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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > History > Oppression > Prejudice > Hate > Defamation – Anti-Semitism: The Movie (2009/First Run Features DVD)

Defamation – Anti-Semitism: The Movie (2009/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Documentary: B



Anti-Semitism is on the rise in a time where many political and geo-political factors have surfaced for the benefit and personal gain of some very ungainly people and other political causes.  It was always there, but 9/11 (for all kinds of reasons) and emboldened enemies of anyone Jewish have found the last decade a reason to re-insight old hatreds.  But Yoav Shamir’s new documentary Defamation – Anti-Semitism: The Movie (2009) decides to delve further into the subject with observations and results that make Borat pale by comparison.


With humor and ironic distance, Shamir shows how second-hand in imbedded anti-Semitism really is, including among many Jews themselves (is it about complex issues of guilt?) and he travels around to everywhere from the Anti-Defamation League to see how they fight it to people who criticize them, say Jewish Nationalists are taking advantage of guilt over anti-Semitism and discovers a vicious cycle that no one seems to be able to stop.  Of course, there are those who want that to remain so.


However, his trips deeper into Brooklyn and to the Auschwitz death camp become the crux of this solid work that ultimately shows how hate and ugliness take on a life of their own and only by attacking the ideology and not people can it ever truly be stopped.  Shamir achieves some of this here and creates a unique entry into the exploration of Jewish life worldwide as a result, which is not easy, but he did it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot on digital video (likely High Definition or close to it), but has some softness throughout and some older footage at times, so it behaves like most documentaries in playback.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not bad either, with some location audio issues, but not bad overall.  Extras include text biography and filmmaker’s statement.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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