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Filmography - Jewish Studies: Feature Films - part two

Titles available on DVD, VHS and streaming video as of November 2011

Filmography - Jewish Studies Feature Films part two

Titles available on DVD, VHS and streaming video as of November 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (

Ordinary people. 1980.  1 videodisc (124 min.). The "ordinary" existence of an upper middle class family is shattered with the death of the older son and the struggle of the younger son against guilt and suicide.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 3105

Pi. 1998.  1 videodisc (85 min). A brilliant mathematician teeters on the brink of insanity as he searches for an elusive numerical code that will allow him to predict patterns in the stock market.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 161

The pianist. 2002.  1 videodisc (149 min.). Based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew, who was a brilliant pianist. He watched as his family was shipped off to Nazi labor camps. He managed to escape and lived for years in the ruins of Warsaw, hiding from the Nazis.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1794

Pokolenie = A generation. 1955.  1 videodisc (87 min.). Contains disc 1 of the three disc special ed. set from Andrzej Wajda. Film follows the fortunes of one boy under the German Occupation who, along with an entire generation of Polish youth, took up the fight against the Germans with whatever means were at hand. A cocky Polish youth decides to fight the Nazis after he falls for a pretty resistance leader.  As he and his friends help escapees during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the innocence of a generation is lost under the grueling conditions of war.  DVD 2581

Popiól i diament = Ashes + diamonds. 1958.  1 videodisc (103 min.). Contains disc 3 of the three disc special ed. set from Andrzej Wajda. On the last day of World War Two in a small town somewhere in Poland, Polish exiles of war and the occupying Soviet forces confront the beginning of a new day and a new Poland.  In this incendiary environment we find Home Army officer Maciek Chelmicki, who has been ordered to assassinate an incoming commissar.  But a mistake stalls his progress and leads him to Krystyna, a beautiful barmaid who gives him a glimpse of what his life could be.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2583

Portnoy's complaint.  1972.  1 videocassette (101 min.). Details the journey of guilt-ridden, sex-obsessed Alexander Portnoy, searching for his manhood as he psychoanalyzes himself, sparing the viewer none of the raunchy detail and savage self-contempt.  VHS 3983

The quarrel. 1996.  1 videocassette (90 min.). Two Holocaust survivors meet in Montreal in 1948. One is a deeply religious rabbi. The other, a journalist for a Yiddish newspaper, has turned his back on God. Now they have one afternoon to reconcile their differences, and renew their faith and friendship as they debate the existence of God and the role of religion, politics and morality in the life of man.  HOME USE COLLECTION VHS 4674

Quiz show. 1994  1 videodisc (133 min.). Fame and fortune become a hotbed of scandal when a Washington investigator uncovers corruption beneath the TV's hottest quiz show's glittering facade. The scandal implicates both the wildly popular champion and the disgruntled ex-champ.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 164

La Rafle. 2010.  2 videodiscs (120 min.). 1942. Joseph is eleven. And this June morning, he must go to school, a yellow star sown on his chest. He receives the support of a goods dealer. The mockery of a baker. Between kindness and contempt, Jo, his Jewish friends, their families, learn of life in an occupied Paris, on the Butte Montmartre, where they've taken shelter. At least that's what they think, until that morning on July 16th 1942, when their fragile happiness is toppled over. From the Vélodrome D'Hiver, where 13 000 Jews are crammed, to the camp of Beaune-La-Rolande, from Vichy to the terrace of the Berghof, La Rafle follows the real destinies of the victims and the executioners. Of those who orchestrated it all. Of those who trusted them. Of those who fled. Of those who opposed them. Every character in this film has existed. Every event, even the most extreme, transpired on that summer of 1942.  DVD 7971

Ragtime. 1981.  1 videodisc (155 min.). From the E.L. Doctorow novel of 1906 America, a compelling story of human emotions and a reflection of the innocence, excitement and drama of an important time in America's history. It is now an award winning Broadway musical.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4164

Requiem for a dream.  2000.  1 videodisc (102 min.). Harry and his best friend, Tyrone, are impoverished heroin addicts living in Coney Island, NY. Harry's girlfriend, Marion, is a fellow addict trying to distance herself from her wealthy father. Harry's mother, Sara, spends her days watching television and wants to lose weight to go on a game show. She visits a sleazy doctor who prescribes her amphetamines and soon Sara has a drug habit of her own.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 344

Romance of a Jewess.  1908   1 videocassette (15 min.). Archival footage of a silent melodrama. Ruth, a young woman, lives on New York's Lower East Side and works with her father in his pawnshop. Her greatest treasure is a locket her dying mother gave her. She falls in love and marries in defiance of her father's wishes. He disowns her. She and her husband are happy and have a daughter but he dies in an accident. Impoverished, she must send her child to pawn the locket.  HOME USE COLLECTION VHS 4613

Sallah. 1964.  1 videodisc (110 min.). A satirical comedy showing the problems an immigrant family from North Africa encounters in adjusting to life in Israel. Sallah arrives with his large family and with great expectations. Instead, he lands in a ramshackle transit camp that arouses his disgust. He decides to take on the bureaucracy in this own inimitable fashion, with hilarious results.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5827

