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Representations of Jews and Jewish Life in Film

The Wandering Jew (Le juif errant) (France, 1903)

Director, Georges Melies. "To the modern eye, this is obviously a trick film made with double exposure; and Melies, in his role as the Wandering Jew, is quite over the top as he wanders through a field of hard stones, having dreams and visions of Christ on his way to Calvary, the devil tormenting him and of the Mother of God.

The Wandering Jew (UK, 1933)

Director, Maurice Elvey. Cast: Conrad Veidt, Marie Ney, Anne Crey, Joan Maude, Peggy Ashcroft, Basil Gill. Tells the story, from Jewish folklore, of a mythical Jewish man who lived for sixteen centuries because he was condemned to walk the earth until Judgment Day for urging the Romans to crucify Jesus. 83 min.

The Wandering Jew, or, The Life of Theodor Herzl (Theodor Herzl, der Bannertrager des judischen Volkes) (Austria, 1921)

Directed by Otto Kreisler. Cast: Rudolph Schildkraut, Joseph Schildkraut, H. [i.e. Ernst] Bath, Josef Schreiter; Rudolf Dietz; Else Osterheim; Gita Lenart-Vago; Axel Plessen; Pippa Gettke. This early film biography of the founder of modern Zionism depicts a young Herzl learning about Jewish persecution throughout the ages, and developing his theory of political Zionism, which he saw as the only solution to anti-semitism. The film then follows Herzl's efforts to implement his ideas by converting European leaders and Jews to his cause. 59 min.

The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (O Ano em que meus pais sairam de ferias) (Brazil, 2006)

Directed by Cao Hamburger. Cast: Germano Haiut, Simone Spoladore, Caio Blat, Eduardo Moreira, Liliana Castro, Rodrigo Dos Santos, Paulo Autran, Michel Joelsas, Daniela Piepszyk. "In 1970, near the World Cup, Daniel Stern and his wife Miriam leaves Belo Horizonte in a hurry and scared with their ten years old son Mauro in their Volkswagen. While traveling to Sao Paulo, the couple explains Mauro that they will travel on vacation and will leave Mauro with his grandfather Motel. Daniel promises to return before the first game of the Brazilian National Soccer Team in the Cup.

Trailers Schmailers (1997)

Curated by Jenni Olson. From the Marx Brothers to Schindler's list and everything in between, this film offers a compact glimpse of the history of Jews in mainstream American cinema. Original coming attraction trailers provide unique insight into the relationship between the marketing departments of Hollywood studios and the growing visibility of Jews in American life.

We Are Going to America (My yedem v Ameriku) (Russia, 1992)

Directed by Yefim Gribov. Cast: Cast: Dima Davydov, Lyubov Rumyantseva, Semen Strugachev, Vadim Danilevsky, Danuta Slavgorodskaia. In this Russian comedy, set at the turn-of-the-century, a Russian Jewish family Leaves Russia to find a new life in the New World. Seen through the eyes of 11-year-old Motl, he creates a sense of wonder and chaotic adventure as his family makes their way towards America. 82 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

What Makes Sammy Run? (TV, NBC's Sunday Showcase)

Cast: Larry Blyden, John Forsythe, Barbara Rush, Dina Merrill, Norman Fell. Sammy Glick is a Jewish boy born in New York's Lower East Side who decides to climb the ladder of success by any means necessary. Through backstabbing and double-crossing, Sammy fights to become the motion picture industry's top screenwriter. A rags to riches story about the world of 1930s Hollywood based on the controversial novel by Budd Schulberg. Original 2-part broadcast on NBC's Sunday Showcase in 1959. 105 min.

When Do We Eat? (2005)

Directed by Salvador Litvak. Cast: Ben Feldman, Michael Lerner, Shiri Appleby, Max Greenfield, Adam Lamberg, Cynda Williams, Jack Klugman, Lesley Ann Warren. On the night of the Seder, an old school dad that's tough on his sons is slipped Ecstasy in order to give him a new perspective on life. When the mother brings a handsome stranger to dinner and the kids take sides, a disaster is in the making! Special features: The Rabbis' mystical Seder; Deleted scenes; Behind the scenes; Actor auditions; Director's commentary; Visual inspiration: the Szyk Haggadah. 93 min.

Where Are You Going Moishe? (Ou vas-tu Moshe?) (Morocco / Canada, 2002)

Director, Hassan Ben Jalloun. Cast: Simon Elbaz, Abdelkader Lotfi, Hassan Essakalli, Mohamed Tsouli. When all of the Jews in the village of Bejjad plan to emigrate as part of a 1963 mass-exodus from Morocco, the local barkeep worries that he will lose his business. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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Yentl (1983)

Directed by Barbra Steisand. Cast: Barbra Streisand, Mandy Patinkin, Amy Irving. Set in Eastern Europe in the early 1900's, Yentl tells the story of a young woman who wishes desperately to learn. Because of the prejudice against women studying, she disguises herself as a man. Based on the story "Yentl, the Yeshiva boy" by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

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