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Jews in Film

Drancy avenir (France, 1997)

Directed by Arnaud des Pallieres. Cast: Aude Amiot, Thierry Bosc, Anne-Lisa Nathan. Presents three stories about the Holocaust and how it affected the lives of three people: one the last Holocaust survivor, one doing research on a concentration camp in Drancy, and the third about a ship's captain and his journey into an unknown territory. This experimental film attempts to address the problem of how to explain to the next generation why Hitler's extermination of Jews and gypsies took place and found support inside and outside Germany. 84 min.

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Directed by Bruce Beresford. Cast: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Patti Lupone, Esther Rolle. Set in Atlanta in the 1950's, a textile factory owner insists on hiring an ever-patient chauffeur for his aging head-strong mother. The Jewish woman and her African American driver eventually build a relationship over many years. 99 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

East and West (Mizreh un Mayrev; Ost und West) (Austria, 1923)

Directed by Sidney M. Goldin. Cast: Molly Picon, Jacob Kalish, Sidney M. Goldin, Saul Nathan, Laura Glucksman, Eugen Newfeld, Johannes Roth. In this comedic film about assimilation and Jewish values, sophisticated New Yorker Morris Brown travels back to his village to attend his niece's traditional wedding. There he encounters the rambunctious Mollie, whose hijinks include boxing, and teaching other young villagers to shimmy. Mollie meets her match, however, in an engaging young yeshiva scholar who forsakes tradition and joins the secular world to win her heart.

Enemies, A Love Story (1989)

Directed by Paul Mazursky. Cast: Anjelica Huston, Ron Silver, Lena Olin, Margaret Sophie Stein, Judith Malina, Alan King. A Holocaust survivor finds himself simultaneously involved with three women: the peasant who hid him from the Nazis during the war, a beautiful concentration camp survivor, and his first wife (who he was certain was dead). 120 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Escape (1940)

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt, Nazimova. "Robert Taylor plays an American who comes to Germany looking for his mother, a well-known German actress, who married an American and returns to Germany to sell her house. One can really feel his frustration as he frantically tries to find information on her whereabouts. Finally, he learns that she is in a concentration camp awaiting execution. Along the way, he has met Shearer, an American, who continued to live in Germany after she was widowed and is now seeing a German officer." [IMDB] 104 min.

Escape from Sobibor (Yugoslavia / UK, 1987)

Directed by Jack Gold. Cast: Alan Arkin, Rutger Hauer, Joanna Pacula, Hartmut Becker, Jack Shepherd. Period Nazi propaganda. Towards the end of World War II the Nazi regime created three "Death camps" in Eastern Poland. A small group of prisoners were kept back from the gas chambers to work the camp under the control of the Nazi guards. This is the true story of the mass escape of Jewish prisoners from the Nazi death camp at Sobibor, Poland; of people who had to watch their countrymen and families die and pushed to the limit of human endurance, finally found a way to fight back.

Europa, Europa: A True Story (Hitlerjunge Salomon) (Germany / France / Poland, 1990)

Directed by Agnieszka Holland. Cast: Marco Hofschneider, Julie Delpy, Hanns Zischler. A dramatization of the true story of a Jewish teenager who survived World War II by living as a Nazi for 7 years. Through quick wittedness, the oddest twists of fate, and sheer luck, the young Jewish boy escapes from a Polish ghetto, lives in a Communist orphanage, hides out in an elite school for Hitler's youth and fights as a Nazi soldier without the Germans ever knowing the truth. 115 min.

Everything is Illuminated (2005)

Directed by Liev Schreiber. Cast: Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin, Laryssa Lauret. A young American man, with the help of a local who speaks weirdly broken English, journeys to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village that was ultimately razed by the Nazis. 106 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Exodus (1960)

Directed by Otto Preminger. Cast: Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson, Sal Mineo, Peter Lawford, Lee J. Cobb. Dramatizes part of the Israeli independence moment, dealing with various factions involved in the internecine struggle between the moderate Haganah and the radical terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi. Interspersed throughout are segments showing the migration of European Jews to the new land, paying special attention to the ragged survivors of Nazi death camps on board the vessel Exodus, blockaded in a Cyprus harbor by British warships.

Eyes Wide Open (Einayim Petukhoth) (Israel | Germany | France, 2009)

Directed by Haim Tabakman. Cast: Zohar Strauss, Ran Danker, Ravit 'Tinkerbell' Rozen. Aaron, a butcher and devout family man in Jerusalem's ultraorthodox Jewish community, has his quiet life interrupted when Erzi, a handsome, young Yeshiva student, happens on his shop. Intrigued by the young man, Aaron offers Erzi a job and becomes his friend and mentor. The two grow closer, and soon other feelings surface. As their forbidden sexual desire grows, Aaron begins to neglect his business and his family.

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