Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness Reviews

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
July 11, 2013
Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
February 24, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Anita Li
Toronto Star
February 23, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Shawn Levy
December 15, 2011
In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 7, 2011
[An] absorbing PBS-style documentary.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 28, 2011
Throughout the film, Dorman uses ethnographic and silent-cinema footage, along with ubiquitous klezmer music, to paint a picture of the era.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
October 27, 2011
.... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings...
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times
October 19, 2011
It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
October 13, 2011
... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
October 13, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 13, 2011
A rich, winning documentary...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
September 29, 2011
The film adroitly sets the writer's works, his triumphs and tribulations, against the backdrop of a tumultuous period for European Jewry.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 22, 2011
Dorman makes the case that Aleichem is the source from whence flows modern Jewish humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
September 9, 2011
It's good, but I'd wait for TV.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
August 31, 2011
Dorman's portrait is engrossing, but his Ken Burns style doesn't match his subject's vitality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Verniere
Boston Herald
August 26, 2011
No Fiddling with 'Sholem Aleichem' Legacy
Full Review | Original Score: A minus
Top Critic
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
August 25, 2011
This is a person you'd enjoy spending time with and learning from. That's certainly the case with Dorman's film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 25, 2011
Wonderfully rich, like one of Tevye's monologues, Joseph Dorman's "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness" captures the spirit of a man and his times.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 25, 2011
There are many scholars and critics here, most of them useful and pleasant, who obviously love him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle
August 18, 2011
There's much more to Aleichem the man and the writer than just the musings of a milkman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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