Hava Nagila: The Movie Reviews

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Jamie S. Rich
Oregonian
July 25, 2013
The film is alternately fascinating and entertaining, though you'll likely be sick of hearing the familiar melody by the time it's through.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Chris Knight
National Post
May 31, 2013
You know you're in for an irreverent documentary when the narrator asks: "What's up with this song?"
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Silver
EntertainmentTell
May 20, 2013
The film isn't slick and doesn't have the greatest production values I've ever seen, but it's still an enjoyable romp through the history of a great song.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 3, 2013
Thankfully there are enough eloquent talking heads to keep this watchable.
Bill Brownstein
Montreal Gazette
May 2, 2013
A whimsical and even occasionally profound documentary about the origins of this time-honoured Jewish tune.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Donald Liebenson
Chicago Sun-Times
May 2, 2013
A slight, but very satisfying, and at times, surprisingly moving, documentary about the inescapable Jewish anthem and wedding and bar mitzvah music staple.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Nell Minow
Beliefnet
April 25, 2013
It is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, and irresistible, which makes it a perfect Rorschach test and intriguing metaphor for contemporary Jewish identity.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Loren King
Boston Globe
April 25, 2013
An entertaining examination of the "kitschy and profound" song's cultural and historical origins.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
March 22, 2013
What does it mean? Do we really care? We should.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
March 14, 2013
It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
March 12, 2013
Balancing the anecdotal with the informative, this charming docu at once celebrates and explains the origins of the iconic Jewish tune.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Mark R. Leeper
Mark Leeper's Reviews
March 11, 2013
As one interviewee says the song "is a melody that evokes new life, hope, and joy." The song does that and so does HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE).
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
March 7, 2013
The attitude is so much fun and the story so involving that a little naches is forgivable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
March 5, 2013
Fun and illuminating...The movie as well as the song serve as fitting, entertaining testaments to the resilience of the Jewish people.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
March 2, 2013
Entertainingly traces the origins of the ubiquitous song and how it became worldwide kitsch [but] gets wearyingly redundant like a party that has gone on too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 1, 2013
Even the occasional bad jokes feel like part of this story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
February 28, 2013
Everything you ever wanted to know about Hava Nagila but were afraid to ask, except:: 'What's the deal with the ritual of raising a chair in the air like you don't care?'
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
February 28, 2013
One of those rare, crowd-pleasing documentaries that compels you to tap your toes and leaves you with a great big smile on your face from ear to ear upon exiting the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.0/10
Top Critic
Rachel Saltz
New York Times
February 28, 2013
The filmmakers mix the playful and serious, with only occasional lapses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
David Noh
Film Journal International
February 28, 2013
Comprehensive yet lighthearted dissection of one very popular song is a pretty surefire audience winner.
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