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Do book sales reflect the general mood of the American electorate? If so, the current New York Times bestseller list does not carry good news for President Obama.
Many Jewish people, including myself, avoid Holocaust movies because it is far too painful to watch the dehumanization of those we love. Still, facing what is painful is an important part of life. “Lion of Judah” is not an easy film to watch, but for the next generation it will be a valuable resource for educating children in a world without survivors. More importantly, it is centered on the incredible, Leo Zisman, the Lion of Judah.
When all the bubbles of rhetoric pop, there are still the hard unpleasant realities to deal with.
Dinesh D’Souza’s film, 2016: Obama’s America, is very good at putting the viewer in the milieu of Jakarta or Nairobi, which continue to feel “different” enough to engage the American viewer’s sense of distance and wonder. Conveying the difference of Barack Obama’s childhood and his idea of cultural roots – the difference from American life – is the movie’s most effective accomplishment.
In the movie theater, we revisit that terrible knowledge that we are engaged in a war with no natural end under a hundred disguises. We recreate September 11 in our ten-dollar nickelodeons every summer and look to the sky. But it isn't aliens we are watching for. It's planes.
Earlier this month, members of the Toronto Jewish community were given a rare opportunity to be visually transported back in time. The film, filmed in 1922, is called Hungry Hearts, and is based on the short stories of writer Anzia Yezierska, a Jewish woman born in Poland in the 1880s whose family immigrated to New York. Many of her writings are centered on her experiences and those of other immigrants living in the Lower East Side. Like all movies made at that time, it is silent, with dialogue conveyed by cue cards.
Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story is a documentary about the life of a true Israeli hero. But the film is not a mere recounting of the famous Entebbe Raid, it is an honest retrospective of the life of the young, academic, passionate and poetic son, brother, friend, boyfriend, and husband Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu. And it shows a side of Israel that a 'Hasbara' campaign can't capture.
Jews all over the world celebrate Israel's Independence Day - even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. "It's a kind of insurance policy" one overseas friend told me. "By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise."
In an explosive letter, Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas ("Basic Instinct," "Jagged Edge") writes Mel Gibson, Joe is accusing Mel of “hating Jews” and of using him to deflect his anti-Semitic reputation. Eszterhas wrote that Gibson, the director of a sadomasochistic flick about how the Jews killed you-know-who, never actually intended to make the movie about Jewish heroism, titled “The Maccabees.”
Adel Imam was sentenced to three months for his roles in a play and a movie.
I am blessed to live in a tradition filled with many incredible people, but it is rare I actually have the chance to meet a hero.
Generally, sequels are best avoided. It should not have taken three remakes to prove that the first "Planet of the Apes" was more than enough, and the movie-going public would have been far better off without repeats of films like "Legally Blonde" and "Weekend at Bernie's."
Those of us who grew up when television was considered kosher in its black and white days remember "The Stratton Story," a 1949 movie that aired often on TV in the '50s starring Jimmy Stewart as Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost a leg in an off-season hunting accident in 1938 near his Greenville, Texas home.
It is our fantasy, our illusion, our wishful thinking (supported by the movie industry and our own values) that as we age or become ill, we will be cared for by our ever-smiling and patient spouses and children, surrounded by our loving, laughing, cherubic grandchildren whose sole wish is to hug and kiss us and listen to our stories.
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