Schindler's list. 1993.  1 videodisc (196 min.). The story of a Catholic war profiteer, Oskar Schindler, who risked his life and went bankrupt in order to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps. He employed Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army. At the same time he tries to stay solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant and negotiates business with a vicious Nazi commandant who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa that overlooks the prison camp he commands.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2419

Sciuscià = Shoeshine. 1946.  1 videodisc (91 min.). Two orphaned shoeshine boys, abused by the state reform system in Nazi occupied Rome, become involved in black marketeering with tragic consequences.  DVD 504

Seres queridos = Only human. 2004.  1 videodisc (ca. 86 min.). When Leni comes home to introduce her fiance Rafi to her idiosyncratic Jewish family, everything goes smoothly until the lovers belatedly reveal that Rafi is Palestinian.  DVD 2588

Shine. 1996.  1 videodisc (105 min.). The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott. He experiences a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized, but later returns to the concert hall.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8977

Sleeper. 1973.  1 videodisc (87 min.). Miles Monroe enters the hospital in 1973 for a minor ulcer operation only to wake up 200 years later after being defrosted. As Miles tries to adjust to his new environment, he is re-programmed, de-programmed, chased by Big Brother-like police, and falls for Luna, an underground poet. Directed by Woody Allen.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 124

Stardust memories. 1980.  1 videodisc (88 min.). A famous comedy film maker, rejected by his fans after a venture into serious cinema, seeks comfort from the three dissimilar women he is dating. Directed by Woody Allen.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 129

Stolen summer. 2002.  1 videodisc (92 min.). Pete is an eight-year-old Catholic boy, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to follow the path of Lord, and not that of the Devil. Pete decides to help someone get into heaven and decides to convert a Jew to Catholicism. Pete begins visiting a nearby synagogue, where he gets to know Rabbi Jacobson and makes friends with the Rabbi's son, Danny. When he learns that Danny is seriously ill, he decides Danny would be an excellent choice for conversion.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5161

Storytelling. 2002.  1 videodisc (87 min.). A story that makes light of the dark side of human behavior. Discover the truth about sex, lies and race relations in suburban America. Includes a mixture of an emotionally needy college student, a slacker named Scooby and a very dysfunctional family man.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 384

A stranger among us.  1993.  1 videocassette (109 min.). Emily Eden, a tough New York City detective, is forced to go undercover to solve a puzzling murder.  VHS 6523

Taksi-blyuz = Taxi blues. 1990.  1 videodisc (110 min.). A hard-working, anti-Semitic taxi driver and a Jewish musician who stiffed him on a fare, form a love-hate relationship. At first, class and race division make friendship nearly impossible, until they both learn that they aren't so different after all. Ivan is a thick, dour, hard-working brute. He misses Communism. He drives a taxi and one night meets Alexi. Alexi is a musician, an alcoholic, not to mention, irresponsible. Alexi stiffs Ivan for the fare and Ivan decides to track him down and a love-hate relationship ensues. When Alexi lets the bath water run over in Ivan's flat and Ivan must pay 500 rubles for repairs, he tries to force Alexi into day labor to repay him. Suddenly, Alexi is discovered and he goes on a jazz tour of America. He becomes a celebrity and return to Russia a triumph. Ivan longs to renew the friendship, and it looks as if he may get what he wants.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5157

Talmud. 2007.  1 videodisc (55 min.). Originally passed down orally from master to student, the Talmud is the hidden face of the Torah, or Old Testament. It is a vast body of legal, mythic, and philosophical texts, and a mixture of religious commentary and debate, of history and science, and of anecdote and humor. No other text has had such and influence on Jewish life as it details the principles, ethical codes, and laws that serve as a guide for conduct.  DVD 5240

The times of Harvey Milk. 1984.  2 videodiscs (88 min.). Documents the life, career, and assassination of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in San Francisco. Milk was shot to death, along with mayor George Moscone, by city supervisor Dan White on Nov. 22, 1978; White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and was paroled in 1985. Examines Milk's life leading up to his assassination, his successful efforts to politically represent San Francisco's gay community, and the city's reaction to the assassinations through extensive news footage and personal recollections.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1267

Tirez sur le pianiste = Shoot the piano player. 1960.  1 videodisc (84 min.). A timid cafe pianist has given up his career as a concert pianist, a career which had destroyed his marriage.  Events force his involvement with gangsters who once again cause him to be responsible for the destruction of his life.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 57

Torch song trilogy. 1988.  1 videodisc (ca. 121 min.). A gay man in New York searches for love, respect, and tradition in a world that seems not especially made for him.  VHS 3012

Tucker: the man and his dream. 1988.  1 videodisc (110 min.). Tucker, a dynamic engineer and enthusiastic showman, envisions the car of the future.  Against mighty odds he manages to build a fleet of them, only to have his factory shut down by Detroit's Big Three automobile manufacturers.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5351

