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Archive for the ‘art’ Category



Oh Crap! I’m Triggered Again: Part Three, Monumental Mosh Pit and Cheshbon HaNefesh

Sep14

by: on September 14th, 2017 | No Comments »

I had a friend who in her youth acquired an elaborate multicolored tattoo spanning her stomach, a symmetrical image in which her navel served as a focal point. An eye? I no longer recall. She gave birth by Caesarean operation, and when the doctors stitched her back together, the two halves of the tattoo didn’t match up. As the years passed, the skew and pucker escalated. Her skin was an ever-present reminder of the gap between intention and execution, of innocence and error.

I think of her every time I see a body bearing a significant acreage of ink, especially the tattoos with quotations or aphorisms likely to grow less legible as flesh wrinkles and sags—but perhaps not before the sentiments they convey become stale or tiresome or embarrassing. A time-lapse effect goes off in my brain, fast-forwarding each decorated body fifty or sixty years into the future. Everything changes, I know. What were they thinking? Don’t they know the perils of anchoring tomorrow too firmly in today? The law of unintended consequences is the only one that is never broken.

Just so with the monuments to conquerors, Confederates, and criminals. These bronze-and-stone memorials are tattoos on the body politic. What were they thinking? Surely that whatever seemed worthy or urgent on the day they decided public space needed a tattoo would—should—remain so always.


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Tolerance

Aug28

by: Aaron Ableman on August 28th, 2017 | No Comments »

I was 12 and free

but I got sucker punched by a neo-nazi

who didn’t even let me

get my boxing gloves on before getting

all Rocky Marciano on me…

All his friends laughed

while I held a near broken jaw trashed,

crying dry tears and yelling in silence

like my favorite tragi-comedian, Charlie Chaplin.

Luckily, I lived next to a library

and as I was walking home that fated day

I found myself searching for answers

in the compassion of books.

As fate would have it

 

I found the Dalai Lama, Yeshua Ben Yoseph, Joan of Ark, Maya Angelou,

Abraham Heschel, Zora Neal Hurston, Pablo Neruda, Anne Frank, Nelson

Mandela… and so many of those who have overcome the craziest enemy with power of love

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Fifth Dispatch from the Jerusalem Film Festival

Jul25

by: Olga Gershenson on July 25th, 2017 | Comments Off

Fourth set of notes from the Jerusalem Film Festival fromTikkun’scorrespondent Olga Gershenson!

The truly important film of today was “Conventional Sins” (the Hebrew title is ידיד נפש), an absolutely heartbreaking and brave documentary about sexual abuse of children in Haredi communities. As sensitive the the treatment of the subject is, it’s still hard to watch. The main character, whose Yiddish name was Meilich (today he left the fold and goes by Meir), tells his story in the film, but he is not a passive subject, rather he takes almost a director’s role. On screen, we see him holding auditions with other former Haredi young men to “play” him and his predator in his story. These men, as it turned out, had similar tragic experience of being abused. The auditions take the place of reenactments and transform on screen into really honest conversations about their personal stories and their community. The important thing is that the film doesn’t position itself as anti-Haredi, rather, as Meilich/Meir said after the screening, it’s about children. There are other communities, he pointed out, where terrible things are happening to kids, whom society fails to protect.

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Fourth Dispatch from the Jerusalem Film Festival

Jul21

by: Olga Gershenson on July 21st, 2017 | 2 Comments »

Fourth set of notes from the Jerusalem Film Festival from Tikkun’s correspondent Olga Gershenson!

“The Man with the Iron Heart”–a historical drama about Reinhard Heydrich, his rise to power, and his eventual death by the hand of the resistance in Prague. It’s an international co-production (directed by a French filmmaker, Cedric Jimenez), and as such is suffering from the usual problem of WWII films: all the dialogue is in English, with Germans speaking with hysterical German accents and Czechs with a faux Slavic one. The filming of the Nazi parades and such is a bit fetishistic, reeling in all these crisp uniform and colorful insignia. Finally, and that’s the main problem, how do you make a movie about an architect of the Final Solution, and make it NOT about the Jews? In a two-hour-film, the Jewish question is mentioned literally once, in a brief scene set at the Villa Wannsee meeting. No Jews appear in the Kristallnacht massacres. Even in the scenes of mass executions by Einsatzgruppen, the identity of the victims is not marked in any way. It appears that the Nazis just shot all these innocent Czechs and Poles. Alternatively, there are tons of Christian symbolism–the crosses, the prayer, the churchy music. The two resistance fighters who fatally wounded Heydrich, die in a flooded church, martyrs in a kind of eternal baptism. One of the last shots of the film is a floating rosary with a cross.

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Third Dispatch from the Jerusalem Film Festival

Jul20

by: Olga Gershenson on July 20th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

Third set of notes from the Jerusalem Film Festival from Tikkun’s correspondent Olga Gershenson!

 

Three films for today: first “The Cakemaker”–from the first-time Israeli director Ofir Raul Grazier, starring an incomparable Sara Adler. Here is the story: an Israeli businessman Oren has an affair with a German baker on his frequent trips to Berlin. After he dies, the German is distraught; he comes to Jerusalem, and has an affair with Oren’s wife! The German-Israeli love affair across gender, religious, and sexuality boundaries is reminiscent of “Walk on Water,” but with a lot more food porn (specifically pastry) and even more schmaltzy, if that is possible. On the other hand, the performances are brilliant and the filming of Jerusalem rises to the level of visual poetry.

