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

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. 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." kathryn.bernheimer@gmail.com

Check Also

In Honor of MLK Day: National Yiddish Theatre Rebroadcasts “Soul to Soul” Virtual Concert

"Soul to Soul" celebrates the music and shared experiences of the African American and Jewish communities through a mix of spiritual, jazz, klezmer, and folk music.

brown violin

Legacy: The Yellow Violin

“Sam, you asked me a question I never thought about before. What if my grandfather was able to bring the violin to Israel? Would this music have this new life, this revival of spirit? Perhaps what seemed like such an injustice back then was a part of the master plan. Maybe the time wasn’t right. This violin, this music was, like Moses I suppose, never intended to enter the land of Israel.”