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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Judaism > Religion > Politics > Genocide > Spark Among The Ashes (1986/First Run Features)

Spark Among The Ashes (1986/First Run Features)


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



Oren Rudavskyís Spark Among The Ashes (1986) tells the story about an old woman in Poland who wants to see a Bar Mitzvah take place in Poland.That may not sound like anything special or extraordinary, but if you know about what WWII did to Polandís Jewish population permanently, than you know how rare this is in a country where Hitlerís invasion was more successful than just about anywhere else in killing, destroying and driving away the long-existent Jewish population.


When a young man and his family accept the opportunity as open invitation, they are met with new anti-Semitism, complaints from orthodox Jews abroad (the female rabbi is not going down well with them) and a communist Poland who barely let the film crew in to do their documentary.Eli Wallach narrates the story about how the older woman gets her wish, but also is a character study of how messed up Poland is and how World Jewry faces many challenges ahead.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft, from an older analog transfer of the color 16mm footage, but it is too compelling not to watch in any condition.Color is plugged up and detail is an issue.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a bit better, but also shows its age.The only extra is an update featurette about what happened 22 years later since the film was made.Sadly, after Poland regained its national identity outside of U.S.S.R. control, the country has become more anti-Semitic than ever, despite less Jews living there than ever.It is an ugly, unfortunate situation not helping a country that has been through so much.It makes Spark Among The Ashes all the more poignant and darker.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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