September 18, 1997
Aaron's Magic Village
Isaac Bashevis Singer's "Stories for Children" is coming to thesilver screen Sept. 19 with the release of Albert Hanan Kaminski'scharming animated film, "Aaron's Magic Village."
As the musical begins, narrator Fyvush Finkel informs us that theAlmighty was thwarted while trying to distribute the various humanattributes to the world. One of His angels slipped and dropped muchof the cache of foolishness, like so much stardust, upon the Polishvillage of Chelm.
We also learn that Chelm is about to have a visitor, 10-year-oldAaron, who has been orphaned and is coming to live with his UncleShlemiel. It's lucky for the daft villagers that Aaron and his bestfriend, Zlateh the Goat (Tovah Feldshuh) are around to thwart theevil Sorcerer who is trying to create a golem to destroy Chelm and,yes, the world.
"Aaron's Magic Village" features animation that brings alive thecrooked streets of the shtetl; "Fiddler on the Roof"-reminiscentmusic by Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand and lyrics byPulitzer Prize-winner Sheldon Harnick.
At selected theaters citywide. You can also look for the film inan upcoming video release from Columbia TriStar Home Video. -- NaomiPfefferman
'The Long Way Home'
At the Sundance Film Festival this past winter, Mark JonathanHarris' "The Long Way Home" was at the center of a controversy.
The landmark documentary meticulously traces the difficult journeyof Holocaust survivors between the end of World War II and thecreation of Israel in 1948. Rumor had it the film was neglectedbecause the Sundance jury thought that it avoided the Palestinianpoint of view.
Now the acclaimed movie is getting its due, with a theatricalrelease that begins this week at Laemmle's Music Hall in BeverlyHills and Laemmle's Town Center 5 in Encino.
Mixing rare newsreel footage, photographs, diaries and eyewitnesstestimony, the richly detailed, epic film sheds light on alittle-known and unsavory chapter of recent history. We learn howJews who returned to their native countries often encounteredanti-Semitism, and how Germans were repatriated while Jews wereassigned to displaced-persons camps.
We learn about the effort to illegally bring thousands of Jews toPalestine, and how Western nations, in general, abandoned thesurvivors. -- NaomiPfefferman
"The Long Way Home," narrated by actor Morgan Freeman, is aproduction of Moriah Films, the film division of the Simon WiesenthalCenter.