Thinking about Best Movies About Judaism, there is no limit to the movies talking about this feeling. Here are 25 of the best ones.
From Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Schindler's List is a 1993 biographical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film opens with Schindler in KrakÃ³w, Poland, as the Nazis are rounding up Jews and sending them to concentration camps. Schindler, a Catholic and a member of the Nazi party, starts a business to benefit from the war and gains favor with the Nazi party by supplying them with goods. He subsequently starts to employ Jewish workers and eventually comes to realize the horror of what is happening and decides to save as many people as he can. The film follows Schindler's journey as he helps Jews escape the Nazi regime and the horrors of the concentration camps. Ultimately, his efforts result in the saving of 1,100 Jews from certain death, and he is honored as a Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government. Schindler's List is an emotional and powerful story of heroism and courage in the
From Claude Lanzmann, starring Simon Srebnik, Michael Podchlebnik, Motke Zaïdl, Hanna Zaïdl
Rated Not Rated
Shoah (1985) is an acclaimed documentary film directed by Claude Lanzmann. It was released in nine and a half hours, and is an oral history of the Holocaust, as experienced by the Jewish victims and the Nazi perpetrators. The film features interviews with survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of the Holocaust, as well as extensive footage of historical sites and locations associated with the Holocaust. Shoah is considered one of the most significant documentaries of all time, and has been praised for its perseverance in telling the story of the Holocaust in a way that is both compelling yet respectful of its subject matter.
From Roberto Benigni, starring Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano
Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Set in Italy during the Holocaust, the film tells the story of Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who uses his wit and imagination to protect his son Giosué from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Guido creates a game of make-believe to distract Giosué from the horrors of the Holocaust. In spite of the grim reality of the situation, Guido's game of life-affirming make-believe helps Giosué to find hope and joy in even the most terrible of circumstances. In the end, Guido is killed in the concentration camp, but his unwavering belief in the power of love and hope ensures that Giosué will carry on his legacy.
From Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox
The Pianist is a 2002 biographical war drama directed by Roman Polanski, based on the autobiography of the same name by Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. The film follows Szpilman's experiences during World War II, as he struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, the deportations to concentration camps, and the 1945 Warsaw Uprising. Despite the horrors of Nazi occupation, Szpilman continues to play the piano throughout his captivity, until he is eventually saved by a German officer. The Pianist won the Palme d'Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director for Polanski, Best Actor for Adrien Brody, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ronald Harwood. The film was also recognized for its historical accuracy and powerful performances.
From Tony Kaye, starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
American History X is a 1998 crime drama film starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. It is directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. The story follows Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi skinhead who is released from prison after serving a three-year term for voluntary manslaughter. Derek’s younger brother Danny has been influenced by Derek's former beliefs and is slowly becoming a neo-Nazi. Derek attempts to prevent his brother from following in his footsteps by convincing him to see the error of his ways and embrace tolerance and understanding. The film depicts the harsh realities of racism, bigotry and violence and explores how these issues are faced and tackled in modern society. It also delves into the complex relationship between Derek and his father, and the traumatic events that shaped Derek’s outlook and beliefs. American History X was critically acclaimed and praised for its honest, powerful and thought-provoking story. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Editing and won a variety of awards, including the MTV Movie Award for Best Movie.
From Steven Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is an action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1981. It follows the adventures of the archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones as he attempts to recover the Ark of the Covenant before it falls into the hands of the Nazis. Along the way, he faces many obstacles, including a rival archaeologist, a vengeful Nazi agent, and a large group of dangerous thugs. Indiana is also aided by his former love interest, Marion Ravenwood, and his old friend Sallah. In the end, Indiana manages to outwit and outfight his enemies and recover the Ark, which he delivers to the U.S. government. The film received widespread critical acclaim, winning five Academy Awards and becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the 1980s.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt. The film follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "the Basterds" who are chosen to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The film follows two separate storylines that eventually converge. The first storyline follows the Basterds, led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), as they seek out and kills Nazis in German-occupied France during World War II. The second storyline follows Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a young Jewish woman who, while trying to flee the Nazi regime, finds herself in the middle of a Nazi plot to assassinate the leaders of the Third Reich during a movie premiere at a Paris theatre. Ultimately, the Basterds and Shosanna join forces and work together to change the course of history. With a combination of cunning and violence, they are able to take down the Nazi leaders and prevent the plan from coming to fruition. Inglourious Basterds is a thrilling and daring reimagining of World War II, and is a testament to Quentin Tarantino's skill as a filmmaker.
From Sergio Leone, starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams
Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 epic crime drama directed by Sergio Leone. The film follows the lives of lifelong friends Noodles, Max, and Patsy, members of a Jewish gang in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. The film spans multiple decades, from their childhood days as poor immigrant children, to their rise to power as notorious gangsters, to their decline in old age as the gangsters have either been killed or gone into hiding. As the story progresses, Noodles discovers he has been betrayed by Max for a mysterious purpose. The film is a sweeping saga of friendship, betrayal, violence, and redemption, showcasing Leone's masterful direction and Ennio Morricone's iconic score.
