UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Jews in Film

The Infidel (UK, 2010)

Directed by Josh Appignanesi. Cast: Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Archie Panjabi, Igal Naor, Amit Shah. Meet Mahmud Nasir, loving husband, doting father, and something of a relaxed Muslim. He may not be the most observant, but in his heart he is a true Muslim. After his mother's death, Mahmud finds his birth certificate, which reveals that he was adopted at birth and he's Jewish, with the real name of Solly Shimshillewitz!

The Inn (Austeria) (Poland, 1982)

Directed by Jerzy Kwalerowicz. Cast: Franciszek Pieczka, Wojciech Pszoniak, Jan Szurmiej, Ewa Domanska, Wojciech Standeo. Early in World War I, a group of Orthodox Jews flee from the Cossack army. A secluded country inn becomes their temporary refuge, where emotional attachments, brief love affairs, and even a renewed faith in humankind inspire them. 110 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Directed by Alan Crosland. Cast: Al Jolson, Mary McAvoy, Warner Oland, William Demarest, Eugenie Besserer, Otto Lederer, Josef Rosenblatt. Jakie Rabinowitz is the son of a Jewish cantor. Turning his back on family tradition, Jakie transforms himself into cabaret-entertainer Jack Robin. When Jack comes home to visit his parents, he is warmly greeted by his mother, but is given the cold-shoulder by his father, who feels that Jack is a traitor to his heritage by singing jazz music. On the eve of his biggest show business triumph, Jack receives word that his father is dying.

The Jester (Purimshpiler) (Poland / USA, 1937)

Directed by Joseph Green. Cast: Miriam Kressyn, Zygmund Turkow, Hymie Jacobson. A romantic comedy about a drifer, who wanders from shtetl to shtetl. He finds brief happiness when he falls in love with a shoemaker's daughter in a small Galician town in this likable fantasy about a love triangle and man's quest for the unobtainable.

The Last Butterfly (Posledni motyl) (Czechoslovakia / France / UK, 1991)

Director, Karel Kachyna. Cast: Tom Courtenay, Brigitte Fossey, Freddie Jones, Ingrid Held, Milan Kazko, Josef Kemr, Linda Jablonska, Daniel Margolius. Wartime, 1944, and Europe is brutalized by the horror of Nazi aggression and inhumanity. In the tiny Czech village of Terezin, the Nazis plan a propaganda coup to reshape international opinion. In order to reassure a Red Cross delegation and to show the caring face of Nazism, Hitler has given the village to Jewish settlers as a place where they can live in freedom.

The Last Metro (Le Dernier metro) (1980)

Directed by François Truffaut. Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Jean Poiret, Heinz Bennent. In Nazi-occupied Paris the Jewish director of the Montmartre theatre is in hiding. In his absence, the theatre is run by his wife who is determined to protect her husband. Special features Disc one: New audio commentary by Annette Insdorf, author of François Truffaut; audio commentary by actor Gerard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azema, and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana.

The Last Stage (Ostatni etap)(Poland, 1948)

Directed by Wanda Jakubowska. Cast: Wanda Bartowna, Hugette Faget, Tatiana Gorecka, Edward Dziewonski. Martha Weiss, a Jew, is sent to Auschwitz concentration camp with her family. On the first day of their arrival Martha is, by a coincidence, chosen as an interpreter, but her entire family is killed. The horrible lives of female inmates of Auschwitz are chronicled in this accurate recreation of actual events. Based on the true experiences of film director, Wanda Jakubowska, as a prisoner of a German concentration camp. Partially shot on location at Auschwitz concentration camp. 105 min.

The Light Ahead (Fishke der krumer) (USA, 1939)

Director, Edgar G. Ulmer. Cast: Isidore Cashier, Helen Beverley, David Opatoshu. Story of Fishke, a lame man who is a ward of the Jewish community and his love for the blind woman, Hodl. They are kept from marrying until a traveling bookseller turns the community's fear of the supernatural to the couple's advantage. Adapted from the work of Mendele Mokher Seforim. 94 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob) (France / Italy, 1973)

Director, Gerard Oury. Cast: Louis De Funes, Marcel Dalio, Suzy Delair. Victor Pivert, a blustering, anti-Semitic French factory owner en route to his daughter's wedding, unwittingly stumbles on a group of Arab terrorists. After Victor is captured and escapes, he hides himself by dressing up as a rabbi, leading to one madcap situation after another. 100 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Man in the Glass Booth (1974)

Director, Arthur Hiller. Cast: Maximilian Schell, Lois Nettleton, Lawrence Pressman, Luther Adler. Millionaire Jewish entrepreneur Arthur Goldman, who rules a financial empire from his Manhattan penthouse, is given to passionate and capricious ravings on a variety of subjects. His growing paranoia, dismissed by those close to him, is confirmed when he is kidnapped by Israeli agents and brought to trial in Israel for crimes against humanity. Is he Arthur Goldman or is he Adolph Dorf, former SS colonel who headed a Nazi concentration camp?