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Tag: Documentary

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  • A Nice Jewish Porn Star

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "I'm just a nice Jewish boy with one vice," says Queens native Ron Jeremy. "Twenty-three years of porn films."

    Scott J. Gill's documentary "Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy," which opens today in Los Angeles, chronicles the life and times of the unlikeliest Jew in the world -- and...

  • Close to Home

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Abby Kirban and Georg Hartmann initially kept quiet about falling in love after she auditioned for a play he directed in Los Angeles in 1997.

    Why? Because she's Jewish and he's German -- a touchy liaison even half a century after the Holocaust.

    "I felt a bit uncomfortable about...

  • A Tale of Two Fighters

    By Tom Tugend

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Maybe heroes should be watched from a distance. They're important in time of war, but not so comfortable in time of peace," muses Arnost Lustig toward the end of the documentary "Fighter."

    Lustig is talking about Jan Wiener, the film's title character and Lustig's traveling...

  • Explore the Roots of Jewish America

    By Tom Tugend

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Asser Levy lobbied for two years for the right of Jews to stand guard with Christian burghers of New Amsterdam (now New York) against Indian attacks.

    Uriah Phillips Levy, an officer in the U.S. Navy in the early 19th century, was court-martialed six times but finally succeeded...

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  • Apes as Allegory

    By Michael Aushenker

    August 9, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Escape from the "Planet of the Apes?" Not this summer.

    Tim Burton's take on the beloved classic opened July 27 and won the box-office battle with a weekend conquest of $68.5 million. (The original 1968 "Planet of the Apes," which spawned four sequels, a TV show, cartoons, comics and...

  • How Cookie Crumbled

    By Sheldon Teitelbaum

    August 2, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    To his mates in the New York prison where he awaits sentencing for a drug-smuggling conviction, the bearded, soft-spoken Israeli, who Customs Department officials say regularly ministers to a small flock of religious Jewish prisoners, is known as "Rabbi Ya'akov."

    The rest of the...

  • Evil as a Day’s Work

    By Tom Tugend

    June 14, 2001 | 7:59 pm

    "There was no shouting or wailing," recalls a Nazi army veteran in wonder after watching Polish Jews digging their own graves before being machine-gunned. "There was a deadly silence."

    The observation is among the hundreds of telling remarks and casual asides by ordinary German...

  • Dining With Cannibals

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The documentary, "Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale," began when artist David Shapiro found a box of old books jutting out of a pile of garbage on Avenue B in Manhattan's East Village.

    The year was 1994, and Shapiro and his sister, author Laurie Gwen Shapiro, both...

  • If I should Forget Thee

    By Tom Tugend

    March 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    The ancestors of Israeli filmmaker Ron Havilio arrived in the Holy Land shortly after their expulsion from Spain in 1492, and in "Fragments: Jerusalem" he pays loving tribute to the city of his birth and the history of his forebears.

    Keeping to a leisurely pace, the six-hour...

  • Sweatshop Days

    By Leonard Fein

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Rose Freedman has died.

    Her death at 107 years of age has been widely noted, for Freedman was the last living survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, a calamity that claimed 146 lives. Just months ago, she was featured in a PBS documentary, "The Living Century," which told...

  • Neglected History

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Heinz Dormer is almost 90 years old, but his faded blue eyes take on a terrified, faraway look as he remembers an awful place called "the singing forest." As a young man, he was arrested under the Nazi's anti-gay laws and incarcerated in a camp where homosexuals were tortured in a...

  • Something in Common

    By Tom Tugend

    January 25, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    One of Hitler's first fiats in 1933 led to the dismissal of all Jewish professors from German universities. It was a staggering psychological blow for the Herr Doktor Professors, who from one day to the next tumbled from their status as revered mandarins of German society to jobless...

  • Opening the Closet

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 18, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    In Sandi Simcha DuBowski's searing new documentary, "Trembling Before G-d," about Orthodox gays and lesbians, David, a handsome L.A. doctor, describes struggling to change his sexuality. A psychotherapist prescribed aversion therapy; a rabbi advised David to recite psalms and to eat...

  • Sugihara’s Mitzvah

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Diane Estelle Vicari and Robert Kirk cheered when the Japanese foreign ministry apologized to Chiune Sugihara's family this month.

    The filmmakers' acclaimed documentary, "Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness," which screens at the International Jewish Film Festival this month, helped...

  • Return of a Classic

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    For the first time since 1987, and for the first time ever in the original French, "The Sorrow and the Pity," Marcel Ophüls' seminal documentary about France under Nazi occupation, comes to the U.S., including Los Angeles, this week.

    Since the film's 1971 release, there have been...

