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“Aftermath,” written and directed by Polish filmmaker Władysław Pasikowski, is everything you can ask of a movie and more. It is intelligent, thoughtful and involving, an experience that will generate conversations long after the last frame dissolves into nothingness.
It is also brave — brave of Pasikowski, brave of his actors, brave of his crew. “Aftermath” refers to what happened after World War II, when property and land stolen from Jewish families was not returned and where there was no proper accounting for the dead. It is brutal in its depiction of a nation where not much changed.
The movie takes place in 2001. Franek Kalina (Ireneusz Czop) returns to his small village in central Poland where he was raised, after living for two decades in the U.S. His return is prompted by the unexpected visit from Poland of his brother’s wife. She won’t say why she left him, so Franek goes home to find out.
He discovers that his brother, Józek (Maciej Stuhr), is shunned and vilified by the townspeople. No one, not Józek nor his neighbors, want to speak about it.
All a police officer tells Franek is that Józek was almost arrested for tearing up a road. Franek is perplexed. He visits the site, and all he sees is rocks. But he soon learns the truth.
It was a thrill to learn recently that one of my favorite Mad magazine artists, the legendary Al Jaffee, would give his personal papers to Columbia University. Among those treasures are a massive cache of Jaffee’s much-loved Mad fold-in cartoons and notebooks of ideas Jaffee never even submitted for publication.
But the most intriguing part of the story, first reported by The New York Times, was the person who sealed the deal.
Karen Green is the Columbia librarian who popped the question to Jaffee at last year’s New York Comic-Con gathering: Would he consider donating his life’s work to the school? A lifelong comics fan, Green — Columbia’s longtime librarian for ancient and medieval history and religion — took on a not-so-secret identity as the school’s first graphic-novels librarian in 2005.
Under Green’s leadership, Columbia’s graphic-novel collection has grown to 4,000 works, including the priceless personal papers of X-Men writer Chris Claremont, early Batman artist Jerry Robinson, and “comics in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Hebrew, Russian, Finnish, Dutch, and more,” Green told The Arty Semite.
Along with her day jobs, Green also serves on the board of directors of the Society of Illustrators, which now houses New York’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. The Arty Semite caught up with her during a busy week that included two Comic-Con benefit events she was planning at Columbia.
Michael Kaminer: How did you hear about Al Jaffee’s archives in the first place?
(Reuters) — Anthony Weiner, the New York City mayoral candidate undone by a sexting scandal, stands in a schoolyard — the butt of his classmates’ jokes. A chorus of reporters breaks out into a sexually charged dance number during a Weiner press conference.
A new play about the misbegotten campaign of Weiner, the former Congressman whose political ambitions were crushed by revelations he sent women lewd pictures of himself, is based on actual texts and modeled on Greek tragedy.
The play, “The Weiner Monologues,” opens on November 6 — one day after New Yorkers go to the polls to elect the city’s next mayor.
“It’s about this very familiar story of one man’s hubris leading to his downfall,” said Jonathan Harper Schlieman, 27, who conceived the play along with fellow theater major John Oros, 23, for their senior project at Hunter College in Manhattan.
“The Weiner Monologues” examines the role of the public and the media as actors in the drama. It is based on transcripts of conversations Weiner had with women over social media that the women then leaked to the press, articles about the scandal and Weiner’s news conferences immortalized on YouTube.
“It’s the Heisenberg principle: The act of observation changes the thing being observed,” said Schlieman, who is also the play’s director.
A version of this post appeared in Yiddish here.
The first words in the trailer for the new Yiddish-language film “The Pin” are “Ikh ken nit khapn dem otem” — “I can’t catch my breath.” The movie, currently playing in New York, takes place primarily in a barn in an unknown location during the Second World War, and the two main characters, Jacob (Grisha Pasternak) and Leah (Milda Gecaite), are two young Jews who fall in love while hiding from the Nazis. Due to a terrible fear of being buried alive, Leah makes Jacob promise that he will poke her body with a pin should she die, in order to make sure that she is really dead. Decades later, the same Jacob, volunteering as a shomer in a funeral home in Canada, notices that the body lying before him is Leah’s, the same woman he once loved and to whom he made that gut-wrenching promise.
