Film

As a Jewish feminist film critic, I not only contribute to academic journals but also review films for Lilith and the Jewish Women’s Archive Blog. As my new book Movie-Made Jews: An American Tradition shows, both fiction film and documentaries are in my cinematic wheelhouse. In general, I write about films that I consider to be of aesthetic and cultural value. Occasionally, however, a film ticks me off so much that I have to take it on. I almost always include a film or two in the annual Jewish feminist highlights column I write for Lilith Magazine Blog (those columns can be found under Jewish Life and Culture).

Childfree, With No Regrets and No Apologies

Shechter’s film highlights the negative responses those of us who decide to remain childfree often receive: We’re told that we’re selfish and perverse, that we’ll change our minds, that we’ll regret the decision when we’re old and there’s no one to take care of us. Yet the beauty of this film is that it goes beyond the usual critiques to enlarge our collective understanding of reproductive justice. Read more

A Team of Filmmakers Take on Black Maternal Mortality

Aftershock refuses to direct its gaze away from the preventable tragedies that exact heartbreaking loss on individuals and communities. Yet it brilliantly refuses to view this maternal epidemic of death and inequity as an intractable problem and devotes a good bit of screen time to those who turn “pain into power.”  Read more

Think feminism and Hasidism are polar opposites? Think again. Paula Eiselt’s first feature film, 93Queen, focuses on the battle to establish Ezras Nashim, a Hasidic women’s EMT group, in Brooklyn’s Borough Park. Read more

Yentl also was and is a milestone film because it gave voice, loudly and unrelentingly, to the frustrations and longings keenly felt by a generation of smart, mouthy Jewish women.  Born of the old world, Yentl spoke to new world Jewish feminists. Read more

“Félix and Meira,” directed by Maxime Giroux, is a slow film . . . While it won Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto Film Festival, it is getting decidedly—and deservedly—mixed reviews. Yet it is one of those flawed films that gets under your skin in good and stimulating ways. Read more

As a lover and critic of Jewish American cinema, I eagerly anticipated Menashe. A U.S. made Yiddish-language film—how much more Jewy can we get? But after watching the film, I couldn’t shake the feeling that what is being presented as universality is really old time misogyny. Read more

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, a new documentary about Fiddler on the Roof, tells the origin story of the beloved Broadway and movie musical. It also follows Fiddler’s wanderings across cultures. Read more

At Passover, we ritually re-enact the journey from slavery to freedom. . . . For me, beloved indie films from my recent and distant past provide sustenance; they energize, engage, and re-educate my intersectional Jewish feminist soul for the long political journey ahead. Read more

If Hillary had won, what would it be like watching feminist and queer icon Billie Jean King beat cocky Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes, the film that revisits their spectacular 1973 tennis match? As the world is . . . Battle of the Sexes provides some cathartic hope as well as contemporary and historical angst. Read more

Much as I would just like to forget about this astonishingly bad film, I think the specific left feet of this remake demands attention through a Jewish feminist lens. Read more

Got Jewish Milk: Screening Epstein and Van Sant for Intersectional Film History in Jewish Film and New Media

The Unmarked Chains of Paper Clips in Shofar

Review of Woman in Gold in Journal of Religion and Film