This film is beautiful and thought-provoking in a number of ways. The story is a "normal" account of two Jewish boys growing up during World War II and the creation of the Jewish State. The situations in the film are not overly dramatized or sensationalized. Regular moments with family and friends are rightly judged to be sufficiently interesting to form the basis of a compelling drama.
Historical context serves as a vibrant backdrop for the lives of traditional Jews, who form an ever-diminishing minority, and progressive Jews, who still seek to hold to their heritage while embracing aspects of modern life. The conflict between the two worldviews is marvelously expressed through the friendship of the two boys and through the differences in their fathers, each of whom completely embodies a certain way of life. The film also makes a strong point about children following and not following in their parents' footsteps, and how someone's essence is more important than his career.
There is a Jewish-inspired pathos to this movie that is difficult to describe, but very moving to watch. The acting is great, and the writing is unparalleled. For a long time, I considered this my very favorite film. I have since realized that no one film can possibly occupy that spot, but this one is forever at the top of my list.
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Brooklyn 1944. Despite being the same age, having grown up within blocks of each other, and both being Jewish, late teens Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter don't really know each other - knowing each other only by name and by sight - as Orthodox Danny stays largely within his own Hasidic community, which is just fine in Reuven's mind. An incident between the two which on the surface threatens to tear them even further apart instead blossoms into a friendship between the two. They begin to learn more and more about the other and their lives, which for Danny includes becoming a rabbi, solely as it is a several generations old family calling. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny becoming the next rabbi in the family is not even a question, despite Danny, deep in his heart, wanting other secular pursuits which he has not told his father. Conversely, Reuven has modern sensibilities, being raised in a two-person household by his widowed academic father, Professor David Malter. Ultimately, the views of each father may tear Danny and Reuven's friendship apart, regardless of whether each son believes wholeheartedly in what his father espouses. Professor Malter is a confirmed Zionist who believes in a secular Jewish state in Palestine, while Reb Saunders believes such thinking against Judaism, with only the Messiah being able to lead his people into such. As they grow into adulthood, Danny and Reuven becoming his own man may further alter their relationship. —Huggo
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 12, 2022 at 03:36 AM