Naomi Jaye, 40, the Canadian director and writer of the film, told the Forward that the script’s inspiration came from two sources. The first was the television-show “Six Feet Under,” which follows a family that runs a funeral-home, and which led Jaye to become “fascinated with death.” Jaye believes that this fascination led her to become interested in the mass-murder of Jews conducted by the Einsatzgruppen during World War II, which were characterized by open-air shootings followed by burials in hastily dug mass-graves.
The second inspiration was a story about her own grandmother, Leah Jaye. Like the Leah in the film, her grandmother was terrified of being buried alive and had asked her son, the director’s father, to poke her body with a pin to be certain of her death. “I was really interested in this act,” Jaye said, “because it is both an act of love and yet at the same time it’s a violent act. I became very interested in this, in how the two elements come together.”
Although Jaye had always planned on making her film in an Eastern-European language, she had never thought about making it in Yiddish. Initially she considered making the film in Russian or Lithuanian. “When I began, however, to look for funding for the film and was researching the topic it suddenly occurred to me that the two leads would be speaking to each other in Yiddish. It was like a light bulb turned on in my head.”
If Dan Fogelman were any hotter, he’d have planets revolving around him. Fogelman is the screenwriter behind such hits as “Cars” and “Tangled” and “Crazy Stupid Love.” He’s also creator and producer of ABC’s “The Neighbors,” the subversively intelligent and subversively Jewish comedy.
He’s also in post-production of his first directing effort, “Imagine,” a film starring Al Pacino as Danny Collins, a successful but aging musician.
Fogelman does aging well. November 1 marks the release of his latest effort, “Last Vegas.” It’s about childhood friends — they call themselves the Flatbush Four — now all of Medicare age, who decide to throw a party in Vegas when the bachelor in their group announces he’s getting married — to a woman in her 30s.
It stars Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline. And while on the surface it might appear that the film targets seniors, at a recent screening filled with mostly young people, it has the entire audience laughing throughout. It will almost certainly be the comedy hit of the year.
Fogelman recently spoke to The Arty Semite about how his parents influenced his films, being the Hebrew School class clown and how his bar mitzvah screenplay started his career.
Curt Schleier: How did “Last Vegas” come about?
The director of Vienna’s Leopold Museum, home to extensive collections of work by Austrian artists such as Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, has quit in a row over Nazi-looted art.
Tobias Natter said he could no longer stay at the museum after some of its most senior staff joined a controversial new foundation associated with Klimt’s illegitimate son, film director Gustav Ucicky, whose works included Nazi propaganda.
The so-called Klimt Foundation has 14 Klimt works — four oil paintings and 10 drawings. The ownership of at least one, a portrait of Gertrude Loew, has been disputed for years by her heirs, who say it was stolen by the Nazis and want it back.
The Leopold Museum has recently tried to open a new chapter in its history after fighting numerous claims and in some cases settling financially with heirs of the previous Jewish owners of art works stolen after Hitler’s 1938 annexation of Austria.
Many were sold at auction in Vienna after 1945 and then bought from their new owners by Rudolf Leopold, who began amassing his collection in the 1950s and resisted restitution claims until his death in 2010.
The museum last year settled a claim over Schiele’s “Houses by the Sea” with the heirs of Jenny Steiner, a silk factory owner whose valuable art collection was seized by the Nazi regime in 1938.
English soccer is having a Jewish moment.
The conclusion of David Bernstein’s term as chairman of the Football Association (FA) in July in tandem with the publication in paperback in August of Anthony Clavane’s “Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here?” brought the matter of the contribution of Jews to the beautiful game to the fore. At the same time, the reigniting of the debate over the use of the Y-word by Tottenham Hotspur supporters, as well as England midfielder Jack Wilshere’s recent comments concerning what exactly constitutes an Englishman, has focused attention on the place of Jews within soccer, and of the outsider in what has traditionally been a white, working-class sport.
Soccer’s Jewish moment looks set to continue and to grow with the opening October 10 of the Jewish Museum London’s new exhibition, “Four Four Jew: Football, Fans and Faith,” running until February 23. Forming part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, “Four Four Jew” examines the ways in which soccer became intertwined with and inseparable from English expressions and interpretations of Judaism and Jewishness. Soccer became both a pathway of assimilation into English society and a way of promoting and asserting Jewish identity.
