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Israel Movie Night: "The Pawnbroker"

Monday, December 18, 2017 • 30 Kislev 5778

7:40 PM - 9:40 PMASBI Social Hall

Israel Movie Night: “The Pawnbroker” (1964)
Monday, December 18, 116 minutes


"The Pawnbroker" centers around Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), a pawnshop manager in New York City's Harlem. A concentration camp survivor, Sol lives an emotionally detached existence, appearing callous and insensitive to his customers and co-worker Jesus Ortiz (Jaime Sanchez). What they don't know is that Sol witnessed the abuse of his wife by Nazi officers and the deportation of his two children to death camps. Yet when Ortiz repeatedly tries to break through Sol's icy veneer and bring him out of his shell, he is treated with disdain. In anger, the assistant plots a store robbery that backfires in tragedy for both men.

"The Pawnbroker", directed by Sidney Lumet, was one of the first American films to address the Holocaust through the eyes of a survivor after the events. Highly influenced by the French New Wave of the early sixties, particularly its use of quick flashback cuts to reveal Sol's personal tragedy, the film explores the effect of memory and emotion on the human psyche while also recalling life-changing events from the objective present. Lumet's film, however, is uniquely American, with its harsh, unforgiving depiction of New York City, all of it brought to vivid life by Boris Kaufman's black and white cinematography and a dynamic cast highlighted by Rod Steiger's searing portrayal of the title role.

Although Steiger was already recognized as a highly gifted Method actor, "The Pawnbroker" was the film which earned him international critical acclaim and launched his career as an A-list actor in major films. Steiger would later state, "I think my best work is in 'The Pawnbroker'."

Sponsored by the Israel Committee.
Pizza, pop, popcorn, and chips will be served.








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Tue, October 16 2018 7 Cheshvan 5779