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.
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.
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.
Septembers of Shiraz is an adaptation of Dalia Sofer’s 2008 novel of the same name.
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.
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.*
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.
Review of a 2008 documentary about Israelis who travel to India, get involved with the drug scene, and “flip out.”
Walking with the Enemy, a new Holocaust-centered film by a new director and a new production company, officially releases on the 25th.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Ushpizin” is the Aramaic word for “guest.” It is also the title of a 2004 Israeli film, directed by Gidi Dar and written by Shuli Rand. Rand, who also starred in the film, won the Best Actor award from the Israeli Film Academy for the role of Moshe. On a side note, Shuli Rand is […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]