, which is now available on VOD and digital platforms. The Israelis in her film are secular, hedonistic and aficionados of bars and discos. They are the polar opposites of […]

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Film

Turn Every Page

It is an editorial partnership that has lasted for half a century, during which the inestimable editor Robert Gottlieb has edited the books written by the prize-winning historian Robert Caro. By any measure, they are stellar figures in their respective fields. Now 91, Gottlieb was the editor-in-chief of two major American publishing houses. During his storied […]

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Film

March 1968

Krzysztof Lang, the director of March 1968, dedicates his empathetic and powerful film to old Jewish school friends who were compelled to leave Poland after the Polish communist regime launched an anti-Zionist campaign reeking of antisemitism. At least 15,000 Poles of Jewish descent emigrated in 1967 and 1968, having been falsely tarred as rootless cosmopolitans […]

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Film

A Ukrainian Shtetl Before the Holocaust

Ady Walter’s cinematic portrayal of a shtetl in Ukraine before the Nazis and their collaborators murdered its Jewish inhabitants is heartwarming and heartbreaking. Shttl, a mostly black-and-white movie written and directed by Walter, is due to be screened on January 16 and 17 in its North American premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival. Haunting and […]

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Film

Blue Line

Alain Sauma’s satirical short film, Blue Line, focuses on a flashpoint in the Middle East, Israel’s sometimes volatile border with Lebanon. Currently being presented online by the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation, this movie turns on a beefy Lebanese cow that strays into Israel, setting off a burst of excitement and anxiety on both sides of the […]

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Film

One Step To Freedom

Paul Gruninger was the Oskar Schindler of Switzerland. Instrumental in saving the lives of 3,60o Austrian Jews from 1938 to 1939, he was the police commander of the St. Gallen district, near Austria and Germany. Alain Gsponer’s absorbing movie, The Gruninger File: One Step To Freedom, is based on real events. Now available on the ChaiFlicks […]

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Film

Tarzan Triumphs

Toward the end of Tarzan Triumphs, the seventh of twelve Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller as the fictitious ape man, he exclaims, “Nazis bring trouble.” What an understatement! Tarzan should have reached this conclusion much sooner in this wartime film, but what do you expect from a primitive man cut off from the world and […]

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Film

Five Hours From Paris

Leon Prudovsky’s bitter-sweet and appealing romantic drama, Five Hours From Paris, largely unfolds in a drab suburb of Tel Aviv, its title notwithstanding. The protagonists are Yigal (Dror Keren), a divorced and lonely Israeli-born taxi driver, and Lina (Elena Yaralova), a married Russian immigrant and music teacher. The movie is currently being presented online by […]