From Fritz Lang, starring Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Rated Not Rated
Metropolis is a silent German expressionist science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. Set in a futuristic urban dystopia, it follows the story of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's master, and Maria, a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. The film follows Freder as he discovers the grim reality of the worker's situation and attempts to bring the two classes together. His efforts are met with resistance from the city's leader and an evil scientist who seeks to use a robot to control the working class. In a dramatic showdown, Freder and Maria must battle the forces of evil and find a way to bridge the gap between the classes.
From Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 film directed by Stanley Kramer, based on the trials of four German judges after World War II. The film follows the presiding judge, played by Spencer Tracy, as he navigates the complexities of the Nuremberg trials, where the accused are charged with crimes against humanity. The judge must grapple with his own morality as he deliberates on the guilt or innocence of the defendants. The film also follows a Jewish-American lawyer, played by Maximilian Schell, who is tasked with proving that the judges on trial were complicit in the Holocaust. The film is a powerful exploration of justice, morality, and accountability in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson, Börje Ahlstedt
Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The story follows two siblings, Fanny and Alexander, who find themselves in a new life with their widowed mother and her new husband in the early 1900s. After experiencing a turbulent home life and a traumatic event, the siblings embark on a journey of self-discovery as they explore their new environment. Along the way, they grapple with themes of love, loss, family, and coming of age. The film also explores the idea of fantasy vs. reality, as well as the power of dreams and imagination. The film was praised for its exquisite cinematography and Bergman's masterful direction, and won four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film.
From William Wyler, starring Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet
Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic historical drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston as the titular character. It is based on the 1880 novel of the same name by Lew Wallace. The story follows Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem, who is falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala, a Roman military tribune. Judah is stripped of his titles, separated from his family and forced into slavery. After years of hardship, he is reunited with his family and seeks revenge against Messala. The film also details Judah's rise to become a wealthy merchant prince and his journey to bring justice to his people. The film features an iconic chariot race between Judah and Messala, as well as the dramatic crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The film was a huge critical and commercial success and won a record 11 Academy Awards. It has since become a classic of Hollywood cinema and influential in the genre of epic films.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall
Network is a 1976 satirical drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Paddy Chayefsky. The film stars Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and William Holden. The film follows the story of a news anchor, Howard Beale, who is fired after a ratings slump. After being fired, he announces to the world on live television that he will commit suicide, which leads to a rise in ratings. In response, the network decides to exploit his fame, with disastrous consequences. The film examines issues of corporate responsibility, media ethics, and the impact of television on society. It won four Academy Awards at the 1977 ceremony, including Best Actor for Finch and Best Actress for Dunaway, and is considered one of the greatest films of all time.
From Norman Jewison, starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon
Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 musical film directed by Norman Jewison and based on the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name. The film stars Chaim Topol as Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman living in Imperial Russia with his wife and five daughters. Tevye struggles to keep his traditions alive in an increasingly hostile, rapidly changing world. As the Tsar's oppression of the Jews intensifies, Tevye's daughters challenge the family's traditional ways by marrying outside of their faith. In the end, Tevye is forced to leave his home and his beloved village of Anatevka. The film is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of survival and faith in the face of adversity.
From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane
Annie Hall tells the story of Alvy Singer, a neurotic New York comedian, and his relationship with the titular Annie Hall, a flighty and eccentric aspiring actress. The film follows their courtship and break-up, and examines the issues of love and commitment. Along the way, Alvy encounters a variety of quirky characters, including his best friend Rob, his parents, his therapist, and former lovers. It is a witty and humorous exploration of human relationships, and a landmark of 1970s cinema.
From Louis Malle, starring Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg
Goodbye, Children is set in a Catholic boarding school in Occupied France during World War II. The film centers on two young students, Julien (Stanislas Carré de Malberg) and Jean Bonnet (Raphael Fejtö), who form a close bond in the face of the uncertain and oppressive atmosphere. The boys share secrets, and Jean tells Julien that he is Jewish and living in hiding. When the Nazis arrive and begin to round up Jewish people, the boys are forced to confront the realities of the war and their own mortality. Julien, who is now aware of Jean's identity, does his best to protect him from the Nazis, but in the end, their friendship is put to the ultimate test when Jean is taken away. Goodbye, Children is a powerful and emotionally charged story about friendship, courage, and resilience in the face of adversity.
From Ari Folman, starring Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan
Waltz with Bashir is a 2008 animated documentary directed by Ari Folman. The film follows Folman as he interviews friends and former soldiers in order to uncover and reconcile his repressed memories of his experiences as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War. Through a series of surreal animated sequences, Folman is ultimately able to piece together a vivid and harrowing portrait of his time in the conflict. The film has been praised for its unique animation style and its exploration of the psychological effects of war.
