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Unfriendly Ghosts

Haunt a Hungarian Holocaust survivor in a new film

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The Holocaust gets a role in yet another movie this summer, as Tickling Leo hits theaters. It tells the story of a Lear-like Hungarian survivor and poet in the Catskills who suffers from dementia, wanders about naked, and has flashbacks to his childhood when his father, a member of the Judenrat, abetted the liquidation of Budapest’s ghetto. This all goes down right before Yom Kippur, when his two sons come for a visit. The film, says Stephen Holden, addresses “the difficulty of acknowledging and passing on painful family history” (kinda like last month’s Jacqueline Bisset Holocaust vehicle Death in Love); Newsday’s John Anderson calls the lead performance by Lawrence Pressman “a great thing to watch.” Meantime, director Jeremy Davidson (better known as the husband of Mary Stuart Masterson) tells the Jewish Week, “it was important to me to examine my personal themes and life issues. Fatherhood was one thing that scared me, and Judaism is one thing I struggled to understand and live better.”

Echoes of the Holocaust, Reverberating Through the Generations
Demented father, dreadful secrets in ‘Tickling Leo’ [Newsday]
Sour Piklers [Jewish Week]

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Unfriendly Ghosts

Haunt a Hungarian Holocaust survivor in a new film

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