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Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness (2011)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 663

My Rating

Movie Info

A riveting portrait of the great writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness tells the tale of the rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Plumbing the depths of a Jewish world locked in crisis and on the cusp of profound change, he captured that world with brilliant humor. Sholem Aleichem was not just a witness to the creation of a new modern Jewish identity, but one of the very men who forged it.

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Mar 11, 2013

$0.9M

International Film Circuit - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (0)

Not often does a film double as a literary critic, but this is the Northrop Frye of docs. Essentially, it revises and sharpens the blunted reputation of a great writer.

February 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Audiences interested in Jewish literature will find Laughing in the Darkness compelling for its deep analysis of Aleichem's works, featuring a selection of experts and the writer's granddaughter, Bel Kaufman.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] absorbing PBS-style documentary.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Throughout the film, Dorman uses ethnographic and silent-cinema footage, along with ubiquitous klezmer music, to paint a picture of the era.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A rich, winning documentary...

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film adroitly sets the writer's works, his triumphs and tribulations, against the backdrop of a tumultuous period for European Jewry.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again.

December 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

.... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings...

October 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them.

October 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times

... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

One needn't be a student of the history or literature of the period to appreciate this excellent portrait of a fascinating and important figure.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

It's good, but I'd wait for TV.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Dorman's portrait is engrossing, but his Ken Burns style doesn't match his subject's vitality.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

No Fiddling with 'Sholem Aleichem' Legacy

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

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