Film recommendations? - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Film recommendations?
Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 11:04 pm
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It's the last bar mitzvah class of term on Monday, and we're supposed to be watching a film. It's part of their curriculum to watch a couple of Jewish films and discuss them, and it seems a nice way to celebrate the end of term.

However, my mind is absolutely blanking on what we should watch. So can anyone think of a good Jewish-themed film? I would really prefer it not to be about the Holocaust, because there should be more to Jewish education than trying to guilt kids because lots of people died. Also I'd rather avoid rose-tinted nostalgia about pre-emancipation Europe (such as Fiddler on the Roof and Yentl), if possible.

It also needs to be suitable for 12-year-olds, bright, mature 12yos, but still 12. I'm more worried about themes that are too complex for them to connect to their experience, than about the odd naughty word or reference to sexuality (Swedish people seem to be a lot less prudish about kids discussing that sort of thing than Americans anyway). Generally, I want something that is not only about a Jewish theme, but at least somewhat in line with the values that I am trying to teach.

I also have to find said film in a rental shop or in the synagogue library between now and Monday, which might be a challenge. So I need as many suggestions as possible in case I can't find the right one!


Whereaboooots: IMDB
Moooood: ditzydisorganized
Tuuuuune: Beth Orton: Pieces of sky
Discussion: 16 contributions | Contribute something
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ajollypyruvate: Pondering
From:ajollypyruvate
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
12 minutes after journal entry, 03:13 pm (ajollypyruvate's time)
(Link)
Exil Shanghai, perhaps?
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ajollypyruvate: Pondering
From:ajollypyruvate
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
18 minutes after journal entry, 03:18 pm (ajollypyruvate's time)

Not a good link.

(Link)
This has a description of the film and an interview with the director.

Two of the people interviewed for the movie are Rabbi Alexander, whom you've met, and his wife.
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electricant: default
From:electricant
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
13 minutes after journal entry, June 1st, 2007 08:13 am (electricant's time)
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This might be totally not the kind of thing you're looking for, but how about Disney's The Prince of Egypt which tells the story of Exodus? It might provide room for discussion on interpretations of the Exodus story from different religious/cultural traditions...
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mathcathy: default
From:mathcathy
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
26 minutes after journal entry, 11:26 pm (mathcathy's time)
(Link)
Exodus

I haven't seen this, so it could be abit risky for 12 year olds (always assuming you can get hold of a copy). The story is good, though, if the film bears any resemblance to the book.
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penmage: riffington jewish
From:penmage
Date:May 31st, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 07:33 pm (penmage's time)
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My parents showed us that movie when I was quite young. It made a powerful and positive impression on me.
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cheshyre: blue hair
From:cheshyre
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
31 minutes after journal entry, 06:32 pm (cheshyre's time)
(Link)
Can you get ahold of The Hebrew Hammer?

It's a comedy but a wicked funny one and pokes fun at stereotypes.

You can get a sense of it from the website: http://thehebrewhammer.com/
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pocketnovel: default
From:pocketnovel
Date:May 31st, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 04:48 pm (pocketnovel's time)
(Link)
Oh, that would be fun for a bar mitzvah class!

And I know you said you don't want Holocaust films, but I'd like to recommend Everything Is Illuminated anyway. Yes, the Holocaust is the reason for the book/film, but I think it's ultimately about a young Jew reconnecting with his heritage and peoplehood. It's rather gently funny in parts as well.
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From:llennhoff
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
54 minutes after journal entry
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Frisco Kid is not exactly Jewish themed, but the kids might have fun spotting the accurate and inaccurate parts of the movie. Examples - Gene Wilder is plainly face east while davening shacharit, but he mentions coming from near Czechoslovakia which was not created until after WW1.

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From:llennhoff
Date:May 31st, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
56 minutes after journal entry
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I doubt you can find it quickly, but I love you, Rosa (Hebrew with English subtitles) is a coming of age movie about a young boy in late 1800s Jerusalem who chooses yibum over chalitza.
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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:June 1st, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
3 hours after journal entry, May 31st, 2007 08:35 pm (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
I guess that suggesting Life of Brian wouldn't be very helpful, would it? :)
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:June 3rd, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 09:42 pm (lethargic_man's time)
(Link)
There's always one. ;^b
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quizcustodet: default
From:quizcustodet
Date:June 1st, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 08:04 am (quizcustodet's time)
(Link)
It might fail on the complex themes criteria, but I thought that The Believer was a really interesting film. It deals with the story of a Jewish teenager who joins up with anti-Semitic/neo-Nazi elements, partially out of rebellion against a deity that would inflict on his chosen people what the Jewish people have suffered.

Does contain sexual themes and violence, so maybe 12 is a bit young.
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lavendersparkle: Rat
From:lavendersparkle
Date:June 1st, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 08:37 am (lavendersparkle's time)
(Link)
If they can cope with sub-titles (or Hebrew without subtitles) show them Ushpizin. It's a comedy written by an Israeli baal teshuvah about a childless poor Charedi couple over Sukkot whose celebration is sent into chaos by the arrival of two convicts from the husband's past. It's very entertaining and it's nice to see a film made from a Charedi perspective if the children don't have much direct contact with Charedi. I raises lots of topics around Sukkot, charity and hospitality. Last Limmudfest there were lots sessions where at least one participant said "It's just like that bit in Ushpizin where..."
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From:curious_reader
Date:June 1st, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
19 hours after journal entry
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Yes, Ushbizin is the funniest Israeli film I have ever seen. It has definitely no sex scenes. The couple are even married in reality do not touch each other at all in the whole film.
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lisekit: default
From:lisekit
Date:June 1st, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
11 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Annie Hall?
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curious_reader: Oposum
From:curious_reader
Date:June 1st, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
19 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I saw a book at the Rabbi's house. It also plays during the Holocaust time. It is called "Walking with wolves". I could imagine there is a film to it. A child escapes from the Nazis and hides in the forest where he or she is looked after by the wolves.
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