Human Smoke is chock-full of small, often powerful but unrelated scenes. What you get is a Jackson Pollack painting in audio: a lot of vivid colors and absolutely no shape to any of it. It's a helter-skelter of disjointed events and it's up to us to connect the dots.
The history of Poland and the Jews is a lot more complicated than some would have it. Still, the power of anti-Semitism in modern Poland is real and never has it so brilliantly been portrayed as in the Polish film Aftermath, which recently came to the United States.
Murmelstein's opponents in these events are uniformly presented as small-minded and devious, even as the film -- and Murmelstein -- affect a modest sense of irony and self-criticism. Yes, in his humility, Murmelstein manages to be quite self-aggrandizing.
To the casual observer, the documentary film The Last Of The Unjust is very much of a piece with director Claude Lanzmann's masterpiece Shoah (1985). But for those intimately familiar with that movie, this is a subtly radical departure.
The first few days of the Cannes Film Festival have been marked by surprises -- whether in the shifting national identity of movies, or peace-making efforts between towering directors -- and parties that defy the rain.
April 8 was Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). It is the solemn occasion of the 70th year marking the murder of six million Jews and the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. Survivors like Werner are the last eyewitnesses, they are our most precious resource.
There are simply no words to describe the atrocities of the Shoah. There are no explanations. It is so challenging to even know what to feel. That is why my second visit to Babi Yar was so much more powerful than my first. It was the singing.
President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres are expected to attend the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The presence of such dignitaries attests to the tremendous significance that this endeavor holds for Jews worldwide as well as Poles.
I don't need Holocaust memorials to remind me of the loss of Lejzor Trajster and his family, or any of the rest of our families that by chance and the cruelty of nations never made it out of Europe. I need only remember my name.
One of the most disturbing and paradoxically important questions to arise out of the ashes of the Holocaust is not so much the question of why six million Jews and millions of others were systematically annihilated, but the question of "what if... ?"
The vibe at the Sheffield Doc Fest is simply fantastic. The city itself welcomes filmmakers, commissioners, composers and producers from all over the world, and gives back warmth and appreciation for their work.
The Patagonian Hare is full of Lanzmann's cloying self-regard, but we accept it for the single reason that he created Shoah, his 1985 documentary about the Nazi war against the Jews, one of the masterworks of cinema.
A sad story approached a sad conclusion last week when a rabbi pleaded guilty to fraud for falsely selling what he claimed were Torah scrolls rescued from the Holocaust to synagogues and Jewish communities.