Tag Archives: Israel


The Shalom/Sydney Jewish Writers Festival takes place at Waverley Library in Bondi Junction on 26-27 August 2017.

This year’s guests include Man Booker Prize-nominated novelist Rachel Seiffert in conversation with Australian director Cate Shortland on telling dark stories – in words and on film.

On opening night, Israeli academic, commentator and critic of the occupation of disputed territory Gadi Taub will be debating ‘Israel: From Inside and Out’ with pro-Israel commentator Alexander Ryvchin. The retelling of Holocaust stories – across generations and media – comes under the spotlight with Melbourne musician and writer Bram Presser, head of book publisher Scribe, Henry Rosenbloom and UNSW academic and documentary maker Su Goldfish. Elsewhere in the eclectic program, Mia Freedman, John Safran, Geraldine Doogue, Caroline Baum and many others discuss topics of interest to the Jewish community and beyond.

“Just as you don’t need to be French to enjoy the French Film Festival, you don’t need to be Jewish to enjoy SJWF,” says Festival Director Justine Saidman. “Jewish wisdom teaches that books are more precious than gold and should be treated as companions, their authors as guides. We hope that everyone who attends our Festival this year will be challenged, inspired and invigorated by our offering.”

For more about Sydney Jewish Writers Festival 2017, visit http://www.shalom.edu.au
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David Duchovny’s Holy Cow

david duchovny
Actor turned novelist David Duchovny

Holy cow, David Duchovny can write! Yes the actor who put the smoulder in Mulder in the X Files has turned novelist with an udder delight of a book HOLY COW.

Written originally as a screenplay which Pixar turned down – go figure, cows are far cooler than Cars – Dave has taken the bull by the horns and fleshed out the script to novel dimensions.

And novel it is, the tale narrated by a cow, Elsie Bovary. She’s no Flaubert -night creation.

Intended to be a book read to children by adults, HOLY COW is unabashedly full of dad jokes, pungent puns, and literary allusions that span Animal Farm to Charlotte’s Web and back to Babe.

Continue reading David Duchovny’s Holy Cow

The Green Prince

Mosab Hassan Youssef and Gonan Ben Yitzhak in Nadav Schirman's documentary THE GREEN PRINCE
Mosab Hassan Youssef and Gonan Ben Yitzhak play themselves in Nadav Schirman’s documentary THE GREEN PRINCE based on Yousef’s stunning memoir SON OF HAMAS

THE GREEN PRINCE is Shakespearean in its gripping portrayal of humanity’s eternal themes – family, love, identity, trust, hope and betrayal – a staggering achievement for a documentary which is essentially a two-hander.

Directed by Nadav Schirman, THE GREEN PRINCE tells the tale of how Shin Bet operative Gonen Ben Yitzhak recruited the young son of a Hamas founder, Mosab Hassan Yousef, to spy on his own father.

Mosab on camera is so wide-eyed and sincere that he comes across as almost an innocent even after all that has happened, while the bull-necked Gonen comes across as entirely manipulative before becoming fatherly towards his charge. Continue reading The Green Prince

Self Made

Michel and Nadine
Michel, a renowned Jerusalem artist and Nadine, a Palestinian woman cross paths inb Shir Geffen’s SELF MADE

A young suicide bomber asks when his assignment might come through as he has a maths exam imminent and wonders if he needs study for it. “My father will kill me if I fail the test” he explains.

This black absurdism snakes through Shir Geffen’s SELF MADE, the film chosen to open this year’s Israeli Film Festival in Sydney on August 21.

Michal, a renowned Jerusalem artist wakes with a start when her bed collapses. The event is synonymous with her relationship with her partner. The bed has also become barren since Michal had her ovaries removed as an expression of her art.

Michal orders a new bed from ETACA, an IKEA type store, but on assembly finds a screw missing.

The metaphor manifests. There is a missing screw in the conjugal bed, a missing screw may have caused the collapse of the existing bed, and a missing screw is impeding the construction of the replacement bed.

Continue reading Self Made