A Polaroid master gets her due in Errol Morris’ documentary

Before digital photography made selfie images just a cellphone click away, Polaroid filled the desire for immediate gratification with its portable instant cameras. But for...

Syrian teen and mother start over in L.A. in ‘Dalya’s Other Country’

A documentary from a Jewish director about a Muslim teenager attending a Catholic high school may sound like a hypothetical ecumenical exercise. But Julia...

Gal Gadot and the Jewish essence of Wonder Woman

When Wonder Woman first appeared on the comic book scene in 1941, she entered as a kind of messianic figure. She soared to life during...

‘Monsters’ looks at young prisoners hoping to change the script of their lives

Ben Lear was a bit nervous before he visited a juvenile hall while making what ultimately would become his new documentary, “They Call Us...

Jason Drucker takes ‘Wimpy Kid’ lead in stride

More than 2,000 boys competed for the starring role of Greg Heffley in the new film “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.”...

‘Wedding Plan’ a perfect match for Israeli actress

From her earliest memories while growing up in Petah Tikvah, Israeli actress Noa Koler dreamed of becoming a performer. “I wanted to be on...

Henry Jaglom’s ‘Train to Zakopané’ carries an unexpected love story

For three decades, Henry Jaglom interviewed his father, Simon, about his past, including his privileged childhood in czarist Russia and his imprisonment as a...

Morgenthau’s Children

If you go see the movie “The Promise” this weekend — and you should — you’ll notice a brief scene about two-thirds of the...

How ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ took Jessica Chastain down a rabbit hole of Jewish history

Actress Jessica Chastain may be best known for her Oscar-nominated turns in the racial drama “The Help” and the action-spy thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,”...

Varied explorations of Jewish culture, history at film festival

Santa Barbara is just 95 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and this month there’s a great reason to make the drive. The Santa Barbara...

Anne Frank: “No Asylum” before the attic

The story of how Anne Frank’s family hid in an attic before being discovered by the Nazis became well-known through the diary she wrote that was found by her father, Otto, after the war.

Seeking connection, family mystery ensues

Israeli director and writer Shemi Zarhin likes to explore family relationships and dynamics in his films, and in his latest work, “The Kind Words,” he immerses himself in the topic to a point that might challenge Sigmund Freud.

Steven Spielberg reportedly working on Walter Cronkite feature

Award-winning director Steven Spielberg reportedly is working on a feature project about the late veteran newscaster Walter Cronkite and his role in turning American public opinion against the Vietnam War.

The Jewish boy who drives German girls crazy

“We’ll push our way to the front,” my friend, a staunch Charlie Puth fan, told me right before the Charlie’s concert in Postbanhof Club...

Rationalizing extremism, violence a slippery slope

Rationalizing extremism, violence a slippery slope By David A. Lehrer There are pivotal moments in virtually every campaign, the time when a candidate displays what is...

LAJFF celebrates 50 years of Kuni Lemel

Not one but two Kuni Lemels are coming to town, hoping that a new generation of filmgoers will welcome the ultimate shtetl shlemiel as warmly as its parents and grandparents did a half-century ago.

Documentary asks: Just what is Israeli cuisine?

In the opening sequence of the documentary “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” chef Michael Solomonov walks into a Yemenite grill in Tel Aviv and asks for “something grilled, something special” in American-accented Hebrew.

A candid look at Yitzhak Rabin

In 1974, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin attended a Washington reception hosted by President Gerald Ford, during which Ford asked the prime minister’s wife, Leah Rabin, for a dance.

111 Reasons to Hate Berlin

Berlin's Hebrew online magazine "Berlin Hayom" <a href="http://berlinhayom.com/2016/04/01/%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%9F-%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%A8-%D7%93%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A7%D7%94-%D7%9C%D7%92%D7%9E%D7%A8%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%91%D7%9C-%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%9E%D7%91%D7%99%D7%9F-%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%94/ ">interviewed Dude Kristjan Knall (yeah, judging from the interview, "Dude" seems the most appropriate title), a Berlin-born...

Hope and romance bloom in the desert in ‘Wedding Doll’

The title “Wedding Doll” may lead the unwary film fan to anticipate a risqué musical comedy, but this Israeli movie is actually something much deeper.

Sundance 2016: Jewish highlights

Award nominations aren’t all that set the film world aflutter each January.

Jewish themes resonate in foreign-language-film Oscar race

The annual Academy Award competition for best foreign-language (non-English) film has been described as the World Cup or Olympics of international cinema, and this year, each of 81 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Vietnam, has entered its best movie.

Famed Holocaust documentarian making pro-Palestinian film

Documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophuls is perhaps best known for his 1969 Academy Award-nominated film “The Sorrow and the Pity,” which raised questions of French collaboration during the Nazi occupation, along with his monumental 1988 biopic “Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie,” which explored the actions of the notorious Nazi as well as the human condition.

An Oscar overview of all things Semitic

How foreign volunteers fought to get the fledgling Israeli Air Force off the ground and the antics of the Last of the Red Hot Mamas are two of the storylines explored by documentary filmmakers vying for a 2016 Oscar.

Voices of Six-Day War haunt us decades later

The focus of the Israeli film “Censored Voices” is an aged, rapidly spinning, reel-to-reel tape recorder.

Holiday films celebrate women

Although few explicitly Jewish-oriented films will be opening during this holiday season, there are several movies worthy of attention. Many of these focus on various forms of female empowerment or movement toward independent action by women.\n

To be young, Palestinian and gay in Israel

The issue of gay rights has become front and center in Israeli politics.

Diverse documentaries rule the Israel Film Festival

Films can show a country’s humor, history, obsessions and pride, and although big-star features get most of the attention, it is the sharply focused documentary that frequently cuts to the heart of the matter.

Examining a shared history through a festival lens

Last fall, I was invited to show my documentary “Raquel: A Marked Woman” in Eastern Europe, including Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Persian-Jewish filmmaker tackles love and money in ‘Shah Bob’

The film “Shah Bob” opens with Bob (Reza Sixo Safai) waking up in bed next to a beautiful woman.

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