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The Modern Jewish Experience in World Cinema
Lawrence Baron, ed.

2011 • 464 pp. 30 illus. 7 x 10"
Film, TV, Visual Culture / Jewish Studies

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“The book is a fine addition to any bookshelf containing material on the Jewish experience in film, particularly given that Baron has taken care to ensure that it at least attempts to cover the global span of Jewish film rather than, as many have done before him, uncritically assuming that the only Jewish films of note emanate from America or Israel and stopped at reports of Woody Allen’s directorial decline.” —The Forward

The first global investigation of Jewish experiences in film from a wide spectrum of disciplines

Most people have seen Exodus, Fiddler on the Roof, Yentl, and Schindler’s List—well-known films with obvious Jewish subjects. But the Jewish experience in film is far richer than this. Over the past century, Jewish-themed films have emerged from the Americas, Europe, Israel, and North Africa. This remarkable anthology brings together 54 new and classic essays by 49 scholars in 8 countries to analyze the Jewish presence in world cinema.

Opening with a survey of the approaches employed to study historical films and how they have been applied to Jewish cinema, the book then moves on to several thematic sections containing essays on films grouped by period and region or organized around a central event or issue. These include European Jewry’s acculturation; responses to oppression and belated emancipation; the American Jewish immigrant experience; the Zionist experiment; the Holocaust; postwar American Jewish life; Jewish international films; and contemporary Israeli and American Jewish cinema. An appendix offers a supplementary listing of films.

Designed for classroom use, as well as for programming at film festivals, JCCs, and synagogues, the volume provides resources to help teachers and program organizers select from a broad range of movies. It includes chapter-based bibliographies of additional readings and links to appropriate web resources.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Baron manages to give each writer enough space to offer close readings of the films in question and to locatethem in their national, cultural, and aesthetic contexts. And if you happen not to like the movies that Baron chose in consultation with his contributors, he includes an appendix listing another hundred or so alternatives.” —Tablet

“For those looking for an intelligent collection of film criticism for a course on the image of the Jew in motion pictures of the past 80 years, this is it. Baron . . . required a textbook, and in providing for his own needs, he created a useful collection for anyone interested. . . . Film selection is impeccable; there is plenty of Woody Allen. Knowing that he could not include every favorite film in the anthology, Baron provides an "alternative films" list to calm the reader who finds a favorite film omitted. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

“This excellent collection of essays on Jewish characters in world cinema over the past ninety years . . . are at last available in a single source. [Modern Jewish Experience in World Cinema] will enhance courses on Jewish cinema. It will encourage that very rubric in current film studies and film history courses.”—Cinema Post Script

LAWRENCE BARON is the Nasatir Chair in Modern Jewish History, San Diego State University, and the author of Projecting the Holocaust into the Present: The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema.

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 13:46:00 -0500