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Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness Reviews

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

July 11, 2013
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

February 24, 2012
Anita Li
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 23, 2012
Shawn Levy
Oregonian

In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B-

December 15, 2011
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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[An] absorbing PBS-style documentary.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 7, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Throughout the film, Dorman uses ethnographic and silent-cinema footage, along with ubiquitous klezmer music, to paint a picture of the era.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

October 28, 2011
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl

.... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings...

Full Review Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 7/10

October 27, 2011
Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times

It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them.

Full Review Source: Tampa Bay Times | Original Score: B

October 19, 2011
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review

... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ...

Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Original Score: 4/5

October 13, 2011
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

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 Source: One Guy's Opinion | Original Score: B

October 13, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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A rich, winning documentary...

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

October 13, 2011
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
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The film adroitly sets the writer's works, his triumphs and tribulations, against the backdrop of a tumultuous period for European Jewry.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 4/4

September 29, 2011
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Dorman makes the case that Aleichem is the source from whence flows modern Jewish humor.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 22, 2011
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's good, but I'd wait for TV.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2/4

September 9, 2011
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix

Dorman's portrait is engrossing, but his Ken Burns style doesn't match his subject's vitality.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 3/4

August 31, 2011
James Verniere
Boston Herald

No Fiddling with 'Sholem Aleichem' Legacy

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: A minus

August 26, 2011
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
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This is a person you'd enjoy spending time with and learning from. That's certainly the case with Dorman's film.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

August 25, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 25, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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There are many scholars and critics here, most of them useful and pleasant, who obviously love him.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 25, 2011
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle
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There's much more to Aleichem the man and the writer than just the musings of a milkman.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

August 18, 2011
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