There are no easy answers when it comes to creating and sustaining healthcare systems that are both effective and affordable. In his new television documentary, “Dockside to Bedside: 100 Years of Herzl,” filmmaker Ezra Soiferman provides a window on to one system that seems, for the most part, to be doing a good job on both fronts. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly worth taking a look at.
It’s in Montreal, Canada and it’s called the Goldman Herzl Family Practice Center. People just call it Herzl, or the Herzl, for short.
Before beginning work on the film, Soiferman, a lifelong Montrealer, had heard of Herzl, but was unaware of its history or of its comprehensive nature. “I knew Herzl as a well-regarded breastfeeding program, but I had no idea that it was actually an entire cradle-to-grave family and preventive medicine system,” Soiferman told The Arty Semite.
Brought on board to make the film by producer Christos Sourligas, Soiferman discovered how Herzl grew from a two-bed dockside dispensary opened in 1912 by the city’s Jewish community. It provided free medical care to poor immigrants, both Jews and others. One of North America’s first free medical clinics, it still mainly serves Montreal’s immigrant population, only now costs are paid by the province of Quebec’s universal medicare system.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s 71-year-old culture minister, paid his own tribute on Monday to the late rocker Lou Reed, tweeting one of his best-known songs before clarifying he was not condoning any reference to drugs some have seen in the song.
Ravasi, an Italian who is the same age as Reed was when he died on Sunday, tweeted the third verse from Reed’s song “Perfect Day.”
“Oh, it’s such a perfect day / I’m glad I spent it with you / Oh, such a perfect day / You just keep me hanging on.”
There have been many interpretations of the song’s meaning, ranging from drugs to a simple love story.
Just to make sure no-one thought Ravasi was condoning the use of drugs, he later tweeted a Bible passage that warns against “illusions” and noted that Reed quoted from the passage when he spoke in the song about reaping what one sows.
Ravasi is a Bible expert who represents the Roman Catholic Church to the worlds of art, culture, science and even to atheists and says he is a firm believer in the power of contemporary culture.
Reed, whose most famous hit, “Walk on the Wild Side” included themes such as transvestites and prostitution, died on Sunday in Long Island, New York from complications from a liver transplant.
A family rumor was the genesis of David Laskin’s extraordinary new book, “The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the 20th Century.”
Laskin heard from his mother who heard it from her cousin Barbara who heard it from her parents: that they were related to Lazar Kaganovich, henchman of Joseph Stalin and a perpetrator of the famine genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s.
Because Laskin’s great aunt Itel (Ida) Rosenberg founded the Maidenform Bra Co., at one point the largest privately held company in America, Laskin, who spoke to the Forward on the phone from his home in Seattle, thought he had “a fantastic idea for a new book, the juxtaposition of a communist monster and a capitalist tycoon in the same family.”
While his research proved the Stalin connection a canard, he discovered there was another part of his family he knew absolutely nothing about: “an entire branch of the family killed in the Holocaust,” Laskin said.
Laskin found out about his family’s tragic past when he met his Israeli cousin Benny Kaganovitz for the first time while traveling to Israel for his research.
Benny had interviewed his mother, Sonia, a pioneer, and wrote two unpublished memoirs about her early experiences. He also saved over 300 letters Sonia received from her family in the Pale, of the Settlement, in Volozhin, home of the famed Volozhin yeshiva. Going back at least four generations, the family patriarchs were torah scribes. Among the letters, which were written in Yiddish, were several from Sonia’s grandfather, Sholom Tvi, who’d gone to visit relatives in the United States, just before World War.
I first heard those eerie xylophone notes that open the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” when I was 14, sitting on the rug of my friend Mollie’s bedroom. A moment later, I heard Lou Reed’s voice for the first time, and everything changed.
That day, we were two Upper West Side Jewish girls who showed up to Hebrew school each week; only two years beforehand we’d been playing with paper dolls on the same rug. But at that moment we were self-styled rebels. The album gave us the chills and fit in perfectly with our other nascent explorations: the still-seedy shops on St. Marks Place, smoking cigarettes and eventually pot, and also, more crucially, the cruelty of adolescent and adult life — a darkness that I heard emitting from every note of that album. In its melancholy and relentless tracks, we heard the sonic reflection of a disordered world indifferent to our pain.
