Categories
Film

Life Will Smile

The Holocaust exacted a terrible toll in Greece. Seven out of ten Greek Jews were murdered by the Nazis. But on the scenic Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos, something very different happened. All 275 of its Jewish residents survived thanks to the humanity and courage of a bishop and a mayor and the assistance and […]

Categories
Film

The One And Only Jewish Miss America

She beat the odds. Bess Myerson (1924-2014) was the first and still only Jewish woman to be crowned Miss America. She won that glittering prize in 1945, crashing through the glass ceiling of persistent and widespread antisemitism in the United States. “She was the most important pretty girl since Queen Esther,” quips the narrator in […]

Categories
Film

Adventures Of A Mathematician

The late Polish-Jewish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam was one of the key figures in the development of the atomic bomb, which was created by a cadre of mainly European-born scientists during World War II. Ulam worked on the Manhattan Project with a brilliant group of physicists, mathematicians and engineers at the Los Alamos laboratory in New […]

Categories
Film

Breaking Bread

Israeli Arab chef Nof Atamna-Ismaeel passionately believes that food is the first step toward achieving coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. As she says, “There is no room for politics in the kitchen.” Personable and outgoing, she is at the center of Breaking Bread, an uplifting documentary by Beth Elise Hawk scheduled to be […]

Categories
Film

Nobody Wants Us

September marks the 80th anniversary of a World War II incident that could have gone badly awry and cost the lives of scores of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. On August 8, 1940, the Portuguese vessel, the SS Quanza, set sail from Lisbon en route to New York City with 362 passengers, many of whom […]

Categories
Film

A Tramway In Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s light rail commuter line cuts sleekly through Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, bringing Jews and Arabs into close proximity whether they like it or not. Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai uses this train as a device to draw pen portraits of everyday Israelis and to examine some of the problems that bedevil contemporary Israel. His film, […]

Categories
Film

The Dancing Dogs Of Dombrova

Two preppy Canadians find themselves in a dreary village in Poland in the dead of winter. What are they doing there?┬áZach Bernbaum answers the question in his quirky Canadian feature film, The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, which is currently playing online. Night has fallen in Dombrova, and siblings Sarah and Aaron Cotler (Katherine Fogler and […]

Categories
Film

The Burnt Orange Heresy

Duplicity, larcency, arson and homicide are the key ingredients in Giuseppe Capotond’s taut thriller, The Burnt Orange Heresy, which opens in Canadian theatres on August 7. The film, shot on location in Italy, centers around four characters whose lives intersect for better or worse: James Figueras (Claes Bang), a European art critic and author; Berenice […]

Categories
Film

Farewell To My Country

Andrzej Krakowski was one of the victims of the antisemitic campaign that drove multitudes of Jews out of Poland in 1967 and 1968. Crudely disguised as an anti-Zionist reaction to Israel’s military victory in the Six Day War, it was primarily rooted in an ideological struggle within Poland’s ruling Communist Party that pitted Western-leaning progressives […]

Categories
Film

Mr. Jones: A Fearless Journalist

Unless you’re very familiar with the Soviet Union and the foreign correspondents who covered it during the 1930s, Gareth Jones’ name does not ring a bell. Yet Jones, a Welsh reporter, left a lasting legacy in the annals of journalism. He was the first to produce an eye-witness account of the famine in Ukraine that […]