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, as well as through the unapologetic assertion of Jewishness, queerness, and alliances across race and religion.
By selectively revisiting canonical pre-1990 films and amply representing films of the new millennium, Movie-Made Jews
illuminates an American Jewish film tradition that includes jazz singers, pawnbrokers, and serious men. It also features those who tremble before G-d, who commit crimes and misdemeanors, who declare Hineini, Here I Am, who do whatever works, who leave and then return to Delancey Street and Liberty Heights. In these pages, those who might be identified as "just Jews" reside alongside those who are traditionally--and sometimes untraditionally--observant.
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 of what appears onscreen as well as what happens behind the scenes during production and how audiences respond to what they view, 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.