That deep identification explains why Reed’s death, at 71, feels so personal to so many. For me, embracing the Velvets was the beginning of giving up on the idea of fitting in (it’s a lifelong process, still ongoing). So I grabbed on to his music that day and never let go, because he demonstrated that being on the margins of acceptability was not only okay, but actually cool. I bought a baby tee emblazoned with his face and wore it regularly to school, so I could sneer at the kids who sneered at me — or more accurately, when I felt the urge to cower, I could let Lou’s mug do the sneering for me.
The Holy Days are barely behind us, and we’re already preparing for Hanukkah (the first day of which, as some have realized, coincides with American Thanksgiving this year). But between these events comes something else that should be on your calendar: Jewish Book Month.
Running this year from October 26 to November 26, Jewish Book Month is associated most visibly with the New York-based Jewish Book Council. Many of the author visits to North American synagogues and Jewish community centers that are highlights of local Jewish book festivals occur during this time period. Check this list of sites associated with the Jewish Book Council to see what may be planned during Jewish Book Month in your area.
But whether you’re in New York or New Zealand, you can find ways to appreciate the richness and diversity of Jewish books and writing over the next month. Here are 10 suggestions:
1) New York’s 92nd Street Y will host the East Coast premiere of “Saffron and Rosewater: Songs and Stories from Persian Jewish Women” (November 23). The performance is adapted from work by Gina Nahai, Angella Nazarian, Farideh Goldin, Dora Levy Mossanen, Esther Amini and composer Niki Black. The writers will participate in a Q&A following the performance.
Sheldon Harnick isn’t going to be 90 until next April, but the celebration of that milestone kicks off October 27. That’s when Brooklyn’s Encompass New Opera Theater honors one of Broadway’s greatest lyricists at its annual gala.
The group works with young composers of musical theater and opera. Harnick has been associated with the company for 40 years. So even though he didn’t want to rush the big nine-oh, he agreed to go ahead. A who’s-who of Broadway is involved, including Harold Prince and the Stephens, Schwartz and Sondheim.
Harnick is right at home in that pantheon of the American Songbook. He and his long-time partner Jerry Bock were the musical team behind “Fiorello!” (which won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony) and “Fiddler on the Roof” (nine Tonys), among other plays.
And age hasn’t slowed him down. He’s shopping a new musical based on a Molière play, “The Doctor in Spite of Himself.” There’ll be mini-productions of five of his lesser-known plays at the York Theater in Manhattan later this season. And he and his wife, Margery, have collaborated on a coffee table book, “The Outdoor Museum,” which combines her photographs of New York with his poems.
The lyricist spoke to The Arty Semite from his home in East Hampton about what’s going on in his life, early negative reaction to “Fiddler” and how Sondheim almost derailed his career.
Curt Schleier: With this big birthday coming up, do you think back and say, “Holy Moly. This was a great life”?
“A Costa-Gavras Film” atop a marquee or movie poster is the equivalent of the old Good Housekeeping magazine seal of approval: a guarantee that the movie will be well acted, intelligent and politically charged.
In “Capital,” the Greek-French director probably best known for “Z,” “State of Siege” and “Missing” doesn’t disappoint. Here he targets the international banking system, which not only has the wherewithal but also the will to tear down the world economy in its pursuit of still another penny of profit.
Costa-Gavras’s choice for the lead, Gad Elmaleh, is as interesting as the film. Elmaleh, 42, plays Marc Tourneil, new head of the Phenix Bank, who will do anything and step over anyone in pursuit of riches. What makes his selection unusual is that Gad, a Moroccan-born Jew, is a comedian. In fact, he’s known as the Jerry Seinfeld of France.
Elmaleh has mastered Moroccan Arabic, Hebrew, French and a passable English. While he occasionally reached for a word, he spoke to The Arty Semite about how he got the part, being directed by the likes of Costa-Gavras and Steven Spielberg, and the tradition of tolerance in Morocco.
Curt Schleier: You’re a comedian. You don’t seem like a logical choice for this part.
How much of our yearning for transcendence is actually a yearning for love?
The sublimation of desire takes many forms. Mystics longing for the divine, clearly, but more subtly, even those religious who aver no such emotional fire, but who nonetheless gain senses of connection from the observance of rituals. And it appears in poetry, in art, and in human relationships of many configurations.
