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Jewish Harry Potter

(Below are some impressionistic thoughts not based on any recent or detailed reading of either the books or the films.) J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has been criticized for “its complete lack of sexual identity, gender and religious diversity” given that all of the “main characters are all white, Christian, cisgender and heterosexual.” What is […]

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A Serious Man’s Bar Mitzvah

Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel reflects on A Serious Man as it approaches its thirteenth-year anniversary. Here, I offer my original review (slightly edited) in retrospect, followed by a postscript in which I add some thoughts. I have not found reason to reconsider what I originally said. I confirm my past observations with a tribute to the […]

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The Jewishness of ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Nathan Abrams explores the underlying Jewishness of Kubrick’s notorious 1971 film. ‘So what is a nice Jewish boy from The Bronx like Stanley Kubrick doing making bizarre films like “A Clockwork Orange”’? Craig McGregor asked in the New York Times, referring to the controversial movie which was released fifty years ago today.  One of the reasons was that it dealt with Kubrick’s long-term […]

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On “Jewface”

Daniel Livingstone criticizes the current complaining over so-called Jewface. It almost pains me to engage with a debate as silly as this, but folk are having a right broigus over “Jewface”. Arguing about non-Jewish actors playing Jewish parts and questioning why people don’t react the same as for, say, “Yellowface”, where a non-Asian actor takes […]

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Can Your Canine Keep Kosher?

Nathan Abrams reviews a new short film about the relationship between frum Jews and their dogs. They may be man’s best friend, but they are not a Jew’s best friend. As the saying goes, “A Jew with a dog? It’s either not a Jew or it’s not a dog.” A new documentary, currently screening as […]

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The Hidden Jews of ‘Dune’

As the film opens in the UK today, Nathan Abrams explores the Jewishness of the famous novel and its film adaptations. Dune opens in the UK today and while its secret Jewish history has been explored here, the full story has not been told. Much of Frank Herbert’s original 1965 science-fiction novel is explicitly influenced […]

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A Talmudic Director

Nathan Abrams reflects on the Jewishness of Mike Leigh’s work. Although he hasn’t made a film since 2018, Mike Leigh is back on the radar. Today, a new edition of Faber’s Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh edited by Amy Raphael is released. The BFI is celebrating his work with a major retrospective at its Southbank […]

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Bearing Witness to Genocide

Nathan Abrams reviews The Auschwitz Escape (AKA The Auschwitz Report). Slovakia’s Oscar submission for the best international film tells the true story of two Jewish prisoners Freddy (Noel Czuczor) and Valér Peter (Ondrejicka) who escaped Auschwitz to provide a rare first-hand account of the shocking genocide at the camp. It stars John Hannah (Four Weddings […]

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UnKosher Carnage and Controversy

Sean Alexander reflects on 25 years of David Cronenberg’s Crash. In the quarter-century since Crash first made significant waves at May’s traditional Cannes International Film Festival (where it merited a Special Jury Prize for ‘Audacity, Daring and Originality’), it’s easy to forget the tsunamic impact it soon made at the same year’s London Film Festival.  […]

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Billion-Dollar Bullshit

Nathan Abrams reviews a new documentary film about Jewish entrepreneur Adam Neumann and his co-working startup, WeWork. The billion-dollar start-up, WeWork, founded by Jewish entrepreneur Adam Neumann, which I wrote about here has been inspiring some interest of late. First, there was a book, then a podcast and now there is a documentary film with another book and even a television series based on […]

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