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"I've a Feeling We're Not In Kansas Any MOre"by Lawrence Bush A father comes out to his three grown children as a transvestite. (His ex-wife already knows.) He wants to go full-time in women's clothing and be referred to as "she." His son wants to have babies with the new woman rabbi — who goes ahead and has sex with him. One daughter, mother of two cuties, leaves her husband for a suave lesbian lover from her earlier days. Another daughter, pansexual, moody and masochistic, especially enjoys being bossed around by a transsexual man with a beard and a vagina. This family is Jewish! And they say so! All of this, on television? Hard to believe! Transparent is a ten-part comedy series produced by Amazon, and written and directed by Jill Soloway (who notes: "The socialist in me welcomes the kind of democratization these platforms are bringing to our creative community and the viewing public. I feel like I’m part of this creative revolution, like an Arab Spring — but let’s call it an Auteur T.V. Spring — sweeping across the land.") Her show is filled with tenderness, confusion, disclosure, intimacy, hurt, desire — and, surrounding it all, humor. I laughed before I had time to wonder if it's okay to laugh. I laughed while shifting in my seat. I laughed while learning. I laughed while unlearning. The last two words of the ten-episode, five-hour comedy are "Oy gevald." Within such a family, what in the world could evoke this classic Jewish sigh? You'll have to watch to find out, and I doubt that you'll stop watching once you begin. Given its uniqueness, I expect that Transparent will be politically critiqued from many directions — it is NOT politically correct in anybody's world. Which is just one of the reasons why the series has such transformative power. Lawrence Bush edits Jewish Currents.
The Many Oblivions of Babi Yar
An ambitious creative team promised to make Kyiv home to the biggest and most impressive Holocaust museum in all of Europe. Before Russia attacked the city, scholars and artists had spent years in pitched disagreement over the vision of the memorial.