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The Uncivil Servant: After the Revolution

IN THE INTENSE NOW AND MAY ’68 IN FRANCE by Mitchell Abidor   WE ARE JUST a few months from the fiftieth anniversary of the events of May ‘68, the great uprising that seemed as if it would topple the French ruling class but which, in the long run, proved that ruling class’s flexibility and strength. […]

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Lebanese Filmmaker Rises above BDS

by Ralph Seliger Discussed in this essay: The Insult, a drama by filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, 2017, 112 minutes.   AT THE CENTER of The Insult, directed and co-written by Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, are the enduring passions and grievances from the civil war that consumed his homeland from 1975 until 1990, killing an estimated 150,000 and […]

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“Marshall” — Civil Rights and Old-Fashioned Shul Jews

by Elliot B. Gertel Discussed in this essay: Marshall, a film directed by directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff. THE WELL-WRITTEN and finely-acted movie Marshall may have taken some liberties in depicting Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) and Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), the Bridgeport, Connecticut Jewish attorney who helped out with a noted […]

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“Norman” — Why Trash the Jewish Community?

by Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel ALTHOUGH WELL-ACTED and creatively shot, Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, is a cynical and nihilistic assault on Jewish community. The title character, Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere), is a lonely New York Jewish man of limited means who seeks the attention of […]

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Channel Esther: Leaving Israel. Davka

by Esther Cohen Discussed in this essay: P.S. Jerusalem, a documentary film by Danae Elon. 2017, 90 minutes. I AM IRRESISTIBLY drawn to books, films, dance, theater pieces about Israel and Israelis, even though in so many ways this might seem counterintuitive, given my politics, my New York loyalties, my interest in mixing up many […]

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