Jewish Journal

Tag: Documentary

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  • ‘Red Zone’ filmmaker on finding romance under rockets in Sderot

    By Gerri Miller

    1 week ago

    Filmmaker Laura Bialis had always felt a strong connection to Israel and had traveled there many times before, most recently for her 2007 documentary, “Refusnik,” about the persecution of Soviet Jews. But when she returned that same year to make another film, “Rock in the Red...

  • ‘The Age of Aging’: New discoveries in longevity science

    By Gerri Miller

    1 week ago

    Only a fortunate few live to be 100 in good health, but researchers hope to increase that number, thanks to scientific advances in understanding why we age and how to slow the process.  

    This developing knowledge is the subject of “The Age of Aging,” the fourth episode of the...

  • To be young, Palestinian and gay in Israel

    By Avishay Artsy

    2 weeks ago

    The issue of gay rights has become front and center in Israeli politics. The country’s Supreme Court will consider legalizing same-sex marriage in the wake of a petition filed earlier this month by an LGBTQ rights group, despite the fact that marriage in Israel is regulated by the...

  • Filmmaker reveals horrific truths about gender inequality in India

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    2 weeks ago

    In March, Israeli-born filmmaker Leslee Udwin was in Delhi attending a screening of her controversial new documentary, “India’s Daughter,” when a journalist ran up to her and warned that the Indian government had just banned her movie. There was, as well, a warrant out for the...

  • New film looks at Hitler’s suicide

    By  Tom Tugend

    3 weeks ago

    The outsized figure of Adolf Hitler retains a strange fascination as the incarnation of absolute evil, responsible for the deaths of between 40 million and 50 million soldiers and civilians during World War II and the Holocaust.

    Even after Joseph Stalin’s top experts, who...

  • Diverse documentaries rule the Israel Film Festival

    By  Tom Tugend

    October 29, 2015 | 12:08 pm

    Films can show a country’s humor, history, obsessions and pride, and although big-star features get most of the attention, it is the sharply focused documentary that frequently cuts to the heart of the matter.

    This rule applies to the ongoing Israel Film Festival, which is...

  • Examining a shared history through a festival lens

    October 14, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    Last fall, I was invited to show my documentary “Raquel: A Marked Woman” in Eastern Europe, including Poland, Romania and Ukraine. I wondered whether the gap left by the annihilation of local Jewish communities, followed by decades of silence and secrecy behind the Iron Curtain, is...

  • Boyle Heights, the land of freeways

    By Avishay Artsy

    September 30, 2015 | 11:53 am

    If you drive around the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, you’re bound to pass under or next to a freeway interchange. 

    It’s where the 5, 10, 60 and 101 freeways all intersect. An estimated 2.4 million vehicles pass through every day. And yet few L.A. residents know...

  • My Jewish Death

    September 9, 2015 | 3:39 am

    Imagine if you will, a middle aged Jewish mother laying comfortably on her back. She feels cocooned in softness.  It’s quiet.  Above her, a brilliant blue sky, a few puffy white clouds drift by. Birds, leaves rustling. She watches the sunlight through lush leaves, a hundred shades...

  • PBS documentary shows how Mayor Tom Bradley changed L.A.

    By Aron Chilewich

    August 12, 2015 | 12:15 pm

    Tom Bradley became Los Angeles’ first African-American mayor in 1973 by bringing together a multiracial coalition of Blacks, Jews, white liberals and Latinos in the years after the Watts Riots. He opened City Hall to people of all racial backgrounds, brought the Olympic Games to...

  • Documentary presents untold story of Julius Rosenwald, Jewish pioneer of Black education

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 5, 2015 | 3:49 pm

    “I like to make films about Jewish heroes — especially Jewish heroes who break stereotypes,” documentarian Aviva Kempner said during a recent interview in Los Angeles.  

    Aviva Kempner

    Her 1998 film, “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” profiles the renowned Jewish baseball...

  • Ladies sing the blues

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 29, 2015 | 1:31 pm

    Before she became the chart-topping, Grammy-winning, pill-popping artist, Amy Winehouse was just a nice Jewish girl from a suburb in London. She even looked the part. The long angular nose, creamy skin, high cheekbones, the dark shtetl hair … 

    According to the new documentary...

  • New film, ‘Rosenwald,’ tells story of Jewish philanthropist who transformed black lives

    July 20, 2015 | 1:55 pm

    Alex Bethea, the son of cotton and tobacco farm workers, was in sixth grade in 1965 when his family moved from Dillon, South Carolina, to the tiny town of Fairmont, North Carolina, where he attended a school called Rosenwald.

    But it wasn’t until this week, 50 years later, that...

  • ‘Look of Silence’ paints portrait of fear

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 15, 2015 | 2:21 pm

    In Joshua Oppenheimer’s searing new documentary, “The Look of Silence,” Adi Rukun, a 44-year-old Indonesian optician, watches a videotaped interview with two former death squad leaders who boastfully re-enact how they slaughtered prisoners during the purge of some 1 million...

  • Not a Fan—a declaration of independence

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 2, 2015 | 10:57 am

    Superhero summer has blasted down among us once again. The past weekend saw some 43,000 Florida Supercon attendees at the Miami Beach Convention Center (established in 2006, it's the largest comic-con-like convention in South Florida). Next week's San Diego Comic-con (the original,...

