Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness Reviews

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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
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
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
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
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
July 8, 2011
A simultaneously fascinating, captivating, thorough and insightful documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.18/10
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
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
July 11, 2013
Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
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
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
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
October 13, 2011
... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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
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-
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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