Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness Reviews

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Top Critic
Adam Bernstein
Washington Post
August 12, 2011
A highly accessible and sharply drawn film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Matthew Nestel
Boxoffice Magazine
July 19, 2011
Ddon't let the tongue-tying title deter you: this doc's a grabber. Filmmaker Joseph Dorman strikes Aleichem's story with gusto.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
July 12, 2011
Joseph Dorman's intelligent if conventional bio-doc of Sholem Aleichem proves particularly revealing, since the famed, dandyish Yiddish writer led a life as full of colorful ironies as the motormouth schlemiels that populate his stories.
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
July 11, 2011
Adding a panel to the growing literature of Jewish folklore, this vivid, absorbing portrait illuminates the life and work of one of the most beloved Jewish figures, known until now as the writer of Tevye the Milkman (Fiddler on the Roof).
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
July 9, 2011
A combination of erudition and inspiration so rare in documentary film. It made me want to rush out and read some Sholem Aleichem, something I never would have dreamed of in a million years. Bravo!
Dan Lybarger
eFilmCritic.com
July 8, 2011
Joseph Dorman's new documentary 'Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness' is a remarkably thorough and fascinating look at Sholem Aleichem's life and how his writing has continued to flourish
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Eric Monder
Film Journal International
July 8, 2011
Straightforward yet surprising, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness lives up to its subject's formidable output.
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
July 8, 2011
A simultaneously fascinating, captivating, thorough and insightful documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.18/10
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine
July 8, 2011
A fitting tribute (or introduction) to a writer whose work still rings true in its understanding of human foibles, even as the language it is written in fades into obscurity.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 8, 2011
It is a rich, beautifully organized and illustrated modern history of Eastern European Jewry examined through the life and work of the author, born Sholem Rabinovich in Pereyaslav (near Kiev) in 1859.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 8, 2011
Starts off looking like a glorified DVD extra for "Fiddler on the Roof," but it eventually becomes a far more gemutlich portrait of the creator of Tevye the Milkman, who took the pen name of Sholem Aleichem.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
July 7, 2011
A well-done documentary on the life and work of Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, a masterful chronicler of Jewish culture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 5, 2011
In the spirit of the Sholem Aleichem oeuvre, Laughing in the Darkness is a collective family album.
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
July 3, 2011
The equation of biography and literary output never feels overly schematic, thanks to the range of intelligent voices on hand to explain the richness and deeper significance of Aleichem's deceptively simple tales.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mark R. Leeper
Mark Leeper's Reviews
July 2, 2011
A portrait of a people living in constant hardship and keeping themselves sane with a bit of humor. The telling is as sweet as honey cake and as bitter as horseradish.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Susan Granger
SSG Syndicate
June 28, 2011
A poignant, insightful documentary, illuminating a specific segment of our cultural heritage.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Phil Hall
Film Threat
June 19, 2011
An invigorating and fascinating biographical documentary that should be required viewing for anyone with a love for the written word.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
June 15, 2011
Vivid look at life in the Jewish shtetl which gave rise to Sholem Aleichem and his stories.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
May 28, 2011
Poignant first-rate documentary on the prolific Yiddish literary figure who went by the pen name of Sholem Aleichem.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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