Tag Archives: film

JR OutLoud: Bulgarian-born Dora Reisser tells her life story, from child refugee to prima ballerina and beyond

It’s Dora Reisser’s ability to reinvent herself – from child refugee to prima ballerina, actor, screen star and fashion designer – and in such nail-biting circumstances, that makes her memoir, Dora’s Story, so gripping.  Judi Herman visited Reisser at her remarkable London home (it used to be a railway station) to hear more of the stories behind her book, which begins with the little-known history of how Bulgaria’s Jews survived the Holocaust; and about her life in the UK and Israel, including an eye-opening account of how she started her Reisser fashion house – just one of the many new stories Reisser has that could fill a sequel.

Dora’s Story by Dora Reisser is out on Troubador. £9.99. www.troubador.co.uk

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Review: Denial ★★★★ – Fine performances prove attack is the best form of defence to demolish Holocaust denial

Hitler apologist David Irving would have loved to have his day – or days – in court face to face with Deborah Lipstadt, the historian he sued for libel for labelling him “one of the most dangerous spokesmen of Holocaust denial”. It is more a strength than a weakness of the film charting Irving’s high-profile defeat by Lipstadt’s team of lawyers that Lipstadt herself maintains a dignified ‘silence in court’.

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JR OutLoud: Dana Ivgy chats to JR’s arts editor Judi Herman about her role in Next to Her

Israeli actress Dana Ivgy chats to JR’s arts editor Judi Herman about her role in Asaf Korman’s drama Next to Her. This powerful, challenging film – with a script by Korman’s wife Liron Ben-Shlush – explores the symbiotic relationship between Chelli (played by Ben-Shlush) and her mentally-challenged sister Gabby (Ivgy), for whom she is the sole carer. One day she is forced to hand Gabby over to a daycare centre part-time, which is when a relationship of another kind develops with Zohar (Yaakov Zada Daniel) the new gym teacher at the school where she works. Ben-Shlush based this story on her own experience of having a mentally disabled sister and worked closely with friend and co-star Dana Ivgy on her role.

Next to Her can be watched on BFI Player for £6 or at the following screenings:

Friday 25 – Wednesday 30 March, times vary, £7.50, at MAC Birmingham, B12 9QH; 0121 446 3232. https://macbirmingham.co.uk

Sunday 20 March, 8pm, £8.50, at Glasgow Film Theatre, G3 6RB; 0141 332 6535. www.glasgowfilm.org/theatre

Read our ★★★★ review of Next to Her

JR OutLoud: Hear filmmaker Gur Bentwich chat to Judi Herman about an extraordinary Jewish dynasty

From humble origins in Whitechapel, the eccentric and ambitious 19th-century lawyer Herbert Bentwich set out to establish an aristocratic Jewish dynasty, having a profound impact on British Jewish life and on the new state of Israel. In this wry and witty documentary, The Bentwich Syndrome, brilliantly enhanced by Monty Pythonesque animation, Bentwich’s great-grandson Gur sets out to discover the truth about this much-maligned and enigmatic family. Along the way, from Herbert’s daughter, who did not just become Christian but also a nun – and a lesbian – to the 20th-century scion, ‘Quick Quick’ Norman Bentwich, a whirlwind who advised Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia, helped set up the Kindertransport in Europe and, became attorney general in the British Mandate in Palestine, the filmmaker and his wife and partner Maya Kenig  uncover a remarkable story, funny and sometimes tragic, of fervent Zionists, inspired artists, and outrageously determined rebels.

See The Bentwich Syndrome with Gur Bentwich in conversation at the following places:

Monday 16 November, 4pm, JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, NW3 6ET; 020 7433 8988. www.jw3.org.uk
Wednesday 18 November, 6.30pm, Odeon Swiss Cottage, 96 Finchley Rd, NW3 5EL; 0333 006 7777. www.odeon.co.uk
Thursday 19 November, 7.30pm, Seven Arts Leeds, 31A Harrogate Rd, LS7 3PD; 0113 262 6777. www.sevenleeds.co.uk

Small and perfectly proportioned: TAU Night at the Movies features the next big thing in Israeli talent

Every year I’m impressed by the quality of short student films presented by the Tel Aviv University Trust. It’s delightful to see such tight storytelling in as little as 12 minutes. That’s the length of Kapunka (trailer above), the film that opened this year’s mini festival, and it set the benchmark high.

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