Showing posts from February, 2017

"The Women’s Balcony" - Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Review (4 of 5 Stars)

By Senior Editor, Ali Coad If this were the only film that I were to see in this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival lineup (and at this point, it is), I would consider the 2017 AJFF a smashing success. “The Women’s Balcony” is a film that reveals itself one moment at a time. It becomes more delightful and joyous and emotional with each passing line of dialogue, so much so that by the time the credits rolled at the end, a big, fat, dopy grin conquered my face. It’s a film that makes the heart swell. It’s so timely, so relevant to our current political landscape, and at the same time, its laudable in its ‘glass-half-full’ attitude. “The Women’s Balcony,” (Hebrew title: Ismach Hatani) directed by Emil Ben-Shimon, begins with catastrophe. In the middle of a bar mitzvah, the balcony where the women sit, collapses. The rabbi’s health, which prior to the building collapse was less than good, mirrors that of the broken synagogue, and his wife remains in the hospital pained and injured through

#GAfilm Review: "Fist Fight" (3.5 of 5 Stars)

Review by Senior Editor, Christina Nicole Fights in a high school are nothing new, but a Fist Fight between teachers is practically unheard of. The new film starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube does just that. It pits the aptly named Strickland, Cube, against the passive Campbell, Day. It’s the last day of school and the stress level is high as the senior pranks are out of control and all teachers must sit in front of the principal and superintendent to defend their jobs. No one is safe. Ice Cube’s Mr. Strickland is the stereotypically angry and intimidating.   He’s upset that the school spent a large sum of money on a new coffee machine, which he cannot figure out, but can’t seem to get funds together for updated textbooks. Charlie Day’s cowardly Mr. Campbell apprehensively assists. As the day progresses, Strickland and Campbell meet again; this time in Strickland’s classroom where the TV/VCR keeps inexplicably turning off. Campbell figures out that a student is controlling the TV with

Finding the Holocaust Funny: "The Last Laugh" - Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Review (3 of 5 Stars)

by Christina Nicole, Senior Editor The Holocaust is not funny. The systematic murder of 6 million Jews is not funny. The immense suffering prisoners in Auschwitz and other concentration camps faced is not funny. There is nothing funny about it, but Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, and Rob Reiner are hilarious. The Last Laugh follows a Holocaust survivor, who meets up with other survivors to discuss their experiences in the concentration camps and life after the Shoah. For the most part, the survivors say that their sense of humor helped keep them alive during the Holocaust. The Holocaust still haunts the survivors, but they actively choose not to let the past ruin their present. The comedians interviewed in The Last Laugh are some of the best available. The subject matter however, doesn’t easily lend itself to comedy. The comedians discuss the role of comedy in life and how it is a tool of the disenfranchised and weak. It’s okay to make fun of the oppr

"20th Century Women" - Review (4 of 5 Stars)

By Ali Coad, Senior Editor Writer, director Mike Mills set the bar as high as the clouds with “Beginners,” the triumphant and beautiful mostly-autobiographical story of his father, a man (played by an unencumbered Christopher Plummer) who, after a long and hapless marriage, announces he’s gay the very week he’s diagnosed with cancer. Much to the chagrin of his buttoned-up son (Ewan McGregor), Plummer’s character explodes with color, compensating for all those years of quiet servitude and repressed desire. It’s a story that’s far too good for fiction. And now in Mills’s newest feature, “20th Century Women,” Mills pays tribute to his mother. This is an ode, a pure and exuberant portrait of what it means to be a woman (and everything that means) at the turn of the century at a particularly transitory time in our country’s history (think: President Carter’s ‘Crisis of Confidence Speech,’ The Talking Heads, feminism, Susan Sontag, counterculture, punk). At the heart of the film we have Doro

"90 Minute War" - Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Review (2.5 Stars)

by Christo Stevens, Senior Editor Before walking into my screening of The 90 Minute War I read a brief synopsis of the film. When I discovered the movie was a mockumentary style comedy about the Israeli-Palestinian War I was instantly on board. The film, whose premise is brilliantly absurd, revolves around the decision to solve the near-100 year conflict between the two groups by having a good old fashioned soccer match. Israel and Palestine will face off in a game of soccer and the loser must agree to leave the country for good. Written and directed by Eyal Halfon, 90 Minute War ’s greatest accomplishment is its commitment to its concept. Beyond the satirical nature of the premise, the film really does feel like a legitimate documentary following the logistical dealings of this nationwide event. It centers around the two coaches who are in charge of recruiting and training the athletes that will be competing in the game. Israeli actors Moshe Ivgy and Norman Issa play the two coaches.