Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
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Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
A riveting portrait of the great writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness tells the tale of the rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Plumbing the depths of a Jewish world locked in crisis and on the cusp of profound change, he captured that world with brilliant humor. Sholem Aleichem was not just a witness to the creation of a new modern Jewish identity, but one of the very men who forged it. --(c) International Film Circuit

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Throughout the film, Dorman uses ethnographic and silent-cinema footage, along with ubiquitous klezmer music, to paint a picture of the era."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Dorman strikes the perfect balance between the work and the man."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"It's a history lesson that also shows art informing the events, even changing them."
‑ Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
"It's good, but I'd wait for TV."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Audiences interested in Jewish literature will find Laughing in the Darkness compelling for its deep analysis of Aleichem's works, featuring a selection of experts and the writer's granddaughter, Bel Kaufman."
‑ Anita Li, Toronto Star
"A rich, winning documentary..."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"In the end, you're certainly inspired to read Aleichem, but not necessarily to watch Dorman's film again."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"... a swift, fascinating 93 minutes ..."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"Dorman's portrait is engrossing, but his Ken Burns style doesn't match his subject's vitality."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"[An] absorbing PBS-style documentary."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The film adroitly sets the writer's works, his triumphs and tribulations, against the backdrop of a tumultuous period for European Jewry."
‑ Misha Berson, Seattle Times
".... a thoughtful, if also conventional, overview of Aleichem's life and work, mixing straight history and biography with quotations from his writings..."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"One needn't be a student of the history or literature of the period to appreciate this excellent portrait of a fascinating and important figure."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"No Fiddling with 'Sholem Aleichem' Legacy"
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
More reviews for Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness on Rotten Tomatoes