When I heard that "Tiger Eyes" was being turned into a movie, I quickly turned to my friend circle to spread the news. Like any member of the facebook tribe, I immediately put a call out for Judy Blume fans—I figured if I was lucky, I could get someone to see Tiger Eyes with me when it comes out in June. I figured if I was really lucky, I could get someone to write a blog post for Jewish American Heritage Month about how Judy Blume affected their childhood.
This week I had the opportunity to screen a documentary about a community of Holocaust survivors who bought a bungalow colony in the Catskills called the Four Seasons Lodge to spend their summers together at each year. I was looking forward to seeing the film after my cousin sent me a link to the trailer. I knew exactly why she was so excited about it -- the survivors in the trailer acted and sounded exactly like our grandparents, Ben and Rose Berkenwald.
Inglourious Basterds has been called the "ultimate Jewish revenge fantasy," in every review and blog post I have seen. I am not interested in adding my two cents to the debate about whether revenge fantasies are "good for the Jews" or "bad for the Jews." Instead, I would like to offer a different angle on the film.
Last week I wrote about the deficit of "kick-ass Jewish women" in film, and Sylvia suggested that Shoshana of Inglourious Basterds fit the bill. Now that I've seen the movie, I completely agree. The true hero of Inglourious Basterds is the heroine: Shoshana Dreyfus, a kick-ass Jewish feminist.
This past weekend I saw a documentary film called Who Does She Think She Is?. The film profiles five female artists who are also mothers, as well as several commentators including Tiffany Shlain, creator of The Tribe, and Courtney Martin author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters and contributor to Feministing.com.
If I ever had any doubt about whether "the ordinary" mattered, Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn drove such doubt away. Based on a true story, and adapted from the play by Ellen Cassedy, Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn is a life portrait of Jessie Singer Sylvester, a retired elderly Jewish woman living on a pension in 1976 who is confronting the changes in her life and in her beloved Brooklyn neighborhood.
Last night I watched Joanna Rudnick's intimate and informative documentary, "In the Family," about the BRCA genetic mutations that cause a predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. Using her own story as the framework for the film - she learned that she is a BRCA mutation carrier at age 27 - Rudnick speaks with cancer survivors, doctors, genetic counselors, other "previvors" like herself, and family members about what it's like to know that your body is, as she puts it, a "time bomb."