Hava Nagila: The Movie
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It is instantly recognizable - musical shorthand for anything Jewish, a happy party tune that you dance to at weddings, bar mitzvahs and even at Major League Baseball games. It conjures up wistful smiles, memories of generations past...and no shortage of eye rolling. But as audiences will discover in Hava Nagila (The Movie), the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. It carries with it an entire constellation of history, values and hopes for the future. In its own believe-it-or-not way, Hava Nagila encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years.… More
Directed By
© International Film Circuit

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Thankfully there are enough eloquent talking heads to keep this watchable."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"The film is alternately fascinating and entertaining, though you'll likely be sick of hearing the familiar melody by the time it's through."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"A whimsical and even occasionally profound documentary about the origins of this time-honoured Jewish tune."
‑ Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette
"Balancing the anecdotal with the informative, this charming docu at once celebrates and explains the origins of the iconic Jewish tune."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A slight, but very satisfying, and at times, surprisingly moving, documentary about the inescapable Jewish anthem and wedding and bar mitzvah music staple."
‑ Donald Liebenson, Chicago Sun-Times
"The attitude is so much fun and the story so involving that a little naches is forgivable."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"You know you're in for an irreverent documentary when the narrator asks: "What's up with this song?""
‑ Chris Knight, National Post
"It is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, and irresistible, which makes it a perfect Rorschach test and intriguing metaphor for contemporary Jewish identity."
‑ Nell Minow, Beliefnet
"As one interviewee says the song "is a melody that evokes new life, hope, and joy." The song does that and so does HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE)."
‑ Mark R. Leeper, Mark Leeper's Reviews
"An entertaining examination of the "kitschy and profound" song's cultural and historical origins."
‑ Loren King, Boston Globe
"Even the occasional bad jokes feel like part of this story."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"The film isn't slick and doesn't have the greatest production values I've ever seen, but it's still an enjoyable romp through the history of a great song."
‑ Stephen Silver, EntertainmentTell
"What does it mean? Do we really care? We should."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Fun and illuminating...The movie as well as the song serve as fitting, entertaining testaments to the resilience of the Jewish people."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
More reviews for Hava Nagila: The Movie on Rotten Tomatoes