Guy Davidi, starring Emad Burnat, Soraya Burnat, Mohammed Burnat, Yasin Burnat
Rated Not Rated
5 Broken Cameras is a 2011 Palestinian-Israeli documentary about Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat's nonviolent resistance against the separation wall that is dividing his village and the rest of the West Bank. The title of the film refers to the five cameras that were broken over the course of the filming. Through his footage, the audience witnesses the destruction of Palestinian olive groves and the violent conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinians that ensues. The film also examines the impact of the violence on the inhabitants of Bil'in and the effects of the wall on the entire West Bank. The film was co-directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi and won several awards, including the World Documentary Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
From Bob Fosse, starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey
Cabaret is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis rise to power. The film follows the relationship between an American expatriate writer, Brian Roberts, and a young cabaret singer, Sally Bowles. As the political situation in Germany deteriorates, Brian and Sally’s relationship is tested and Sally begins to understand the full implications of living in Berlin during the Nazi reign. The film features musical numbers that showcase the seedy underbelly of Berlin nightlife and demonstrate how people are still trying to keep their spirits up in a rapidly changing city. In the end, Brian must face harsh realities of the Nazi regime and is forced to leave Berlin to avoid persecution.
From David Fincher, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara
The Social Network is a 2010 American biographical drama film directed by David Fincher. The screenplay, written by Aaron Sorkin, is based on the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, which chronicles the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones, and Rooney Mara. In the film, Zuckerberg creates a website called Facebook, which quickly escalates in popularity and leads to both success and legal issues for him. As the website's popularity grows, Zuckerberg faces tensions from the co-founder of the site, his best friend, and his former girlfriend. The Social Network explores the themes of friendship, loyalty, ambition, and betrayal, and looks at the impact of social media on society and how it has changed relationships.
From Robert Benton, starring Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry
Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American legal drama film written and directed by Robert Benton, based on Avery Corman's 1977 novel of the same name. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as a divorced couple who are fighting for custody of their son. Ted Kramer (Hoffman) is a workaholic advertising executive who has just been given an opportunity for a promotion at work. On the same day, his wife Joanna (Streep) announces that she wants a divorce and she leaves, leaving Ted with the responsibility of taking care of their 7-year-old son Billy (Justin Henry). At first, Ted struggles to balance his work and his parenting responsibilities, but eventually he learns to be a better parent and finds joy and love in his newfound role. Meanwhile, Joanna returns and wants to regain custody of her son, which leads to a grueling court battle. The film is a powerful and compelling exploration of parenthood, divorce, and family relationships, and it won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Hoffman, and Best Supporting Actress for Streep.
Shlomi Elkabetz, starring Ronit Elkabetz, Simon Abkarian, Gabi Amrani, Dalia Beger
Rated Not Rated
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a 2014 Israeli drama directed by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz. The film follows Viviane Amsalem (Ronit Elkabetz), an Orthodox Jewish woman who has been married for more than fifteen years to Elisha (Simon Abkarian), an Orthodox Jewish man. Viviane desperately wants a divorce, but Elisha refuses to grant her one. As a result, Viviane is forced to take her case to the Israeli Rabbinical Court, where she faces an uphill battle. Throughout the trial, the audience sees the injustice and bias Viviane faces in her pursuit of a divorce. Though she is ultimately granted a divorce, her story has a bittersweet ending. Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a powerful exploration of gender roles and religious justice.
From Mark Herman, starring Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a 2008 British-American historical drama film set in World War II, directed and written by Mark Herman. The film tells the story of Bruno, an eight-year-old German boy whose family moves to a rural area where his father is charged with managing a Nazi concentration camp. Through a series of fateful events, Bruno befriends a Jewish boy, named Shmuel, who is a prisoner in the camp. As the two boys bond, Bruno discovers the horrific truth of what is going on in the camp and the consequences of his father’s actions. The film is a powerful story of friendship, bravery and innocence in the face of bigotry and inhumanity.
Nicole Newnham, starring Joan Allen, E. Randol Schoenberg, Maria Altmann, Wolfgang Fischer
The Rape of Europa is a 2006 documentary film directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, and Nicole Newnham which tells the story of Nazi Germany's theft, destruction and attempted destruction of European art during the Second World War. The film chronicles the struggle of museums, art dealers, and private individuals as they attempt to reclaim these lost works of art and restore them to their rightful owners. The film also examines the evolution of the concept of public and private ownership of art and the politics behind it, as well as the ethical considerations behind the repatriation of art. Additionally, the film follows the work of the Monuments Men, a group of Allied soldiers charged with protecting European cultural heritage during the war.
From Alex Gibney, starring David Sanger, Emad Kiyaei, Eric Chien, Liam O'Murchu
Zero Days is a 2016 documentary film directed by Alex Gibney about the development and deployment of the Stuxnet computer virus, a malicious piece of computer code designed to disrupt and destroy Iran's nuclear program. The film follows the investigation of the virus and its effects by the security firm Symantec, as well as its implications for the global political landscape. Using interviews with a variety of experts, including former US intelligence officials, Zero Days provides a detailed narrative of the development of Stuxnet, how it was used, and how it was eventually detected and stopped. The film ultimately serves as a cautionary tale on the dangers of cyber warfare and its potential implications for international politics.
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