Adolphe 'Dolfo' Rashevski travels to Israel with grandson Ric, but his brother, orthodox rabbi Samuel 'Shmouel, refuses to come attend their fellow Auschwitz survivor sister Rosa's funeral....
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Maggie, a 50-year-old widow, desperately needs some money to pay for a medical treatment for her ill grandson. After one attempt at trying to find a job, Maggie finds herself roaming the ... See full summary »
Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic,
Wilhelm Wilder (Will) is a talented actor stuck on a New York City children's TV show where he portrays Bad Luck Bunny, a hapless green rabbit. Feeling a failure, he bears his fate with ... See full summary »
Tamar, 35, a beautiful young woman, lives alone with her two daughters. She can't restrain her sexual appetite and gives herself to several men of the village. Shai, a young veterinary, ... See full summary »
David Berman and his friends, all Holocaust survivors, have only one purpose: to go to America as soon as possible. For this they need money. Close to his aim, David is not only deprived of his savings but also overtaken by his shady past.
Adolphe 'Dolfo' Rashevski travels to Israel with grandson Ric, but his brother, orthodox rabbi Samuel 'Shmouel, refuses to come attend their fellow Auschwitz survivor sister Rosa's funeral. Back in their home, the whole well-integrated family and their 'gojim' (non-Jewish and would-be) partners regularly wrestle with the meaning of Jewish blood, traditions and religion. For one it seems the way to gain a wife, for others the bomb under or the obstacle for a marriage. Yet love tends to conquer all but death. Written by
This is a delightful film, but in order to appreciate it fully one would need some knowledge about Jewish life in the diaspora.
It tells the story about a family of assimilated Belgian Jews, how they struggle with defining their Judaism, their family, and themselves.
There are three generations of the Rashevsky family, each of which has experienced the major forces of its era. For the oldest generation, the defining event was the Holocaust; for the middle generation, growing up in wartorn Europe and being 2nd generation after the Holocaust; finally, for the 3rd generation, dealing with assimilation and modern life in a Western culture.
The performances are nuanced, the director wisely chose the "less is more" route in the actors' interpretations of their roles. The film begins with a gripping scene that can only be gradually understood as the film tells its tale. (And the final scene has a very nice, slightly ironic, way of coming full circle).
As the film progresses, the thread of the family's story slowly unwinds. Each character comes to grips with his or her angst about Judaism, family, and what he or she wants, ending in poignance and redemption. While things don't end neatly tied together so that everyone finds the same answers - a feature of modern American TV and movies, unfortunately - it does realistically portray choices made, their rationale, and how we live with those choices.
Overall, a sensitive, lovely portrait of modern Jewish life in the diaspora, and the issues we face. I hope I have done it justice. 9 out of 10.
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