With "Gentleman's Agreement" as his jumping off point, Jamie Kastner asks who's a Jew, and does it matter. He'll answer the question, "Are you Jewish?" with a yes to see how people react. ... See full summary »

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Jamie Kastner ...
Himself
...
Himself
Abraham B. Jehoshua ...
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Carol Gould ...
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Richard Ingrams ...
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Michael Sebban ...
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Jalda Rebling ...
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Leia Rush ...
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Storyline

With "Gentleman's Agreement" as his jumping off point, Jamie Kastner asks who's a Jew, and does it matter. He'll answer the question, "Are you Jewish?" with a yes to see how people react. Brooklyn's Hassidic community embraces him and gives him a bar mitzvah. He visits Pat Buchanan who ends their conversation abruptly when Kastner presses Buchanan on whether all Jews are alike. He travels to Israel, London, Paris, Berlin, and Krakow talking to Jews about how they are seen by others and asking non-Jews what they think of Jews. He then goes to Auschwitz where he refuses to be a tourist. He ends the trip at his local bagel shop. Virtually everywhere, he finds irony and prejudice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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jew | travel | tourist | prejudice | jewish | See All (55) »


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June 2007 (UK)  »

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Jew Like Me  »

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Features Gentleman's Agreement (1947) See more »

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Anti-Semitic and Inappropriate
17 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film had a lot of promise, and indeed there are moments where the filmmaker gets out of the way enough for it to succeed, most notably a confrontation between Jews and Arabs on a city street in France. But by and large, the inappropriate sarcasm of the filmmaker/narrator makes this film offensive to me. At Auschwitz, his lack of respect for the dead and for the import of where he is is truly mind-boggling, and comes off as anti-Semitic. Those anti-Semitic tones -- not from others, but from the filmmaker himself, whether he is Jewish or not -- echo throughout the film. I'm sure he thought he was being sarcastic or funny, but it's neither -- it's nothing more than intentionally offensive.

There is an arrogance to the way that the filmmaker looks at those around him that is very off-putting -- those that criticize Michael Moore for making his films too much about him will hate this film. Come to think of it, I suppose the entire time Kastner is really just doing a bad Moore impersonation. Really bad.

The thesis is generally muddled -- it's supposed to be about what Jewish identity means, but the film meanders and often goes off on tangents that seem unrelated to the stated goal of the film. Still, it's unfortunate that the film doesn't work given the great potential of plumbing the important issue of anti-Semitism in the world. I just wish so much didn't come from the filmmaker.


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