Articles by Michael Fox


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Roth’s autobiographical ‘Indignation’ reaches the screen

For his directorial debut, veteran producer and writer James Schamus chose a Philip Roth novel set during a turning point in the Jewish-American experience. “Indignation” unfolds in 1951, when opportunities and prospects for young Jewish professionals were just beginning to expand. “You discover when you start to inhabit that world that there was a genuine…

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Child prodigy catalyzes unsettling Israeli drama

Under the influence of consumerism, militarism and the pace of the modern world, the People of the Book have little use for poetry. That’s one reading – and the most obvious and simplistic – of “The Kindergarten Teacher,” Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s unsettling saga of an adult’s missteps when presented with a preternaturally talented child….

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“Midnight Orchestra” reprises Moroccan family melody

In the immortal “Casablanca,” cagey club owner Humphrey Bogart remarks that he came to the titular Moroccan city “for the waters.” When police captain Claude Rains points out that they’re in a desert, Bogart’s Rick replies enigmatically, “I was misinformed.” Michael Botbol, the Moroccan-Jewish protagonist of the picaresque comedy-mystery “The Midnight Orchestra” can identify with…

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Jews Receive a Mixed Welcome at “Downton Abbey”

Jewish characters finally joined the impeccably attired throng at “Downton Abbey,” and it’s not an altogether happy day. While Lord and Lady Grantham welcome the new arrivals with exquisite manners and the perfectly calibrated amount of modest warmth, series creator and writer Julian Fellowes is a good deal less hospitable. Fellowes has devised a nuclear…

Holocaust films evolve

When the Nazis brutally emptied the Lvov Ghetto in 1943, a small group of Polish Jews had several frantic seconds to make a life-or-death choice: The hell above or the hell below. Following shouted orders meant deportation to the death camps, although they didn’t know that. What they could be certain of was that the…

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