movie reviews

Movie Review: Denial (2016)
January 4, 2017
Author: Stan Meyer

Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, a parade of SS officers testified before an international tribunal and described the details of their systematic plan to eradicate European Jewry. No story was more astonishing than the candid testimony of Rudolph Hoess, the commander of Auschwitz. He provided an international assembly of judges, reporters and witnesses the chilling details of how two million Jews had been murdered under his watchful eye.

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Movie review | The Pianist
November 16, 2016
Author: Diane Halm

The movie opens during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. By October 31, 1940, the Nazis have forced all the Jewish residents to abandon their homes and move to the ghetto. The family has to sell its prized possession, the piano, for next to nothing.

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Movie review | Life is Beautiful
July 29, 2016
Author: Diane Halm

Life is Beautiful, written, directed and starring Roberto Benigni (who won the Best Actor Oscar for this role), captures the power of love, family and imagination to conquer all.

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Movie review | Septembers of Shiraz
Author: Stan Meyer

Septembers of Shiraz is an adaptation of Dalia Sofer’s 2008 novel of the same name.

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Movie Review: Holocaust: Night Will Fall
March 11, 2015
Author: Matt Sieger

A shocking documentary about the concentration camps that was suppressed by the British in 1945 will be released in April to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The film, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, includes footage by British, American, and Soviet military cameramen of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, Magdanek, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and other camps.

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A Life Apart Movie Review

Movie Review: Shoah
November 25, 2014
Author: Matt Sieger

Shoah may be the most important historical film that no one has seen. While “no one” is an exaggeration, this iconic 1985 documentary about the Holocaust has not been widely viewed. Its 9 ½-hour length intimidated theater goers when it was first released and at its limited showings since that time. Although the Criterion Collection has recently made it available on DVD, it is now available for the first time online at the SundanceNow Doc Club.*

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A Life Apart Movie Review

Movie Review A Life Apart: Hasidism in America
Author: Matt Sieger

Directed by Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky

At the beginning of this fascinating documentary, Leonard Nimoy (who shares the narration with Sarah Jessica Parker) notes, “Hasidim are a minority within a minority. They arouse controversy among other Jews, no less than among gentiles.” The film explores some of that controversy, though filmmakers Daum (who lives in Crown Heights, home to the Lubavitch Hasidim) and Rudavsky paint a mostly loving portrait of this distinctive branch of Judaism.

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Movie Review: Flipping Out
September 11, 2014

Review of a 2008 documentary about Israelis who travel to India, get involved with the drug scene, and “flip out.”

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Movie Review: Wish I Was Here
August 14, 2014
Author: Elizabeth Troolines

Movie Review: Wish I Was Here, directed by Zach Braff, 2014

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Walking with the Enemy: Movie Review
April 21, 2014

Walking with the Enemy, a new Holocaust-centered film by a new director and a new production company, officially releases on the 25th.

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Ruth Gottlieb: A Poignant Life. Paris: Juifs pour Jésus. 45 mins. In French with English subtitles

Ruth Gottlieb does not seem to be significantly different from any other octogenarian one might meet—other than her remarkable sharpness of mind. But then she begins to tell her story, one of sorrow upon sorrow. From the loss of nearly all her loved ones to the horrors of the Holocaust, Ruth has seen more suffering…

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Megillas Lester
March 10, 2014

Movie Title: Megillas Lester Director: CJ Kramer Writers: Malka Josephs (script editor), CJ Kramer (written by), Kayla Rabinowich (script editor) Primary Actors (stars): Michael Bihovsky, Noah Bird, Jeanne Intile Burns Date released: March 3, 2014 Genre: Animation Duration: 1h 5min Reviewer: Arielle Blackburn Review date: March 10, 2014 If you celebrate Purim, the next major…

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No Place On Earth

No Place on Earth — Movie Review
April 18, 2013

Movie Title: No Place on Earth Director: Janet Tobias Writers: Janet Tobias, Paul Laikin Primary Actors (stars): Chris Nicola, Fruzsina Pelikán, Saul Stermer Date released: May 9, 2013 Genre: Documentary, War MPAA rating: PG-13 Duration: 1h 23min Reviewer: Arielle Blackburn Last Friday, on opening day for Janet Tobias’ No Place on Earth, I had several…