“Kill Your Darlings,” the new film about a lesser-known episode in the life of poet Allen Ginsberg, is as painful an evocation of this confusion of desires, particularly when they are unconsummated. The film tells the story of Ginsberg’s first transformations from awkward, suburban Jewish teenager into the history-making Beat poet he would later become (a period also captured in Ginsberg’s journals, published as “The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice,” which I reviewed for this publication a few years ago).
There are only glimmers of Ginsberg’s poetic genius here, however. What’s foremost in him, as portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, is longing. He yearns to break free, to challenge convention, to make a mark on history.
Or does he? “Kill Your Darlings” nails the ambiguity of Ginsberg’s longings, which may be more for the rebellious, beautiful Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) than for lofty goals of poetry and revolution. Carr is everything Ginsberg is not: rebellious, fearless, hip, and sexually vibrant. And gorgeous: DeHaan looks like Leonardo DiCaprio’s sexier little brother, and his waifish Carr is irresistible. (He also looks a lot like Ginsberg’s eventual lover, Peter Orlovsky.)
Carr is used to being the object of male affection, and much of the film revolves around his codependent relationship with David Kammerer, an older man who writes Carr’s college papers for him in exchange for sex. As the film reveals in the opening reel, Carr eventually kills Kammerer, under circumstances which are only gradually revealed. But Carr here is the villain; he exploits the affection of Kammerer and Ginsberg alike, and revels in rebelliousness while insulated from the consequences by his family’s wealth.
Moriah Films is a division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and is responsible for a dozen documentaries of Jewish interest. Filmmaker Richard Trank has been with Moriah from the beginning, a journey that included an Academy Award in 1997 for “The Long Way Home,” about Holocaust Survivors rebuilding their lives and the State of Israel.
Of all his productions, his latest, “The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers,” was probably the easiest. It seems all he had to do was point a couple of cameras and say “Action.”
Those cameras were pointed at Yehuda Avner, author of the book on which the film is based and a long-time Israeli government official. He is also a heck of a raconteur.
Avner was born in Manchester, England, immigrated to Israel in 1947, and eventually took on a number of public relations and English speech writing roles for five Prime Ministers. He also served as an ambassador to England, Ireland and Australia.
“The Prime Ministers” is the first of two films based on his 715-page book of the same name. “Pioneers” covers Avner’s work with Levi Eshkol and Gold Meir, and with Yitzhak Rabin when Rabin was Israel’s U.S. Ambassador.
The second, “Soldiers and Peacemakers,” is scheduled for release in the spring; it covers Avner’s work with Rabin as prime minister as well as with Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres.
The documentary is less biographical than anecdotal. The average viewer will learn a lot; students of Israeli history, already familiar with much of what “The Pioneers” contains, will still pick up a nugget or two and find the documentary a worthwhile and pleasant experience.
Those looking to discover a new, young classical music orchestra with a Jewish twist should keep an eye out for Orchestra Jakobsplatz Munich, which is performing in North America for the first time this month with concerts in Maine, Kansas, New York and Montreal.
Conductor Daniel Grossmann founded Orchestra Jakobsplatz Munich in 2005 to bring Jewish culture to German audiences without every concert turning into a memorial to the Holocaust. Grossmann, 34, believed it was time to celebrate Jewish composers by playing their music without direct reference to their fate at the hands of the Nazis. He gathered around him a group of similar thinking fellow young musicians to form the orchestra. Almost all of the 35 musicians, one-third of whom are Jewish, live in Germany, though many of them originally come from other countries.
Orchestra Jakobsplatz Munich brings to life works written by Jewish composers killed in the Holocaust and puts them in a broader musical context by pairing them with well-known works of the 20th and 21st centuries. “We don’t speak from the stage about the composers or memorialize them. We just let the music speak for itself,” Grossmann told The Arty Semite.
According to Grossmann, the musicians, most of whom are in their 30s and 40s, like being able to play pieces that are new to them, while at the same time connecting to music they already know and love.
From an early age, mentalist Asi Wind knew he had to prove himself in some spectacular way. The Tel Aviv native was dyslexic, but not diagnosed as such, and everyone assumed he was slow and dim-witted.
