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Tag: Documentary

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  • New documentary ‘Altina’ gives success a different definition

    By  Tom Tugend

    2 days ago

    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

    2 weeks ago

    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...

  • A modern journey into the ancient world of Kabbalah

    2 weeks ago

    There are less time-consuming, less all-encompassing ways of dealing with a midlife crisis than the path chosen by Steven Bram. 

    But having chosen to give his life over to a spiritual journey centered on the study of kabbalah, Bram — a New York-based writer and producer of sports...

  • Documentary reveals Jewish mother’s ‘Little White Lie’

    By Rebecca Spence

    August 11, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    When Lacey Schwartz celebrated her bat mitzvah more than two decades ago in her hometown of Woodstock, N.Y., a synagogue-goer turned to her and said, “It’s so nice to have an Ethiopian Jew in our midst.”

    Never mind that Schwartz, a striking 37-year-old with long black curls and a...

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  • PUNK JEWS: Los Angeles Premiere 2/8

    By Tera Greene

    January 30, 2014 | 10:57 pm

    GET EXCITED!

    PUNK JEWS is finally premiering in Los Angeles!!!

    Let me just say that I am SO happy to be back in LA right now. The energy of Los Angeles is vibrant with Arts, Music, Film and media that is worth engaging with.  PUNK JEWS (Dir. Jesse Zook Mann) is a film that...

  • Oren says ‘Gatekeepers’ makes his job harder

    March 18, 2013 | 2:41 am

    Israel's U.S. ambassador,  Michael Oren, said the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" complicates his mission.

    The movie compiles interviews with six former leaders of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and records their perceptions of how successive...

  • Documentary filmmaker has a ‘Hava Nagila’ in her heart

    By Elyse Glickman

    February 27, 2013 | 8:15 am

    "Hava Nagila” is one of those songs, like “Celebration” and “Auld Lang Syne,” that brings back memories and gets stuck in one’s head. In fact, “Hava Nagila” is so ingrained in American pop culture that many non-Jews can readily identify it, and high-profile non-Jewish recording...

  • Three films to focus on Israeli Air Force

    By Tom Tugend

    February 27, 2013 | 7:22 am

    Some 65 years after a band of foreign volunteers fought in the skies above Israel to assure the nation’s birth and survival, filmmakers are racing to bring their exploits to the screen before the last of the breed passes away.

    Among the competing producers and their financial...

  • Academy’s doc night focuses on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 23, 2013 | 10:28 am

    When did Michael Moore anoint himself the broker of Middle East peace?

    I wondered this as I sat in the audience during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Oscar Celebrates Docs” night on Feb. 20, as an evening that began with laudatory reverence for “nonfiction...

  • Fairy tales won’t bring peace: A tale of ‘Five Broken Cameras’

    February 12, 2013 | 4:23 pm

    Five Broken Cameras (2011), a documentary currently up for a 2013 Oscar and co-directed by the film’s narrator and videographer, Palestinian Emad Burnat, and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, attempts to erase the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film unfolds as a...

  • Amy Ziering’s visible war against military rape

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 6, 2013 | 11:53 am

    On a rainy Saturday night in January, a small group of leaders from the worlds of entertainment, media and philanthropy gathered at the home of billionaire businessman Ron Burkle to watch the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War.”

    For 97 minutes, the room was still....

  • Gatekeepers or Gate Crashers?

    By David Suissa

    January 30, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    How can a dubious and unoriginal Israeli movie become the darling of the film world and even get nominated for an Academy Award?

    That is the real story behind “The Gatekeepers,” a documentary that, as Jodi Rudoren of The New York Times writes, “has already captured the attention...

  • David Geffen:  prickly and terse about his Judaism

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 23, 2012 | 4:01 pm

    David Geffen, the notoriously press shy billionaire Hollywood mogul, stared at me as if I had asked him to yank out a tooth.  The setting was PBS’ summer 2012 press tour on July 22, where he was promoting the American Masters documentary, “Inventing David Geffen.” I queried how...

  • ‘U.N. Me’ documentary makes Borat-style attack on world body

    May 29, 2012 | 10:51 am

    Call their style Michael Moore meets Sacha Baron Cohen.

    Two pro-Israel activists are hoping that their documentary on the United Nations—to be released nationwide on June 1—brings focus to what they say is the world body’s global ineffectiveness.

    One of the more powerful scenes...

  • Documentary traces changes in kibbutz life

    By Tom Tugend

    May 23, 2012 | 11:04 am

    Back in the 1930s and ’40s, when Diaspora Jews desperately needed a symbol of Jewish strength and pride, the brawny, sunburned kibbutznik became the poster image for the new Jew emerging in Palestine.

    Two generations further on, the straightforward picture has become blurred. The...

  • Filmmaker writes from experience for post-Holocaust drama ‘Mighty Fine’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 15, 2012 | 7:28 pm

    Filmmaker Debbie Goodstein has taken to heart the adage, “Write what you know.” Her 1989 Holocaust documentary, “Voices From the Attic,” recounts her mother’s years of hiding in a garret where snow descended through slats in the roof, a baby died and food was scarce.

