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Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema (2001)

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Mamadrama combines film clips, cultural commentary, interviews with Hollywood and Israeli filmmakers and footage from Schwarz's earlier films in an exploration of the image of the Jewish ... See full summary »

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Title: Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema (2001)

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Patricia Erens ...
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Monique Schwarz ...
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Mamadrama combines film clips, cultural commentary, interviews with Hollywood and Israeli filmmakers and footage from Schwarz's earlier films in an exploration of the image of the Jewish mother in film beginning with early silent and Yiddish films up through contemporary movies. Hollywood directors Paul Mazursky, Paul Bogart, Larry Peerce and actress Lainie Kazan reflect on their Jewish mothers. Critics Patricia Erens, J. Hoberman, Michael Medved, Amy Kronish and Sharon Rivo discuss the changing image of the Jewish mother on screen. Israeli filmmakers Avram Hefner and Zepel Yeshurun and actress Gila Almagor illustrate the uniqueness of Israeli filmic images. Mamadrama includes selections from Come Blow Your Horn, Goodbye Columbus, Next Stop Greenwich Village, Jazz Singer, Portnoy's Complaint, Where's Poppa, Torch Song Trilogy, a compilation of rare Yiddish films and recent Israeli features. Written by National Center For Jewish Film <www.jewishfilm.org>

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29 November 2001 (Australia)  »

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References Ha-Kayitz Shel Aviya (1988) See more »

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An interesting look at the role of a mother
25 January 2004 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is indeed one of the most interesting and entertaining documentaries I have seen, however I can't say that everything in this film was accurate.

I'm not Jewish, I'm Greek. I can definitely relate to the stuff they presented in reference to the personification of a stereotypical Jewish mother, however I cannot agree that this image was started by Jews.

What was lacking was the fact that this supposed mother (whether she be overbearing, nagging, melodramatic etc) exists outside the Jewish religion. I've seen these examples of unorthodox mothering from various cultures, including Indian, Italian, and of course my culture, Greek. The documentary implies that these cultures forged this image from the Jews, however I totally disagree.

Other than this, I found the documentary to be very entertaining as it displayed various clips from all walks of cinema involving the Jewish mother, including "Come Blow Your Horn", "Where's Poppa?" and "My Favourite Year". It also focused on various rare Israeli films as well as Hollywood, and such a unique blend made this documentary a must see for all mothers (not just Jewish ones).


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