What you get is an awful lot of filler, including every performer who ever sang "Hava Nagila," from Harry Belafonte to Glen Campbell using it as the flip side to "True Grit."
| Original Score: 2/4
The doc can at times feel like you're wasting your time on a subject you might wish you had only accidentally crossed paths with briefly on Wikipedia.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Patronizing from toe to chin, the film opts continually for self-congratulation and cheesy aphorism, and could've-should've been comfortable slotted into a half hour of airtime on TJC.
The film is alternately fascinating and entertaining, though you'll likely be sick of hearing the familiar melody by the time it's through.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Thankfully there are enough eloquent talking heads to keep this watchable.
A playful and fun history of the Hebrew "Hokey Pokey."
| Original Score: 3/4
Grossman finds lively, often passionate and funny interpreters - among them rabbis, historians, musicologists and klezmer musicians - to guide us through the song's many transformations.
It is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, and irresistible, which makes it a perfect Rorschach test and intriguing metaphor for contemporary Jewish identity.
| Original Score: B+
Fun and illuminating...The movie as well as the song serve as fitting, entertaining testaments to the resilience of the Jewish people.
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.
| Original Score: 6/10
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.
| Original Score: 8.0/10
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?'
| Original Score: 4/4
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
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).
| Original Score: 7/10
The filmmakers mix the playful and serious, with only occasional lapses.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Even the occasional bad jokes feel like part of this story.
The attitude is so much fun and the story so involving that a little naches is forgivable.
It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey.
Grossman deserves kudos for this unique nonfiction celebration of a timeless musical favorite. And as I never get to say in my Episcopalian church services: Mazel Tov!
What does it mean? Do we really care? We should.