There are literally hundreds of versions of the story of the Golem of Prague, and "Snow in August" is not the only one set in modern times. It is unique, however, in the sheer number of twists it adds to the tale, not only in plot, but in examining the moral underpinnings of the story itself. In post-WWII Brooklyn, the war is already over, but ethnic tensions and just plain human nastiness remain undefeated. We never outgrow our need for miracles. Stephen Rea's performance as an endearing young immigrant rabbi suffering from "survivor guilt" is convincing without ever becoming maudlin, and Peter Tambakis' portrayal of a boy on the verge of confronting his own doubts is nuanced and genuine. I'm happy to see that he is continuing his acting career ("Live Free or Die," 2006) at least for the moment. Pete Hammill's book was a refreshing and universalizing treatment of this old Jewish folktale, and Richard Friendenberg's direction has brought it to life most successfully on the screen.
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