  • Documentary traces the decline and fall of Amy Winehouse

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 2, 2015 | 9:32 am

    “If I really thought I was famous, I would go and top myself,” the soulful British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse says in a media interview in Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed new documentary, “Amy,” which opens in theaters on July 3.

    Her words proved eerily prophetic. In 2011, just...

  • Israeli Air Force, front and center on film

    By Tom Tugend

    June 2, 2015 | 3:36 pm

    The vaunted Israeli Air Force is flying high with two documentaries screening on television and at film festivals, while a feature movie waits in the wings.

    However, the focus is not on today’s highly professional air force, or on its astonishing exploits during the Six-Day War...

  • 70 years on, Hitchcock Holocaust doc finds an audience

    May 19, 2015 | 2:32 pm

    “This was a woman,” the narrator explains, as the camera pans over a figure so emaciated and burnt that it’s barely recognizable as human.

    It’s one of the more arresting scenes in “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” a highly unusual Holocaust...

  • On election night, remembering when Israelis loved Iran

    March 23, 2015 | 10:34 am

    While Israel’s election results were still rolling in, one predominantly Jewish audience in New York was watching Israelis talk about Iran.

    But the Israelis in the documentary screened Tuesday night at the Center for Jewish History weren’t addressing the Islamic Republic’s...

  • Ari Shavit’s ‘My Promised Land’ to be made into HBO film

    March 17, 2015 | 2:22 pm

    "My Promised Land,” a best-selling book about Israel by journalist Ari Shavit, is being made into a documentary for HBO.

    Shavit and HBO Chairman Richard Plepler announced the project on Monday at a conference in Jerusalem by the Israeli media company Keshet. The project does not...

  • PBS documentary traces 350 years of Jewish migration

    By  Tom Tugend

    February 18, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    “You survive, you honor us by living,” Martin Greenfield’s father told him. Greenfield, now a New York master tailor, recalled the words after his liberation from the Buchenwald concentration camp.

    The quote could be taken as the theme of “The Jewish Journey: America,” a PBS...

  • ‘Deli Man’: A colorful bio sandwiched inside a tasty documentary

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 18, 2015 | 11:38 am

    Erik Greenberg Anjou’s documentary “Deli Man” began when the filmmaker met Ziggy Gruber, 45, the jovial, Yiddish-speaking proprietor of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen in Houston. 

    Over Lucullian platters of pastrami, blintzes and kasha varnishkes several years ago, Gruber...

  • “Above and Beyond,” the story of miracles

    By Deena F. Greenberg

    February 7, 2015 | 3:29 pm

    I just saw Nancy Spielberg’s documentary, “Above and Beyond,” about the U.S. pilots that fought in Israel’s War of Independence. Although I was raised modern orthodox and had been taught a lot about the creation of the State of Israel, there were many things in this movie that I...

  • ‘Night Will Fall’ lifts a curtain on concentration camp atrocities

    By  Tom Tugend

    January 22, 2015 | 11:33 am

    The first time I saw the horrific newsreels of the liberation of the concentration camps, showing mountains of skeletons piled up and skulls staring out of empty eye sockets, was in 1959.

    By a fluke, I had a bit part playing a court translator at a war-crimes trial in the...

  • Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis: The First 80 Years [DOCUMENTARY]

    December 19, 2014 | 12:16 pm

    Rabbi Harold Schulweis, regarded as the most influential synagogue leader of his generation, died at his home after a long struggle with heart disease. He was 89.

    Read his full obituary here.

  • ‘Sleepless in America’ reveals eye-opening truth about lack of sleep

    November 25, 2014 | 12:10 pm

    Can’t fall asleep? Not getting enough sleep? You’re not alone, and that sleep deprivation may be causing a lot more damage than you realize.

    Waking up earlier, going to bed later and getting far less sleep than our bodies require not only makes us tired and unable to function, it...

  • Documentary gets inside head of Heinrich Himmler

    By  Tom Tugend

    October 7, 2014 | 12:24 pm

    In 1941, Heinrich Himmler took time out from organizing the Final Solution to write to his 12-year-old daughter, Gudrun: “In life, one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted.”

    This fatherly advice illustrates one side of the SS Reichsfuehrer and the real architect of...

  • The new documentary ‘Pump’ asks society to question its fuel choices

    By Avishay Artsy

    September 23, 2014 | 11:05 am

    It’s already been 13 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and in that time we’ve come to understand the difficult geopolitical situation that our oil dependence has put us in.

    In order to keep our cars running, the United States needs to keep the leaders of oil-rich Middle...

  • New documentary ‘Altina’ gives success a different definition

    By  Tom Tugend

    September 17, 2014 | 3:16 pm

    Ambitious girls looking for role models among successful and accomplished women of the past might turn to scientist Marie Curie, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart or social-justice champion Eleanor Roosevelt.

    And then there was Altina “Tina” Schinasi.

    Tina grew up in the opulent...

  • From Hamas to Shin Bet agent: Mosab Hassan Yousef

    By Tom Tugend

    September 3, 2014 | 1:20 pm

    Few human relationships are as complex and intriguing as one between an intelligence agent and a potential informer, with the Middle East as an ideal proving ground for this thesis, at least cinematically.

    Last year, Israel’s “Bethlehem” and the Palestinian “Omar” vied for an...

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