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – Movie Review
April 11, 2013
Author: Matt Sieger

Movie Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Director: Mark Herman Writers: John Boyne (novel), Mark Herman (screenplay) Primary Actors (stars): Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend Date released: November 26, 2008 Genre: Drama, War MPAA rating: PG-13 Duration: 1h 34min Reviewer: Matt Sieger Review date: April 11, 2013 April 7–14 marks Holocaust Remembrance Week…

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Les Misérables: The book or the movie?
January 21, 2013
Author: Ruth Rosen
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Awakening
April 6, 2012

Who are your “heroes of the faith”? One of mine is Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was a pastor in Massachusetts back in the 1700’s and is closely associated with what is called America’s First Great Awakening. Although the nature and scope of that Awakening has been debated over the years, there can be no doubt that…

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The Book Eli Just Couldn’t Put Down
January 18, 2011
Author: Matt Sieger

Movie Title: The Book of Eli Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes Writers: Gary Whitta Primary Actors (stars): Dezel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson Date released: January 15, 2010 Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller MPAA rating: R Duration: 1h 58min Reviewer: Matt Sieger Review date: January 18, 2011 As Eli (Denzel Washington) listens to How Can…

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Inception
July 23, 2010

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Movie Review: Expelled Revisited
December 22, 2009
Author: Matt Sieger

Movie Title: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Director: Nathan Frankowski Writers: Kevin Miller, Ben Stein Primary Actors (stars): Ben Stein, Lili Asvar, Peter Atkins Date released: April 18, 2008 Genre: Documentary MPAA rating: PG Duration: 1h 30min Reviewer: Matt Sieger Ben Stein, best known as the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is also an…

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Ushpizin
September 20, 2006

Movie Title: Ushpizin Director: Gidi Dar Writers: Udi Lion (story editor), Shuli Rand Primary Actors (stars): Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand, Shaul Mizrahi Date released: 25 November 2005 (USA) Genre: Drama MPAA rating: PG Duration: 1h 30min Reviewer: Yoel Ben David Ushpizin” is the Aramaic word for “guest.” It is also the title of a…

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Spielberg’s Munich, and the Prospects for Peace
January 3, 2006

Movie Title: Munich Director: Steven Spielberg Writers: Tony Kushner (screenplay), Eric Roth (screenplay), George Jonas (book) Primary Actors (stars): Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze Date released: January 6, 2006 Genre: Crime, Drama, History, Thriller MPAA rating: R Duration: 2h 44min Reviewer: Jews for Jesus By now many of us have seen Steven Spielberg’s recently…

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Forbidden Peace: the Story Behind the Headlines
October 1, 2004

Movie Title: Forbidden Peace: the Story Behind the Headlines Director: Beth Freeman Kenison Writers: Beth Freeman Kenison Date released: January 2, 2004 Genre: Documentary, History, War Duration: 47 min Reviewer: Jews for Jesus What would make a Palestinian man, who hated Jews with a passion, embrace a former Israeli soldier as his brother? Why would…

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Seeing and Believing: A Review of Survivor Stories
July 1, 2001

60 minutes running time. Produced by Jews for Jesus. Available for purchase. Video brings images to life in a way that few other forms of media can. And hardly any other theme provides as much vitality as the subject of Survivor Stories. The 60-minute documentary-style production tells in vivid detail the true accounts of several…

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Train of Life
January 1, 2001

Movie Title: Train of Life Director: Radu Mihaileanu Writers: Radu Mihaileanu, Moni Ovadia Primary Actors (stars): Lionel Abelanski, Rufus, Clément Harari Date released: September 16, 1998 Genre: Comedy, Drama, War MPAA rating: R Duration: 1h 43min Reviewer: Jews for Jesus The word whimsical” seems out of place when describing a story set against the backdrop…

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