Sholem Aleichem: Laughing In The Darkness

This is a remarkable but somewhat painful film, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness.  Notwithstanding the film title, one does not remember a single instance of laughter anywhere in this faithful picture of the past century of tsarist pogroms and Stalinist anti-Semitic attacks against innocent scapegoat citizens of their colder and less hospitable vastnesses.  It is a source of wonder to see how a 93-minute film biography of a man whose life occurred largely before the advent of moving pictures, and before the art of photography was quite invested in the world, could be made using just an assemblage of photos, newsreel clips and world-renowned Yiddishists and literary recalls, plus photos that may be B/W and faded, but startlingly fresh.  Director Joseph Dorman has achieved something great, and greatly moving. Aleichem's granddaughter, the famed writer Bel Kaufman, contributes poignant family stories from her own recollections at her grandfather's knee, along...(Read Full Article)