Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.
| Original Score: 8/10
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again.
| Original Score: B-
[An] absorbing PBS-style documentary.
Throughout the film, Dorman uses ethnographic and silent-cinema footage, along with ubiquitous klezmer music, to paint a picture of the era.
.... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings...
| Original Score: 7/10
It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them.
| Original Score: B
... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
A rich, winning documentary...
The film adroitly sets the writer's works, his triumphs and tribulations, against the backdrop of a tumultuous period for European Jewry.
| Original Score: 4/4
Dorman makes the case that Aleichem is the source from whence flows modern Jewish humor.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
It's good, but I'd wait for TV.
| Original Score: 2/4
Dorman's portrait is engrossing, but his Ken Burns style doesn't match his subject's vitality.
No Fiddling with 'Sholem Aleichem' Legacy
| Original Score: A minus
This is a person you'd enjoy spending time with and learning from. That's certainly the case with Dorman's film.
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.
There are many scholars and critics here, most of them useful and pleasant, who obviously love him.
There's much more to Aleichem the man and the writer than just the musings of a milkman.