    The...

  • Producer threatens L.A. Jewish film fest over rejection of sex-abuse documentary

    March 27, 2012 | 3:12 pm

    Producer Scott Rosenfelt, whose credits include “Home Alone” and ”Mystic Pizza,” is threatening a major Jewish film festival after its director raised concerns that Rosenfelt’s documentary about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community amounts to a “witch hunt.”

    ...
  • ‘Bully’ documentary to land in theaters unrated

    March 26, 2012 | 3:46 pm

    The Weinstein Co. on Monday said it has decided to release its documentary “Bully” without a U.S. film rating after failing to persuade the Motion Picture Association of America to change to one that is less restrictive.

    “Bully,” set for release on March 30, has drawn controversy...

  • The battle to get ‘Bully’ seen by those who need it most

    By Danielle Berrin

    March 21, 2012 | 1:06 pm

    At Sioux City Middle School in Iowa, 12-year-old Alex Libby is the odd-man-out. Seen by his peers as different, he has golden hair, gentle eyes, a wide, flat nose and permanently puckered lips. Together, they might seem to express something both pouty and vulnerable, sweet and sad....

  • Q&A with an expert on bullying

    By Danielle Berrin

    March 21, 2012 | 1:00 pm

    Ron Avi Astor, the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development at USC, has been studying the epidemiology of school violence for nearly 30 years. In 1997, he moved his family to Jerusalem for one year to run the first-ever large-scale comprehensive school...

  • Amid memories, cemetery documentary imparts lesson of Jewish survival

    By Tom Tugend

    January 4, 2012 | 12:43 pm

    The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery is 130 years old and has survived the kaiser’s imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, and, astonishingly, the Nazi regime.

    It is the largest active Jewish cemetery in Europe and adds daily to the 115,600 graves on its 100-acre grounds in northeast...

  • Who is Woody Allen?

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 17, 2011 | 11:21 am

    Early on, in a new documentary about Woody Allen, the cultural icon sits in the back seat of his chauffer-driven car, pondering his mortality. He tells a story of a formative near-death experience that occurred when he was a small child in his crib: His mother was at work when his...

  • Priest, born Jewish, is ‘Torn’

    By Tom Tugend

    August 2, 2011 | 5:49 pm

    In the opening scene of the documentary “Torn,” an official asks an elderly man for his name, and he replies, “Romuald-Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel.”

    This name encapsulates the fate of Jakub (Yankele) Weksler, born 1943 in Lublin, Poland, to Jewish parents during the Holocaust...

  • The Story of the Storyteller

    By Dikla Kadosh

    July 12, 2011 | 12:47 pm

    “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” a film by Joseph Dorman, opens Friday, August 5 at Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino. The film tells the story of the monumental literary figure, who not only left behind a body of work that includes “Fiddler on the Roof” and other...

  • Justin Bieber’s Musical Father Figure, Dan Kanter [UPDATED]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 18, 2011 | 10:52 am

    Before Justin Bieber stepped onstage in front of 40,000 radiant fans at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park last month, Dan Kanter, Bieber’s musical director and guitarist, took the spotlight to deliver a Jimi Hendrix-style rendition of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem.  “It was one...

  • Young Filmmaker Tackles the Ma’alot Massacre

    By Orit Arfa

    May 12, 2011 | 4:15 pm

    Brandon Assanti, 24, was a year older than most of the teenage victims of the “Ma’alot Massacre” when he first decided to make a documentary about this grueling attack. The attack was so grueling that, upon watching Assanti’s Their Eyes Were Dry, I wondered how the slaughter...

  • When Everybody Didn’t Love Phil:  “Exporting Raymond” [VIDEO]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 5, 2011 | 7:09 pm

    Nobody loved Phil Rosenthal when he first flew to Moscow to help develop the Russian version of his hit CBS sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond” – an endeavor he recounts as both the director and subject of his documentary, “Exporting Raymond,” now in theaters.

    Never mind...

  • Nations’ archives launch Nazi-era property portal

    May 4, 2011 | 1:16 pm

    A coalition of documentation preservation groups, including national archives from six nations, is launching a portal that accesses records on stolen Nazi-era cultural property.

    The portal, called Holocaust International Resources, will be launched formally on Thursday at the...

  • Israeli director wins top documentary prize at Tribeca

    May 2, 2011 | 10:29 am

    Israeli director Alma Har’el took top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival in the documentary category.

    “Bombay Beach,” her feature-length film, follows three down-and-out residents of a ghost town on the Salton Sea, a surrealistic landscape in Southern California filled with...

  • ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ keeps soldiers’ story alive

    By Tom Tugend

    April 26, 2011 | 5:03 pm

    When Israel fought its War of Independence, there were no embedded TV cameramen, and even combat newsreel photographers were practically nonexistent. The newly created state had more important matters to worry about.

    More surprisingly, there have been hardly any movies celebrating...

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