Helene MeyersMar 11, 2022
An American Tradition
Movie-Made Jews: An American Tradition (Rutgers University Press, 2021) focuses on a rich, usable American Jewish cinematic tradition. This tradition includes fiction and documentary films that make Jews through antisemitism, Holocaust indirection, and discontent with assimilation. It prominently features the unapologetic assertion of Jewishness, queerness, and alliances across race and religion. Author Helene Meyers shows that as we go to our local theater, attend a Jewish film festival, play a DVD, watch streaming videos, Jewishness becomes part of the multicultural mosaic rather than collapsing into a generic whiteness or being represented as a life apart. This engagingly written book demonstrates that a Jewish movie is neither just a movie nor for Jews only.
With incisive analysis, Movie-Made Jews challenges the assumption that American Jewish cinema is a cinema of impoverishment and assimilation. While it’s a truism that Jews make movies, this book brings into focus the diverse ways movies make Jews.
Nathan Abrams is a professor of film at Bangor University in Wales. His most recent work is on film director Stanley Kubrick. To discuss and propose a book for interview you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ndabrams