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A Sex Farce Steeped in Suffering

Rarely does a screen adaptation do justice to a novel. A rare exception is Paul Mazursky’s perfectly realized 1989 film based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Enemies, a Love Story.” Written in Yiddish in 1966 and published in English in 1972, Singer’s complex character drama deals with the Holocaust’s legacy of emotional pain. The film captures the pathos, poignancy, bitterness, heartbreak and absurd humor of the novel about a man whose psyche has been shattered by the Shoah.

Ron Silver, of blessed memory, plays Herman Broder, a man with three “wives,” a job as a ghost writer for a rich, vulgar rabbi (Alan King), and painful memories of years spent hidden in a hayloft. A sex farce steeped in suffering, guilt and grief, “Enemies” is one of the very best Jewish movies – which is why I ranked it 15th in “The 50 Greatest Jewish Movies.”

On Saturday, Feb. 26, Menorah presents “Enemies” as part of its Great Books, Great Movies series. Professor Robby Adler Peckerar, who teaches in the CU Program in Jewish Studies, will discuss Isaac Bashevis Singer prior to the screening.

Tickets are $15 for film, lecture and refreshments; $10 for film only. The lecture is at 7:00 pm; the film is at 8:00 pm. For information, call Kathryn at 303-998-1021, Kathryn@boulderjcc.org.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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