“And I believed it about myself,” he said with a slight Hebrew accent. “It was an enormous weight. Every thing was a struggle. Focus and concentration has been my biggest challenge.”
That’s hard to fathom in light of his mind-blowing memory, not to mention his stunning magical skills, displayed in his show, “Asi Wind Concert of the Mind: Exceeding Human Limits,” now playing Off-Broadway at the Axis Theater (One Sheridan Square), through October 30.
Evoking an easygoing host at a party, Wind quickly solves two Rubik’s Cubes, one held in each hand, instantly remembers the order of cards in a thoroughly shuffled deck, and identifies everyone in the audience by name simply on the basis of greeting each theatergoer in the lobby before the show. It’s general seating so he has no way of knowing who is sitting where ahead of time.
“When we introduce ourselves to each other I am able to tie a name to a particular expression or outstanding feature,” he said. “Everything I do in the show is in the realm of the possible, though I’m trying to push the limits of what’s possible to new extremes.”
Kathryn Grody is besieged.
The actress, on her way home after a recent preview performance of “The Model Apartment,” hadn’t made it out of the lobby when several audience members waylaid her. What happened next is both a tribute to Donald Margulies’ play and to Grody.
The play is intense and at times difficult to watch. Max (Mark Blum) and Lola (Grody) are survivors — she of the camps, he hiding in the woods. They’ve left Brooklyn for a new development in Florida, but arrived before their apartment was ready. So the developer puts them up in a model apartment where all the appliances are fake.
As they fled the Nazis they now flee from their daughter, who is obese and emotionally disturbed, but who somehow manages to get out of the institution where she lives and find them. She’s soon followed by her much younger and also troubled African-American boyfriend.
“The Model Apartment” is about many things, including the impact of the Shoah on the children of survivors. But much of what happens is open to the interpretation of audience members. Which is why the ladies hung around after the show to discuss what they’d seen and approach Grody on her way out.
Grody patiently answered all of their questions and more. As she told The Arty Semite several days later, “I ended up going out with one of the women. I continued to talk on the sidewalk with her. I was going to take a taxi home and was going to give her a lift if she lived on the West Side. But she lived on the East Side, so we started walking towards 84th Street. And when we got there I told her I was going to get a bite to eat. I didn’t get home until one in the morning. I’m sending her a Haggadah; Mandy [Patinkin, her husband] and I made our own Passover Haggadah and I’m putting that in the mail to her.”
During the rest of a telephone interview, Grody spoke about her take on the play, why no one thinks she’s Jewish and who cleans her kitchen.
Curt Schleier: This is a very uncomfortable play.
Nothing brings people together — or rips them apart — like zombies. In the recent Hollywood blockbuster “World War Z,” Israelis and Palestinians band together against swarming hordes of the undead. But this unlikely coalition is short lived. The noise of their joint celebration attracts thousands of flesh-eaters who hurl themselves over a massive security wall and proceed to devour everyone in sight.
This year, Israel unleashes two of its own zombie films, Eitan Gafny’s “Cannon Fodder” and Eitan Reuven’s “Another World.” Reuven’s film has just been completed, while Gafney’s has already garnered four awards at festivals around the world. These films were preceded by the short zombie comedy “Muralim” (“Poisoned”), made in 2011 by Didi Lubetzky. Is there some meaning behind this outbreak of Israeli zombie films, other than the worldwide popularity of the genre?
“World War Z” was largely dismissed by Arab press outlets, such as Al Jazeera, and Arab moviegoers, as “Zionist propaganda.” In that film, Israel is praised for its foresight for constructing a massive wall to keep zombies out. “World War Z” also depicts the Israeli army as a benevolent force that rescues Palestinians. Newspapers such as the Washington Times reported that many Arab filmgoers found these scenes false and insulting. Some believed the zombie-wall represented a covert justification for Israel’s separation barrier. There were even Israeli film critics, such as Chen Hadad for “Achbar ha’Ir” magazine, who took issue with the purely heroic portrayal of the Israeli army. Both sides found the Israeli-Palestinian festivities to be grossly unrealistic. However, these scenes may also represent wish-fulfillment, a genuine desire to see peace in the Middle East. The fact that this peace seems ridiculous to Israelis and Palestinians demonstrates feelings of hopelessness about the conflict.
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