Hollywood and the movies still cling to the image of the Jew-as-victim, while in the world beyond Blu-ray the reality is much more ... complicated.
Aragon was a notorious fighter who relished packing the Grand Olympic Auditorium downtown and bringing the crowd to its feet, not with cheering but raucous booing.
Alex Baum, who will be celebrating his 84th birthday on Dec. 30, fought in the French Resistance, survived two and a half years in the concentration camps, and has since dedicated his life to performing good deeds, most notably in his advocacy of amateur athletics.
"Barney Ross" by Douglas Century.
The upcoming "Cinderella Man" chronicles the fall and rise of Depression-era heavyweight champion James Braddock, but the movie is as likely to revive the memory of another title holder, "Jewish" boxer Max Baer.
In the climactic scene, the movie depicts the 15-round fight in 1935 between Braddock (Russell Crowe), the victorious underdog, and a menacing, beady-eyed Baer (Craig Bierko).
Baer's greatest fight was in June 1933, when he faced the heavily favored German, Max Schmeling. Hitler had come to power a few months earlier and the Nazis were busy smearing Stars of David on Jewish-owned stores.
"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 companion in a journey back in time and space to the stations of the Holocaust, which both survived.
"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 their childhoods, documented in the film "Fighter." Premiering at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, "Fighter" is a unique exploration of both the Holocaust and the Communist era of Eastern Europe.