Currently Browsing: Nathan Abrams 24 articles

I teach film studies at Bangor University in north Wales where I live. I research, write and broadcast regularly (in Welsh and English) on transatlantic Jewish culture and history.
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A Musical Epic: West Side Story

Nathan Abrams reviews a new book about the classical musical, West Side Story. In this new book on the classic movie, West Side Story. The Jets, the Sharks, and the making of a classic, Richard Barrios describes West Side Story as ‘a musical epic’ that took a big approach like other movies of its time […]

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Agent Sonya: Eshet Chayil

Nathan Abrams on Agent Sonya, a book about a remarkable Jewish spy. Not many non-fiction books open a paragraph with the sentence, ‘Ursula lay awake wondering whether to murder her nanny’. But then the subject of this book is unusual: a Jewish woman, housewife and spy, who spied for the Soviet Union and successfully escaped the clutches of Stalin, MI5 and […]

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Borat is Back

Nathan Abrams looks forward to Borat sequel and how it will deal with contemporary antisemitism. It has been fourteen years since the release of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) but the trailer for the sequel has just dropped. In that initial installment, Sacha Baron Cohen treated us to […]

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A book about Jewish footballers would be the shortest book in history

Nathan Abrams talks to author Anthony Clavane about the love affair between Jews and English football. We have yet to feature any sport in JewThink which, unfortunately, upholds the old stereotypes about bookish, weak, effete Jews being no good at physical pursuits. Tribes Clavane describes himself as ‘a tribalistic football fan. My tribe is first […]

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The Jewish Films of Michael Lonsdale

Nathan Abrams celebrates the Jewish films of legendary French actor, Michael Lonsdale. The French actor Michael Lonsdale, who has died, aged 89, may not have been Jewish, but he left behind some key films dealing with Jewish issues. Here are the top five.   The Trial (1962) The Trial was the attempt by legendary auteur Orson Welles to adpat the 1925 novel of the same name by the Jewish […]

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Streaming Rosh Hashanah

Nathan Abrams talks to Dr. Joshua Edelman about his new research project into how best to conduct religion online. As Rosh Hashanah looms, how do we conduct online religious services in the age of Covid? This is an essential question, as we prepare for what is, unquestionably, the most important period in the Jewish calendar. […]

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How Will This Rosh HaShanah Be Different From Every Other? It Won’t

Nathan Abrams reflects on how there will be little change to his Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There is a great deal of talk about how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be different this year for many people but for me it won’t. In fact, it will be better. I live in Bangor, in […]

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‘La Haine’ Twenty Five Years Later

Matthieu Kassovitz’s La Haine turns twenty-five this year. It’s a powerful and explosive movie about racial tensions and police brutality in the French banlieues. It is also one of the more unusual — if not one of the best — Jewish movies of the last quarter of a century. As a French-Jewish director and sometimes […]

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Remembering Ronald Harwood, the Jewish Writer with a Strong Jewish Sensibility

Nathan Abrams remembers the work of Jewish playwright and screenwriter Ronald Harwood. Sir Ronald Harwood, who is perhaps best known for writing the screenplay to Roman Polanski’s Holocaust film, The Pianist, died yesterday of natural causes. He was born on 9 November 1934 in Cape Town, South Africa to Isobel (née Pepper) and Isaac Horwitz. […]

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Antisemitism and Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

The Shining, which marks its fortieth anniversary this year, is probably the ur-horror film. Its template for pyschological horror has been much copied over subsequent decades. Given its director’s ethnicity, which has been established by various authors (including myself), we can also view The Shining through the lens of Jewishness and Judaism. In so doing, […]

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