For "My Flesh and Blood," documentary director Jonathan Karsh spent a year in Susan Tom's Fairfield California home, documenting her unique family. Tom is the adoptive mother of 11 disabled children whose conditions range from genetic skin disease to missing limbs. The filmmaker caught the generally well-adjusted family facing a particularly chaotic year -- one that included dangerous altercations between two of the kids, and the unexpected death of a third. This winner of the 2003 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Audience Award and Documentary Directing Award plays an exclusive engagement at the Nuart Theatre this week. Today's shows include a Q & A with Tom and Karsh. $7-$9. 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles. (310) 281-8223.
Free association time. When you think of Hungary, you think -- paprikash? Hmm. Try again. Or better yet, attend the fifth Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles this week. See Tony Curtis in person and on screen for the showing of "Houdini" today, or check out the country's official Academy and Golden Globe entry, "Forest." Other films screening include "Long Weekend in Pest and Buda," "Bank Ban" and "Fool's Song." Runs Nov. 28-Dec. 4. Laemmle's Music Hall Theatre, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-6869.
You wouldn't have dreamed of missing the first night of "The Thorn Birds" miniseries, and Robin Hirsch's first play of his seven-performance cycle, "Mosaic: Fragments of a Jewish Life," is no different. The monologues are self-contained, but also interrelated. When viewed in total, they tell Hirsch's life story -- and, by extension, his family's -- through the Holocaust years and beyond. Tonight's "Kinderszenen: Scenes from Childhood" begins his epic tale, minus the sexy priest. 5 p.m. $15. Emanuel Arts Theatre, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (310) 471-3979.
Just in time for our yearly dose of Sandler-esque holiday spirit comes the release of Adam's crude and silly animated Chanukah movie, "Eight Crazy Nights," on DVD. Special features include deleted scenes, cast and technical commentary, "A Day With the Meatball" (a short film about Sandler's dog) and the "Chanukah Song Part 3" music video. $26.95. www.amazon.com
Listen and learn. The new Gerard Edery Sephardic Song Book includes song sheets for 40 traditional Sephardic songs (from ballads to love songs to liturgical pieces) as well as lyrics, translations and a pronunciation guide. Tucked into a pocket on the inside cover is an accompanying 17-track CD. So you can listen to the lovely Ladino melodies accompanied by Spanish guitar, then learn a serenade yourself. $29.95. www.sefaradrecords.com or www.jewishmusic.com.
The title of Ira Wolfman's new perfect-for-the-coffee-table book, "Jewish New York" (Universe Publishing) may seem practically redundant, but Wolfman explores the nuances of neighborhoods and history with nostalgic text and great old photographs in this little hardcover gem. He writes, "For nearly 350 years, New York City has been home to this uniquely American Jewish community, and this uniquely Jewish American community. Here, in celebration, is a piece of their story." $22.50 www.amazon.com
Prepare yourself for a definite point of view this evening. The ever-outspoken, ever-political Tim Robbins directs "Embedded," a satire about embedded journalists in the Middle East and the spin the media put on soldiers' stories. The timely play runs through Dec. 21 at the Actors' Gang. 8 p.m. (Thursday-Saturday), 2 p.m. (Sunday). $15-$25 (Friday-Sunday). Thursdays are pay-what-you-can. 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 465-0566.
The once-studly, but ever-dignified Omar Sharif is back as the titular character and Muslim father figure to an essentially orphaned Jewish boy in Francois Dupeyron's latest film, "Monsieur Ibrahim." The French film (with English subtitles) opens today at Laemmle's Sunset 5. $6-$7. 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-3500