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Based on 15 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 3 )
  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    What makes the movie succeed is that Dorman doesn't only focus on the life of Aleichem (who had a tendency to build fortunes and then lose them), but a look at a society long gone and the legacy and traditions they and Aleichem left to Jews around the world today. show more

  • 88
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    Both the man and his times resist a compact 93 minutes. This much anguished history, and Aleichem's inspired literary response to that history, has difficulties being confined to conventional documentary feature length. Yet Dorman's touch is sure, his pacing fleet and his chorus of voices marvelous. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    There are many scholars and critics here, most of them useful and pleasant, who obviously love him. Most remarkably, there is his granddaughter, Bel Kaufman, still looking terrific at 100, who had writing in her blood and wrote "Up the Down Staircase." show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Offers well-chosen selections from Aleichem's darkly humorous work. show more

  • 75
    Mark Feeney Boston Globe

    This is a person you'd enjoy spending time with and learning from. That's certainly the case with Dorman's film. show more

  • 75
    Rick Groen The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Not often does a film double as a literary critic, but this is the Northrop Frye of docs. Essentially, it revises and sharpens the blunted reputation of a great writer. show more

  • 75
    Andrew Schenker Slant Magazine

    Not only sets up the writer's life as representative of the transitions of early modern Jewish life, but posits his oeuvre as an ongoing chronicle of the shift from a vibrant, unified Yiddish culture to a fractured world-in-exile. show more

  • 75
    Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    In recording the timeless traditions of Jewry, he created a new one: the identity crisis that rides on the back of laughter. show more

  • 80
    Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic

    He's often called the Yiddish Mark Twain; supposedly Twain, upon hearing this, said to tell Aleichem that Twain was the American Sholem Aleichem. show more

  • 60
    Boxoffice Magazine

    The author's texts are used as biographical inventory, and they're not simply read, they're performed, sometimes to the detriment of the prose. show more

  • August 17, 2011 moimeme04
    Report This User

    Informative to a limited extient; not sufficient concetration on his life and family. A large chunk of the film is devoted to his characters and their cultural influence.

  • August 06, 2011 lanzel2
    Report This User

    wow it was unexpected. A rich and interesting story of a great story teller.

  • August 01, 2011 pbesmer
    Report This User

    Great movie and story about one of the greatest writers in our past. Was engaginging during the entire movie ... Much more than a simple bio, it connects SA to the history of the Easturn European Jews and their place in Czarist Russia at the turn of the 20th Century

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