Our exploration of the rich cultural heritage of Jewish-American movies continues with six strikingly different dramas from 1947 to 1988.
Discuss the themes, casts, stories and directors. No prior course required.
- Session 1: Crossfire
Police captain Robert Young tracks down the killer of a Jewish man
(Sam Levine) in the 1947 noir thriller with Robert Ryan, Robert Mitchum and Gloria Grahame
- Session 2: The Diary of Anne Frank
13-year-old Anne’s diary becomes George Stevens’ moving 1959 drama of two Jewish families hiding in Amsterdam, with Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn, Millie Perkins.
- Session 3: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Vittoria De Sica’s Oscar-winning 1971 World War II drama of a cultured Jewish couple (Dominique Sanda, Helmut Berger) in Italy who shelter young refugees.
- Session 4: Hester Street
Immigrants Gitl (Carol Kane) and Yankel (Steven Keats) must adapt
in Joan Micklin Silver’s wise and winning 1974 adaptation of Abraham Cahan’s 1896 Yekl: A Tale of The Ghetto.
- Session 5: Sophie's Choice
Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning Sophie, with Kevin Kline as her tormented lover Nathan in post-War Brooklyn, frame the heartrending 1983 drama with Peter MacNicol
- Session 6: Crossing Delancey
Joan Micklin Silver’s 1988 followup, asking if uptown Manhattanite Izzy (Amy Irving) can find happiness with a man who offers “a joke and a pickle for only a nickel” in this sparkly charmer.
Kurt Brokaw is associate teaching professor at The New School and senior film critic of The Independent.
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