Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jewish Film, Jewish History, and...Barbie?

(Hat tip: Holy Hyrax)

Wow. This is an interesting and very good film which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. It calls itself "an unorthodox, unauthorized history of the Jewish people and the Barbie doll." You have to see it for yourself.

I'm curious as to what everyone thinks of it, and what parts stuck out at you. Put it in the comments...

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  1. Well, besides the part of them describing the different "sub-tribes" of religious Jews (very funny), the part that mostly stuck with me was when half of the "circle," which represents the Jewish people on the graph, disapears after they mention the holocaust. Simple, yet powerful

  2. Yes - there were a few other powerful images as well; the slowdown as the persecutions became more recent was powerful as well, and the running everything backwards through the woman's rant was excellent. I didn't like the sound of her rant; though her words were excellent, it was too film/rap style cliche for me.

    Overall, very smart, very funny, very well-made, and powerful to me.

  3. very well done film. very clever and clearly well researched. funny but powerful and i think totally reflecting western jewish society today.
    who would have thought barbie could teach us so much!
    i really liked the montage effect of the collection of various images used (graphs, old film, historical images, barbie/ken characters) and the powerful images and effects that worked so well with the words of the narrator.
    it is very thought provoking and it would be interesting to hear the reactions of Jews from a variety of our 'sub tribes'!
    great film.
    rosh chodesh sameach :)

  4. Good film Ezzie, thanks for the link. My father was a very good friend of the Handler's and their children went to our day camp we owned way back in the 60's. When I was a kid we went on several tours of Mattel toy factory.

  5. CM - Very cool! (Did they hand out Barbie dolls at the end? :) )

    Sarah - Spoken like a true photographer. I liked the mix of funny and serious and the different styles of video and imaging as well, though I likely didn't appreciate the imagery as much as you did.

    And a Rosh Chodesh Sameach to all!

  6. great link, my wife and I just watched it.

  7. Interesting film, but I honestly thought that Barbie was entirely unecessary to the point and almost seemed forced in to give the movie some buzz or public recognition. To claim that Barbie had some central role in the discussion is rediculous. "jews are diverse, barbie is diverse cuz she comes in many varieties such as beach barbie, jews go to beaches, etc..." Its silly.

    It was a well done project but I still fail to see what the point of it was. What issues were raised or what declarations were made? Jews are diversified? I think i knew that already...

  8. Nope, no Barbie's, although I seem to remember getting some toys. But that was over 40 years ago, so who can really remember!

  9. And yes Ez... the poetry reading was performed in a very typical pseudo-post-modern, semiHipHop, freestyle, artHouse, womens-lib-lesbian-tough kind of way. It could have been a pro-abortion poem, or even an anti-smoking TV commercial, if you werent listening to the words. No justice for the beauty of the poem itself.

  10. Xvi - thanks. I actually liked the Barbie (and Handler) tie-in; it added humor and imagery.

    CM - :( No Barbie?!