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Second Dispatch from the Jerusalem Film Festival

Jul19

by: Olga Gershenson on July 19th, 2017 | Comments Off

​More notes from the JerusalemFilm Festival from Tikkun’s correspondent Olga Gershenson!

 

A documentary “Gaza Surf Club“–exactly what it sounds like–a quixotic group of surfing enthusiasts in Gaza, struggling against the double burden of occupation and patriarchy (girls are not allowed to surf or even swim). The human story is very touching, but the film-making is too predictable. And then, a real revelation, “Holy Air” by writer/director Shady Srour, and starring Latitia Eido. Absurdist comedy set in Nazareth, and very clearly paying tribute to Elia Suleiman’s sense of irony. Beautiful, nuanced, funny, straddling the lines between issues at stake for Palestinians, citizens of Israel, and universal issues of love, loss, sex, and faith. The cinematography is such that I could freeze any frame and put it on the wall. What is it with Nazareth and filmmakers? One is better than another.

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First Dispatch from the Jerusalem Film Festival

Jul17

by: Olga Gershenson on July 17th, 2017 | Comments Off

We at Tikkun have the good fortune to have U Mass Amherst professor of Film Studies and Jewish Studies Olga Gershenson reporting for us on the Jerusalem Film Festival. These are short snippets that give our readers some feel for what is being presented in Israel at the moment. We hope to have a longer analytic piece from her about the Jerusalem Film Festival in the Winter or Spring 2018 issue of the print magazine (which, as you probably know, is quite different from what we print on Tikkun Daily (which is not edited) or on our website wwww.tikkun.org (where the articles tend to be more focused on immediate realities, since the print magazine has a large gap from the time we get the articles edited till the time it is printed by Duke U Press, and hence has more articles about subjects that will still be relevant a half year later). Below is the first such report from Professor Gershenson:​

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Review of THE FIX by Sharon Leder

Jul14

by: Gail F. Melson on July 14th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

The opioid epidemic rages all around us. Its fires, far from abating, are feeding on themselves. For the first time, overdoses from heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone and other opioids exceed deaths from motor vehicle accidents. In 2015, over 52,000 people died from opioid overdoes in the U. S. No corner, no community is immune. The epidemic has spread through cities into suburbs and has ravaged rural areas. No demographic is spared.

The ravages of heroin and other opioids are nothing new. In the 1940′s and 50′s, they swept through urban New York, from the jazz clubs of Harlem to boho Greenwich Village to Westchester suburbs. For a young man eager to break out of the stifling confines of Jewish immigrant life, the “cool” Manhattan clubs were like a refreshing shower, washing away anti-semitic taunts, money troubles, family conflicts. The drugs were part of, maybe the essence of, cool. They fused with the jazz, the smoky dark interiors, the nodding knowingness of a beckoning life.

This is how Sara, the young protagonist of Sharon Leder’s debut novel,The Fix: A Father’s Secrets, A Daughter’s Search(KiCam Projects, 2017) imagines the beginning of her father Joseph’s twenty-five year struggle with heroin addiction.

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“HOLY CRAP! and Other News of the New Administration,” a story by K. T. Maclay

Jul5

by: K. T. Maclay on July 5th, 2017 | 13 Comments »

Election

In each generation there is one righteous person worthy of being the Messiah.

In this generation the Svenssens were certain it was their candidate.

No one was more excited than they were when He won the election. Things were going to change now. They’d be safe in Minneapolis. St. Paul would be white again.

There would be jobs. Dad could buy that drill bit he’d been looking at. Liam could go to school again because Ma could afford to buy him clothes. Little Ava could have a Sunday lollipop. It was everything they’d ever dreamed of. Meat once a week. Fish on Fridays. Jobs at the plant.

They cheered when the new President closed the borders to immigrants. They celebrated when He abolished government health care. They were happy when Congress rescinded the abortion- friendly laws and all those sinful women would have to die or go elsewhere to have their babies.

Then Ma got pregnant. She was forty. The Svenssens didn’t have insurance, so she just struggled through what the whole town knew was a difficult time. She gave birth to Emma, who she called a blessing, but who everyone could see was severely retarded.

And, though the Svenssens rejoiced when they heard that nobody in the country was paying taxes, they were shocked when the bridge at Zimmermans Pass collapsed and plunged little Ava’s school bus into the lake.

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Seeing Double: A Middle Eastern Comedy of Errors

May22

by: Henri Picciotto on May 22nd, 2017 | 1 Comment »

In the 1980′s, few Americans knew much about life in the territories Israel had occupied in 1967. Fewer still understood the PLO’s historic offer to settle for a state in less than half what had been Palestine. Yet in 1989, the San Francisco Mime Troupe produced Seeing Double, a mistaken-identity farce that argued for a two-state solution. The seeming unfitness of the genre for the topic proved the secret of the show’s success: laughter allows room for hope.

Twenty-eight years later, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is better understood, but no closer to resolution. Indeed, decades of US military and diplomatic support for Israel’s actions and its “facts on the ground”, have made a solution increasingly unlikely. Last summer, the writers of Seeing Double decided we would update the play, to fit today’s harsher realities and to address the U.S. role.


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