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What’s your favorite film about Jewish identity?

November 17, 2021 | Julia Corbett

Hester Street (1975).

This week’s question: films about Jews. Although Jews have been very much a part of cinema since its inception, it took longer for the community to become a frequent focus of the movies. 

Unsurprisingly, many great films about the subject of Jewish identity come out of Israel, which has a flourishing film industry. Rama Burshtein’s The Wedding Plan follows an unwed Orthodox woman who, after years of dating unhappily, sets a wedding date and leaves it up to God to find a groom for her. The hilarious Zero Motivation is about a group of ne’er-do-well female IDF soldiers as they finish their mandatory service doing the most mundane jobs for the army. 

Here is what our host Richard Peña thinks, “I guess one could say the entire canon of Woody Allen, but if you’ve never seen Hester Street, Joan Micklin Silver’s beautiful portrait of Jewish immigrants to New York, you are in for a treat.” 


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