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Television

The Allure Of Turkish Soap Operas

A self-contained universe vanished into cyber space after the last segment of Black Money Love, a marathon Turkish soap opera broadcast on Netflix, ended on an upbeat, if unpredictable, note. My wife and I watched all 164 episodes over a period of more than a month, fixated by the story line, the characters and the … Read More

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Television

The Prosecutor, The President And The Spy

Justice is elusive in Argentina. The bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires nearly 26 years ago, the worst antisemitic crime since the Holocaust and the most deadly act of terrorism in Argentina, remains murky to this day. Alberto Nisman, the Jewish Argentinian prosecutor assigned to the case, was found dead in his … Read More

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Television

Bombing Auschwitz

Should the Allies have bombed the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland and the railway tracks leading to it? This is one of the most burning moral questions of the 20th century, and it’s examined in some depth in Bombing Auschwitz, a taut and absorbing documentary by Tim Dunn due to be broadcast by the PBS … Read More

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Television

The Ornament Of The World

Jews, Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain practically invented the concept of multiculturalism. For hundreds of years, long before it crumbled under the weight of the Inquisition, they lived together in comparative harmony and shared a common culture. This golden era of coexistence, known as La Convivencia, took place in what the Muslims called Al-Andulus. … Read More

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Television

Greatest Events Of World War II In Color

Netflix’s ten-part series, Greatest Events of World War II in Color, is comprehensive and sweeping in scope, a definitive treatment of a conflict that revolutionized modern warfare, caused the deaths of millions of soldiers and civilians, and brought with it unparalleled atrocities against the Jewish population of Europe. The expertly restored and colorized footage is graphic, … Read More

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Television

The Devil Next Door

Nazi war criminals have been brought to justice in a succession of trials since the Holocaust. The trial of John Demjanjuk — a naturalized American citizen of Ukrainian descent accused of being the notorious Ivan the Terrible — still resonates three decades later. An infamously brutal guard who worked at the Treblinka and Sobibor extermination camps … Read More

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Television

The Kominsky Method II

Chuck Lorre’s Netflix comedy series, The Kominsky Method, is back again. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2018 debut season, and this year’s version is just as comical and satisfying. Starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, and set in Los Angeles, it’s essentially about the pitfalls and perils of aging in America. The themes are topical and … Read More

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Television

The Avocado War

Call it, if you will, green gold. The cultivation of avocados has become a massive business in the past few decades, particularly in California, Mexico and Chile. But the industry in these countries faces difficult challenges, according to an intriguing Netflix documentary, The Avocado War. The avocado, once dismissed as fatty and unhealthy, is now … Read More

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Television

Undercover In The Jungle

I wish I could have joined Will Benson and his intrepid crew in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. They spent almost a month in one of its wildest, most inaccessible areas, installing about 50 remotely-operated cameras to trees, at nesting sites and on animal trails to film its exotic wildlife in real time. Benson’s documentary, Undercover … Read More

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Television

Steal A Pencil For Me

Michele Ohayon’s heart-felt documentary, Steal A Pencil For Me, now available on Netflix, is a highly unusual love story. Jack (Jaap) Polak and Ina Soep, both Holocaust survivors from Holland, met in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in 1943 and nurtured their relationship in two concentration camps, Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen, before getting married. Due to class differences, they … Read More