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Film Review: Strange Story of ‘Disobedience’ is Constant Distraction

CHICAGO – The director Sebastían Lelio is no stranger to oddball human stories. His 2017 film, “A Fantastic Woman” – the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film – was a one-of-a-kind but amazingly poignant story of identity. His latest, “Disobedience,” mines the same human territory with lesser results.

Film Review: Individualism in ‘Menashe’ Challenges the Tribe

CHICAGO – We all belong to something, be it a family, workplace, congregation or (expansively) a tribe. But within all that belonging is a sometimes nagging feeling of being an outsider. There is not a human being in existence that hasn’t felt that way, and a new film expresses that feeling in “Menashe.”

Film Review: Jessica Chastain is Steadfast as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

CHICAGO – Jessica Chastain is a memorable and glamorous actress, who continues to challenge herself with in-depth and complex roles. “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is her latest, and her performance outweighs the formulaic based-on-truth story, set during the Holocaust.

Film News: Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series Concludes on Feb. 19, 2017

Spertus Cinema Series

CHICAGO – The Spertus Institute, Chicago’s leading center for Jewish learning and leadership, concludes a two-month film series at their downtown location, featuring a documentary entitled “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash,” preceded by the short film “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion.” The screenings begin at 2pm within the Institute’s Feinberg Theater, located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago…click here for more details.

Film Review: Searing Performances Invigorate ‘Walking with the Enemy’

CHICAGO – In movie land, the World War II Holocaust drama has been more personal – and in many ways more horrific – in our modern era. The latest film to tell a different story, from a different angle, is director Mark Schmidt’s “Walking with the Enemy.”

Interview: Jonas Armstrong, Simon Dutton are ‘Walking with the Enemy’

CHICAGO – World War II will never be over, in a sense, as long as it continues to influence the culture or teach us lessons about our contemporary lives. The new film “Walking with the Enemy” is rooted in the Holocaust, but uses the twist of a Hungarian Jew who brashly impersonated a Nazi officer to relocate his counterparts.

Film Review: An Insider’s View of Religious Tradition in ‘Fill the Void’

Fill the Void

CHICAGO – The absolution of marriage is difficult enough without having the specter of the “arranged” situation within a religious tradition. A new Israeli film, “Fill the Void,” explores the issues and answers within these arrangements, as the modern world pushes against Orthodox Hasidic Judaism.

Interview: Michael Stuhlbarg’s Passion in Joel, Ethan Coen’s ‘A Serious Man’

CHICAGO – In “A Serious Man,” the remarkable new film by Joel and Ethan Coen, Michael Stuhlbarg carries the narrative weight through his amazing performance as Larry Gopnik, the put-upon victim of a series of odd and desperate circumstances.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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