UC Berkeley Library

Jews in Film

38--auch das war Wien (Austria / West Germany, 1987)

Director, Wolfgang Gluck. Cast: Sunnyi Melles, Tobias Engel, Heinz Trixner, Ingrid Burkhard. Follows two lovers--one Jewish, one Aryan--in pre-war Vienna who are blind to the inhumanity which surrounds them. In German without subtitles. 94 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Bite to Eat (Czechoslovakia, 1963)

Directed by Jan Nemec. Nemec's diploma film from the Prague Film Academy. The film is a hallucinatory moment, virtually without dialogue and handles one man's feverish attempt to steal a loaf of bread from a Nazi-guarded train. 10 min. In Czech with German subtitles.

A Child of the Ghetto. (1910)

Directed by D.W. Griffith. Cast: Kate Bruce, George Nichols, Henry B. Walthall, Dorothy West. After her mother's death, Ruth struggles to support herself as a seamstress. While Ruth delivers shirts to the factory owner, the owner's son steals some money and Ruth is accused of the crime. She flees the ghetto of New York's Lower East Side and hides in the country where a young farmer takes her in and they fall in love. Silent with English intertitles. 16 min. ; ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie DatabaseSee also:

A Letter to Mother (A brivele der mamen) (Poland / USA, 1938)

Directed by Joseph Green. Cast: Lucy Gehrman, Misha Gehrman, Edmund Zayenda. Set in the Polish Ukraine and New York City, the film traces the break-up of a family due to stress, poverty, the chaos of war and the difficulties of immigrant life. One of the last Yiddish films to be produced in Warsaw, this moving story focuses on one Jewish mother's efforts to keep her family together. "...arguably the most artful and shameless of Yiddish weepies." (J.

A Majority of One (1961)

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Rosalind Russell, Alec Guinness, Ray Danton, Madlyn Rhue, Mae Questel, Marc Marno, Gary Vinson, Sharon Hugueny. A gentle love story about a Japanese businessman (played by Alec Guinness) and widower, and a Jewish Brooklyn widow (Rosalind Russell) who meet in Toyko. But before a happy ending can ensue, they must learn again the lessons of tolerance, kindness and forgiveness. Based on the play by Leonard Spigelgass. 149 min.

A Price Above Rubies (UK / USA, 1998)

Written and directed by Boaz Yakin. Featuring Renee Zellweger, Julianna Margules, Christopher Eccleston. Sonia is a young woman who always did just what was expected: she married the right man, moved to the right neighborhood and had a beautiful baby. And yet, when she discovers an exciting world beyond her tightly knit community, it sparks a growing desire for independence that threatens the security of the life she knows. 119 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Serious Man (2009)

Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Adam Arkin, Amy Landecker, Alan Mandell, Fyvush Finkel, Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, Simon Helberg, Katherine Borowitz, Stephen Park. One ordinary man's quest to become a serious man. Physics professor Larry Gopnik can't believe his life: His wife is leaving him for his best friend, his unemployed brother won't move off the couch, someone is threatening his career, his kids are a mystery and his neighbor is tormenting him by sunbathing nude.

A Vilna Legend (Tkies khaf) (USA / Poland, 1924)

Directed by George Roland. Cast: Joseph Buloff, Ester Rokhl-Kominska, Ida Kominska, Zygmunt Turkow, Adam Domb, Moshe Litman, Lev Molilow, Simcha Balanoff, Jacob Meistel, Leib Kadison, Benjamin Fishbein and Ben Basenko. A tale of frustrated love and destiny set in the Jewish community of Vilna before the second world war. A yeshiva student and a poor girl who are deeply in love are assisted by the prophet Elijah after it seems that fate and dishonest people have conspired to keep them apart. 60 min.

Affaire Blum (Blum Affair) (Germany, 1948)

Directed by Erich Engel. Cast: Paul Bildt, Hans Christian Blech, Klaus Becker, Gerhard Bienert. A film based on a true case which occured in the 1920's. An accountant responds to an advertisment and gets murdered for his money. Mr. Blum is blamed for the murder because the accountant was about to give evidence about a tax fraud involving Mr. Blum's company. A dramatic presentation about pre-Hitlerite Germany which relates the story of a Jewish businessman falsely accused by anti-Semitic police. 100 min.

Aimee & Jaguar (Germany, 1999)

Directed by Max Faberbock. Cast: Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Heike Makatsch, Johanna Wokalek, Elisabeth Degen, Detlev Buck. Based on true events during the Battle of Berlin in World War II, about two women who find each other. One is single, Aimee, the other, Jaguar, is unhappily married with 4 children. In war torn Germany it was not safe to be Jewish, it was just as unsafe to be a lesbian. When Jaguar's husband, who is a German soldier, finds out about the relationship of his wife to Aimee, nothing but trouble ensues. 125 min.

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