  • Couched in Reality

    By Michael Aushenker

    June 8, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The movie "Divan (The Couch)" chronicles an ex-Chasidic woman's journey to Hungary to retrieve a family heirloom, her great-grandfather's couch, which in the process becomes a journey of self-discovery. If this premise sounds as if it might hew close to reality, that's because it...

  • Remembering Greenberg

    By Richard Sandomir

    May 18, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In late September 1934, Hank Greenberg, the great Detroit Tigers slugger, chose not to play a crucial game against the Yankees so that he could observe Yom Kippur. A hero to Detroit's Jewish community in only his second season, Greenberg's appearance at Shaarey Zedek synagogue moved...

  • Aural History

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    It sounds like a no-brainer: an audio documentary featuring firsthand Holocaust survivor accounts. Yet despite the familiarity of the concept behind "Voices of the Shoah: Remembrances of the Holocaust," the project's producer, filmmaker David Notowitz, insists that "until now,...
  • Capturing History and Hope on Film

    By Rick Richman

    April 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    "History holds a magical power over me," says Laura Bialis, the 26-year-old producer of "Tak for Alt: Survival of a Human Spirit," the award-winning documentary that will be shown on KCET on Tues., May 2 at 10:30 p.m. and screened at the University of Judaism's Gindi Auditorium on...
  • Pilot Project

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    During a pivotal moment in Elan Frank's award-winning documentary, "Blue and White in Red Square," a Russian-Israeli looks about his old Moscow neighborhood with an expression of dismay. Eugene had excitedly made the trip home with fellow musicians in the Young Israeli Philharmonic,...
  • Unintended Consequences

    By Susanna Crosby Perrin

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    "I tell you, there was never a trip like this before. The motives are terribly sad, but we are going to have a lot of fun. This is another dimension of history." With these words, Arnost Lustig and Jan Wiener, both Jewish survivors of the Shoah, embark on a trip to the Europe of...
  • Jewish Films Tapped for Oscars

    By Tom Tugend

    February 17, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A film on the 1972 Olympic Games massacre of Israeli athletes has received an Oscar nomination for best documentary, while a Welsh film about the romance between a Jewish boy and a Welsh girl is in the running for best foreign film.

    The documentary "One Day in September" recreates...

  • The Circuit

    By Michael Aushenker

    January 13, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    For those Angelenos looking for a respite from million-dollar hype and "Happy Meal" tie-ins to studio blockbusters, late autumn is also a time when a flurry of small, offbeat film festivals grace local movie screens. Among them is the modest but engaging, Cinema Judaica: The Los...
  • Errol Morris/Mr. Death

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    December 23, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Errol Morris, the pre-eminent documentarian of the bizarre, ambled onstage at the Bing Theater recently, looking scruffy. He was wearing a rumpled blue windbreaker, wrinkled slacks and a wicked smile.

    It was appropriate posturing for a director whose films are often wickedly ironic:...

  • Groundbreaking Cinema

    By Curt Schleier

    October 28, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In "Hit and Runway," a straight Italian-American naif teams up with a gay Jew to write a screenplay. In "Aimee & Jaguar," a Jewish woman and a Nazi's wife begin a torrid affair. In "Man is a Woman," a gay man marries a woman, a Yiddish singer, who has never known a man.

    "There is...

  • Keiko Ibi’s “Personal” Journey

    By Curt Schleier

    October 28, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    "The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years," an 82-year-old man rinses out his dentures in his solitary apartment and longs for love and sex. Another elderly man laments that he has been impotent since receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

    Selma, 73,...

  • PBS Pope Profile

    By Tom Tugend

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    There is a haunting image in the early part of the PBS "Frontline" documentary on Pope John Paul II. As the Warsaw ghetto goes up in flames, just outside the wall and within sight and sound of the remaining Jewish resistance fighters, a carousel goes round and round, full of...
  • Comedy Writer to the Stars

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Bruce Vilanch, comedy writer to the stars, picks up the phone. "Jew speaking," he says.

    Emmy Award-winning Vilanch, 51, is one of the drollest Jews in Hollywood. He has penned the awards shows for the Tonys, the Emmys and the Grammys; he has co-written the last nine Academy Awards...

  • An American Love Story

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 9, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In 1990, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox met and fell in love with a black man, a bass player who performed in a blues band with one of her friends. "I had the naive sense that it was the '90s and that racism was on the decline," says Fox, 39, who grew up in a Jewish...
  • Community Briefs

    August 26, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Even for an international film producer and inveterate traveler, Arthur Cohn has covered a lot of territory recently.

    During the last week in October, the winner of a record five Oscars and producer of "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" and "Central Station" was feted in Shanghai at...

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