La Ultima Cena = The last supper. 1995.  1 videodisc (110 min.). The film is a dazzling moral tale of a pious late-eighteenth-century slaveholder who decides to improve his soul and instruct his slaves in the glories of Christianity by inviting twelve of them to participate in a reenactment of the Last Supper.  DVD 2262

Urs al-jalil = Wedding in Galilée. 1987.  1 videodisc (112 min.). The elder of a Palestinian village under Israeli military rule, wants permission to hold a traditional wedding for his son that will go past the imposed curfew. The Army commander agrees on the condition that he and his officers be invited as guests of honor at the ceremony.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4059

Ushpizin. 2004.  1 videodisc (ca. 92 min.). A heartwarming and light hearted look at the daily lives of ultra-Orthodox Jews learning, livinig and loving in modern-day Israel. The story of a family facing hardships who must rely on their faith for miracles to happen during the holiday season.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2038

Va, vis et deviens = Live and become. 2005.  1 videodisc (140 min.). A young boy who isn't an orphan is transported away from his home during Operation Moses at a Sudanese refugee camp, in order to honor his mother's wishes of finding a better and safer life.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6699

Via Dolorosa. 2003.  1 videodisc (90 min.). "In 1997, David Hare, a fifty-year-old British playwright, visited the state of Israel while his play, Amy's View, was in rehearsal in Tel Aviv. During his visit, he traveled around the country, and his discussions with Jewish settlers encompassed the idealism, contradictions, and paranoia at the heart of modern Zionism in the wake of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. In the play that resulted (written to be performed by the author himself) Hare offers a meditation on this extraordinary trip to both Israel and the Palestinian territory, questioning his own values as searchingly as he examines the powerful beliefs of those he met.". This powerful, personal drama poignantly finds the poetry and beauty within an explosive culture very different from our own. This one-man show by British playwright and screenwriter David Hare, is about his travels to Israel and Palestine.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2092

Le vieil homme et l'enfant = The two of us . 1967.   1 videodisc (87 min.). A Jewish boy living in Nazi-occupied Paris is sent by his parents to the countryside to live with an elderly Catholic couple until France's liberation. Forced to hide his identity, eight-year-old Claude bonds with the irascible, staunchly anti-Semitic Grampa, who improbably becomes his friend and confidant.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4440

La vita è bella = Life is beautiful. 1997.  1 videodisc (116 min.). A charming but bumbling waiter who's gifted with a colorful imagination and an irresistible sense of humor has won the heart of the woman he loves and has created a beautiful life for his young family. Then that life is threatened by World War II.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 156

A walk on the moon. 1998.  1 videodisc (107 min.). It's the summer of 1969 and realizing she missing the sexual revolution Pearl has a passionate affair with a free-spirited young man, but then she has to make a choice between her husband and family or her newfound desires.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 152

What makes Sammy run? 2009.  1 videodisc (105 min.). Sammy Glick is a Jewish boy born in New York's Lower East Side. He decides to climb the ladder of success by any mean necessary. Through backstabbing and double-crossing, Sammy fights to become the motion picture industry's top screenwriter. A rags to riches story about the world of 1930s Hollywood.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5559

Yentl. 1983.  2 videodiscs (137 min.). Set in Eastern Europe in the early 1900's. Yentl is the daughter of a kindly scholar, a man able to instill in his daughter a love of learning as deep as his own.  However, in the world of Eastern Europe at the turn of the century, higher education is denied women so Yentl disguises herself as a man in order to gain entrance to an orthodox Jewish school.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5790

Yiddle with his fiddle. 1936.  1 videocassette (92 min.). A classic Yiddish language musical-comedy. After they are thrown out of their home, a young girl fiddle player, disguised as a boy for safety, goes off to the Polish countryside with her musician father. They meet up with two other traveling musicians, one of whom is a young man.  HOME USE COLLECTION VHS 5715

Zelig. 1983.  1 videodisc (79 min.). This spoof of documentary films stars Woody Allen as Leonard Zelig, the famous "Chameleon Man" of the 1920's, whose personality was so vague he would assume the characteristics of whomever he came into contact with. Filmed in black-and-white, the movie simulates the look of a newsreel, complete with stentorian narration. Directed by Woody Allen.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2082

Ziemia obiecana = Promised land. 21975.  1 videodisc (138 min.). Three industrialists representing different ethnic groups in Poland, build a textile factory in Lodz at the turn of the century, but encounter problems with overworked, underpaid workers.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2655

Zwartboek = Black book. 2006.  1 videodisc (146 min.). Rachel, a young Jewish girl hiding from the Nazi's during World War II in The Netherlands, sees her hiding place blown up. She escapes with her rescuer, a young sailor, but the boat sails into a trap set by the Germans. She escapes and joins the resistance, and under the false name Ellis de Vries she meets SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Muntze on a train smuggling weapons. She goes to his headquarters to meet him again and gain his trust, and soon they fall in love. She joins his office as a spy, but when someone within the resistance betrays her, she is now seen as an enemy betraying both sides. All that's left to do is run with the man she learned to love and find a way to prove her innocence by finding the real betrayer.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4058