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View All Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness News
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.
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.
[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 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.
Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.
In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again.
.... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings...
It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them.
... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...
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.
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