Jewish Film, 1990-Present

A survey of recent American and International Jewish cinema.

Print this page Print this page

International Presence

Jewish concerns, and Jewish filmmakers, popped up elsewhere on the international scene, with films ranging from the heartfelt nostalgia of the British Wondrous Oblivion (2003, Paul Morrison) to the much-lauded Argentinean film Lost Embrace (2004, Daniel Burman), in which a young Jewish businessman wrestles with the notion of leaving his native country for Israel. The raucous German comedy Go for Zucker! (directed by Dani Levy), about a Jewish family in contemporary Berlin, was a major hit in its native country in 2004.

The explosive growth of Jewish film festivals around the world created a boom in Jewish-themed films from unlikely locales, like Wales (Solomon and Gaenor, Paul Morrison, 1999) and Iran (Abjad, Abolfazl Jalili, 2003).

In all this work, there was a unifying sense that Judaism could no longer be brushed under the carpet by cinematic censors concerned for the fragile egos of a majority-Gentile audience, as the Jewish studio chiefs of the 1930s and 1940s had once done. Instead, Jewish content had become part and parcel of the cinematic dialogue, unassuming in its own way, simply another aspect of the world that filmmakers attempted to dramatize, explain, and make sense of.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Saul Austerlitz

Saul Austerlitz is a writer and film critic in New York.