"Ida" (trailer: YouTube & Apple) is a black & white (and a Polish language) film from Poland by director Pavel Pawlikowski (this link contains spoilers). Hailed a film "masterpiece" by more than one critic, the film has now been recognized in America by not just one Oscar nomination (Foreign Language Film) but a 2nd in the broader category of Cinematography. For those interested in filmmaking, cinematography, and lighting, here is a look at three scenes from Ida. More? Here are another four scenes. The film is not without controversy, including Poles who are upset at the portrayal of their countrymen (and women) during the Nazi occupation and the Stalinism that followed WWII. Does 'Ida' misrepresent Poland's treatment of Jews?
In the Spanish province of Burgos, Castile y León, about 200 kilometers north of Madrid, is a tiny little village named Castrillo Matajudíos (pop. 60). The village is considering changing its name. [more inside]
With his celebration during a match on Saturday, French striker Nicolas Anelka has brought renewed attention to a gesture originating in France, known as "The Quenelle". Anelka has vehemently denied any racist intent and has argued he was merely expressing solidarity with the inventor of the gesture, the controversial French comedian known as Dieudonné. Dieudonne and others maintain that the gesture is merely anti-elite in nature (signifying a fuck you to the establishment), but given Deudonne's past, in which he coined the term Shoananas and expressed particular support for Hezbollah and Hamas, many disagree.
This is why we can't have nice things. Swedish SAP ousts substitute member of the governing board, over issues stemming from his role as chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association. Media outlets are found to have been fast and loose in their reports concerning the member. [more inside]
The Rise of Chinese anti-semitism and contemporary support for Hitler as a display of Chinese nationalism.
Here is an article from the Asia Times. that discusses the fact that "a rumor is spreading virally throughout the Middle Kingdom that asserts that Austrian-born Hitler was raised by a family of Chinese expats living in Vienna." Apparently "as the rumor spreads throughout the Chinese social web, admiration for Hitler is growing stronger and stronger. Blog posts with titles like 'Why I like Hitler' are popping up every day, and an increasingly greater share of young Chinese are choosing to express their nationalism by voicing support for Hitler."
Spots Before Your Eyes, an award-winning series of animated shorts promoting tolerance and human relations, produced in the 1950s by the American Jewish Committee (at AJC Archives)
Borat likes you. Do you like Borat? Not everyone does. Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry is threatening to sue to prevent the country from being presented in a "derogatory way" by the caricature, a brainchild of UK comedian Sacha Boren Cohen, aka Ali G. [more inside, dziękuję]
The Unsettling Origins of the "Curse of the Bambino." As of this writing, the Boston Red Sox seem to have a good chance of breaking their 86-year championship drought, popularly attributed to a curse brought upon the Sox in 1920 when then-owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. But as Glenn Stout writes, popular wisdom (as usual) has it wrong. A fascinating article on how misplaced anti-Semitism, Henry Ford, and an influential sportswriter in thrall to baseball's controlling interests gave birth to one of the best-known pieces of baseball mythology. [via the SDMB]
Who says theory is dead? Judith Butler's latest book, Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence, is a collection of essays on politics and violence after September 11. The essay on anti-semitism and Israel appeared in the London Review of Books.
With several anti-Semitic incidents in the past week or two in Toronto, why would Toronto's York University suspend its local Hillel due to clashes over Israeli-Palestinian conflict debates in a hypocritical move that fails to address demonstration and violence-related offenses by Muslim groups? Sure it's Canada and no one cares, but should Canadian Jews start being afraid? (The second article may be one-sided, but the last line presents an ominous fact.)
Betrayed by Europe: An Expatriate’s Lament Journalist, novelist, and translator Nidra Poller, an American ex-pat who has been living in Paris with her family since 1972, writes in the latest issue of Commentary about her painful decision to leave her adopted homeland for the US. The main reason? Poller and her family are Jewish and scared for their lives. Her poignant essay is not just another report on the disturbing levels of anti-semitism in France or yet another French Jew abandoning the country for safer turf, but an examination of the power of hope (and inertia) in our lives, even when intellectually one sees no reason for hope: I'm being treated to a poignant lesson in European and Jewish history. The 30's: why did they stay? Why didn’t they run for their lives? Couldn’t they see what was happening? I see before me a vivid demonstration of the deep roots we dig to make our lives bloom, the intricate biology of a human life, irrigated with the lifeblood of a community, inextricably connected to a society, born of life to give life to keep life alive. Leaving is not packing up and tipping your hat goodbye. It is tearing live flesh out of a living matrix. A powerful and disturbing testimony.
Ralph Nader's Dark Alliance - (LA Weekly) In search of support for his candidacy, "...Nader has now jumped into bed with the ultrasectarian cult-racket formerly known as the New Alliance Party and its guru, Fred Newman" who "recruits and controls his followers through a brainwashing scheme baptized "social therapy," designed to create blind allegiance to Newman", and who has "dipped his rhetoric in the poisonous blood-libel of anti-Semitism, denouncing Jews as "storm troopers of decadent capitalism."". More on this right wing cult ( via Orcinus)
Poetry or propaganda? Gov. James E. McGreevey [of New Jersey] has called for the resignation of the state's poet laureate, citing a poem critical of Israel that Amiri Baraka read at a festival earlier this month. "Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed," read a line from the poem, which was cited by the Jewish Standard weekly newspaper. "Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day? Why did Sharon stay away?" Read the poem in question here.
US Neo-Nazi Groups to CELEBRATE 911 Is it cool to be angry? Do I care? I'm VERY angry about this. [...] And so on, and so forth.
Marconi was a fascist anti-Semite, says The Age. Evidence has emerged that the father of wireless communications blocked all Jews from becoming members of the science-oriented Academy of Italy at the behest of Mussolini, long before Il Duce's racist laws became known to the rest of the world.
Anti-Semitism on the comics pages. Is it just me, or is this way over the line?