Maximilian Glick is an ordinary Jewish kid in a 1950's small town in Manitoba, Canada. Unfortunately, he is also saddled with overbearing parents, who are intent on railroading his life to meet their expectations of him. The most obvious examples are giving him a piano when he really wanted a bike and pushing him to study for his Bar Mitzfah. Unfortunately, both paths get bumpy when he is partnered with a Christian girl for duo piano playing. His prejudiced parents forbid Max to see her, and his rabbi is killed in an accident. That leads to the appointment of Rabbi Teitelman, an orthodox jew with a unorthodox fun loving look on life. Together, the two must find a way to fulfill their dreams and their own identities in a world that seems dead set against them doing that. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An powerful, yet amusing look at cultural and self identity
This film is a marvel. In the story of a young Jewish boy in a small town, we see a wonderful fable about ethnic identity and individuality. In this fun story of an insecure kid and a maverick Rabbi who change a town of subtle bigots, we learn about those themes in a subtle, but profound way.
The key conflict is how his, and the young rabbi's, sense of identity, both self and ethnic runs counter to the older generation's perception of those issues. To the older generation, being Jewish means to remain invisible, as if to be ashamed of what they are. Any one deviating from that is shut out and feared. Max and the young rabbi on the other hand, represent a new generation with a real sense of security in their religion and a willingness to share it with outsiders.
The example is shown most distinctly in how the generations celebrate. The old one's are sombre and quiet affairs that are from the outsiders, whereas the younger ones dance and play with an infectious joy that teach those same outsiders the beauty of Jewish culture and do more to help Jewish people than the fear the elders have.
Only when the older generation realizes this, is a peace made when they learn that you can protect your way of life by sharing far more than you can by shutting out.
To have a message as profound as this in a film with all the laughs and beauty is a rarity that you owe it yourself to see.
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