Film that reveals the truth about the savagery of war

By Mordechai Beck, August 6, 2015

Last month, we saw an Israeli documentary film that raised more than a few eyebrows when its screening was announced. Called Censored Voices it was a continuation of Siach Lochamim (The Seventh Day in its English edition), a book produced just after the 1967 Six-Day War by a group of left-wing, secular kibbutzniks.


Review: The Gift

By Brigit Grant, August 6, 2015

I was rather hoping the press notes for The Gift would contain an embargo preventing reviewers from revealing the twist in the tale. A lot of critics have a laissez-faire attitude to spoilers and the extended trailers in cinemas give away far more than they should, which deprives audiences of experiencing movies as they happen.


Review: Iris

By Brigit Grant, July 30, 2015

The name Iris Apfel won't mean a lot to you unless you sit in the front row during Fashion Week, but once you set eyes on her in the late Albert Maysles' documentary, you'll be reluctant to let her go.

Like the late, great Joan Rivers, Iris is another fabulous New York Jewess with no filter, though it is couture not comedy that occupies the life of this eccentric 89-year-old who rose to fame in


Review: Southpaw

By Brigit Grant, July 23, 2015

Super-pumped and six-packed Jewish actor Jake Gyllenhaal sweats testosterone in Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw and could probably floor heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko with all the training he did to play boxer Billy "The Great" Hope. The rule of thumb (or fist) for boxing movies is to build a tale of triumph over tragedy around a likeable, but not infallible fighter and the template works.


Review: Best of Enemies

By Brigit Grant, July 23, 2015

Best of Enemies presents the war of words that took place between liberal author and social commentator Gore Vidal and right-wing zealot and talk show host, Bill Buckley in 1968.


Review: Ruth and Alex

By Brigit Grant, July 16, 2015

Films about elderly people moving house because they can't handle the stairs don't come along very often. It's a tough concept to pitch to a studio executive. But silver surfers searching for an apartment with a lift clearly rang true for somebody as it is the story of Ruth & Alex - and I know a lot of people who will really enjoy it.


Review: The Choir

By Brigit Grant, July 9, 2015

Watching François Girard's The Choir is a lot like eating nouvelle cuisine in the 1980s.


Review: Amy

By Brigit Grant, July 2, 2015

I only met Amy Winehouse once, in 2005, and fittingly it was in a pub in Camden Town, two years after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album, Frank. She was just a Jewish girl from Southgate with huge expressive eyes, a wicked sense of humour and a need to perform. That is the Amy I recognised in the early part of Asif Kapadia's much-lauded documentary.


Review: She's Funny That Way

By Brigit Grant, June 25, 2015

It's been so long since Peter Bogdanovich made a memorable movie, you'd be forgiven for thinking he had passed on. Or moved to Miami Beach. Earlier this month, his demise was even reported on Facebook which was a nasty hoax as the Jewish director who made the unforgettable The Last Picture Show is very much alive.


Listening to the terrible silence of men involved in the Indonesian genocide

By Stephen Applebaum, June 25, 2015

I first met Jewish-American film-maker Joshua Oppenheimer at the Berlin Film Festival following a screening of his documentary about the 1965-1966 anti-communist purge in Indonesia, The Act of Killing. The setting was apt because whereas Germany has confronted its descent into barbarism, in Indonesia it had become almost taboo to talk about the genocide that claimed a million lives.