Browsing Tag


Last of the Unjust

The New Film by The Man Who Brought You “Shoah”

By On February 6, 2014

In the 1970s, when Claude Lanzmann was collecting material for his masterpiece, Shoah, he conducted a set of interviews that didn’t quite fit with the rest—with ex-Judenrat elder Benjamin Murmelstein. Forty years later, Lanzmann,… Read More


The Godfather in Yiddish

By On June 11, 2012

Some parodies exist solely because it’s funny to mash up two disparate genres. Take, for instance, YouTube videos such as Ten Things I Hate about Commandments (Bible stories + high-school movies), and the Fiddler on the Roof/You… Read More


Mahler on the Couch

By On June 8, 2012

Gustav Mahler was a brilliant composer, and a bit of a control freak. He liked to be in charge of everything: As a composer, he conducted his own work. As a husband, he forced his wife… Read More


Matisyahu, the Exorcist

By On June 5, 2012

Horror movies are all about planting unexpected things in unexpected places to scare the hell out of you. The trailer for the new horror film The Possession, in theatres August 31 (watch the trailer) does just that. There’s… Read More


Mr. Saturday Night

By On July 12, 2011

What happens to Borscht Belt comedians when they get old? That melancholy question is the subject of the 1992 comedy film Mr. Saturday Night. Starring Billy Crystal (it was also his directorial debut) as Buddy… Read More


The Yiddish Godfather

By On July 5, 2011

Sholem Aleichem was one of the first authors to write in Yiddish–a language that’s been around for hundreds of years, but has only had a body of literature for 150 years or so. Before… Read More


Justice, Justice, You Shall Restore

By On July 1, 2011

Starting in 1975, Debbie Peagler was prostituted, controlled, and repeatedly beaten by Oliver Wilson. Eight years later, she finally managed to escape from him, by convincing two gang members to kill him. In 1984, nine-year-old… Read More


Drugs, Homelessness, and Hasidim

By On June 6, 2011

The Hasidic sect known as Chabad is famous for doing “outreach,” trying to introduce Jewish practice to unaffiliated Jews. But, as the short documentary Aliya shows, the goal of the Aliya House in the Chabad neighborhood of Crown Heights is to… Read More


Survivor’s Guilt

By On June 2, 2011

In the opening scene of the film adaptation of X-Men (2000), a young boy is in line with his family at a concentration camp. Wrenched away from them, he reaches out for his mother. SS guards… Read More


‘Arranged’ Marriages for Muslims and Jews

By On May 16, 2011

Two young teachers at a New York public school compare notes on their dating lives. They don’t exactly kiss and tell, however–Rochel is an Orthodox Jew, and Nasira is a traditional Muslim from Syria. And both are… Read More


Fitting In, Sticking Out

By On May 3, 2011

Having a bat mitzvah might not instantly make you a woman, but it can spur major life changes. The title character of the 2009 Australian movie Hey Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger is a genetic and social oddball, a… Read More


The Gift to Stalin

By On March 28, 2011

Imagine that everyone you’ve ever known was packed onto a train and sent away. No, we’re not talking about the Holocaust, but Stalin’s forced evacuation of minorities to desolate regions of the… Read More

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