Film

Review: The Yankles

By Katie Taylor, November 16, 2010

In the "Big inning" there was God, a few Yeshiva students and an ex-prisoner. The Yankles is a comedy about a group of Yeshiva students who have a calling from God to start a baseball team, aptly named, The Yankles.

It is a true comedic sight as an army of Yeshiva student baseball players, dressed in their uniform black and white suits, march on to the baseball pitch, with Tzizit hanging freely and Payot tumbling from their baseball helmets.

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Religion.com

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2010

Religion.com is a 50 minute excursion into the mysterious life of the strictly Orthodox in Israel and, specifically, their relationship with the Internet.

It feels, however, more like 50 hours, as the documentary directors Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak strain repetitively to persuade the viewers to warm to their two main protagonists.

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Atonement Day

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2010

Kippur, or Atonement Day, is a sweet and rather unexpected short feature film made by the students of the Beit Berl College Film Department in Israel which candidly depicts the gap between religious and secular Jews.

Neta, a medical student, lives in a slightly squalid Tel Aviv apartment with a floating population of permanently stoned flatmates, most of whom spend their time either playing tv games or watching violent films.

For the flatmates, Yom Kippur is just like any other day; and for Neta, too, it's a day when she can take her bike out and cycle round the near deserted streets.

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Clint Eastwood and British director honoured at Los Angeles gala

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The work of a Jewish filmmaker has been honoured alongside actor Clint Eastwood at a Los Angeles awards ceremony.

British-born writer and director Joshua Newton was praised for his Holocaust thriller Iron Cross at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival.

The film received one of two awards from the museum. The other was given to Mr Eastwood for "encouraging tolerance, justice and human rights" through his work.

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Hague to sign Israel-Britain film deal

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

William Hague is to sign a groundbreaking agreement cementing ties between the British and Israeli film industries.

The Foreign Secretary, who is in Israel for a two-day trip, is expected to sign the co-production deal tomorrow.

It will give Israeli film-makers the chance to benefit from the facilities and reputation of the British film industry and open up new channels for both countries’ film industries.

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Review: Out of the Ashes

By Jonathan Foreman, November 1, 2010

If it were not for documentaries like Havana Marking's Afghan Star (about the local version of Pop Idol) which was a sensation last year, we in the UK could be forgiven for thinking of Afghanistan as simply a war zone rather than a fascinating country in which extraordinary changes have taken place since the overthrow of the Taliban regime.

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On this day: Winona Ryder is born

By Jennifer Lipman, October 29, 2010

Winona Horowitz, perhaps better known as Ryder, was one of the most-sought after Hollywood actresses of the late 1990s.

The daughter of a Jewish author and publisher Michael Horowitz, she grew up on a commune with no electricity and was homeschooled for a period of time.

While still a teenager, she appeared in Tim Burton’s dark comedy Beetlejuice, a year later she challenged expectations of high school films with the cult favourite Heathers.

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Jewish Eastenders star orc slays his way to Hobbit film

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2010

British Jewish actor Robert Kazinsky is on his way to Middle Earth.

Mr Kazinsky, better known to Eastenders fans as Sean Slater, has been named as one of the cast members for the upcoming film of The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has signed up Mr Kazinsky for two films based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel.

While the other films were made in New Zealand, the prequels are to be shot at a film studio in Watford.

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Surfing rabbi tells EDL demo 'We shall prevail'

By Jessica Elgot and Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2010

Around 300 members of the far right organisation the English Defence League (EDL) were joined by a US Rabbi associated with the Tea Party at a demonstration “to oppose Islamic fascism”.

Speaking outside the Israeli embassy in London, Rabbi Nachum Shifren stressed he was not here to represent the Tea Party but came as someone “who loves freedom”.

Rabbi Shifren, who is standing for the California state senate, said: “To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi…I say to them they don’t have the guts to stand up here and take care of business."

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Where you can catch the Chasidic drug mules

By Jennifer Lipman, October 22, 2010

What do drug-smuggling Chasids, Joan Rivers and a Yiddish version of Shakespeare have in common? They are all coming to London next month as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

Now in its 14th year, the 2010 UKJFF has a packed programme, including a Chinese cartoon about Shanghai’s Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and the comic tale of an strictly Orthodox baseball team.

Of the 66 films being screened, nearly 50 are premieres, with the opening-night audience treated to an exclusive preview of The Debt, a thriller starring Helen Mirren as a former Mossad agent.

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