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Top Ten for the Ninth of Av

Movies for the Mourning

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Your number one Tisha B’Av movie.(IMDB)

Growing up and going to many a Jewish summer camp, I experienced Tisha B’Av in scores of unique ways along with my whole generation of Jewish-Americans, for whom watching video (no DVDs yet!) was both a fun and exciting part of the camp experience. Since campers and staff are fasting for 25 hours and all fun activity is forbidden, including learning Torah, films about Jewish suffering and morality make up the ultimate program for this definitive day of mourning.

In a survey, I asked my peers to let me know their top 10 Tisha B’Av films. From Camp Moshava to Camp Galil to Camp Ramah to USY to Camp Lavi (and more), these folks spent their summers across the United States, and while their experiences did span religious, political, and cultural backgrounds, they all had one thing in common: Intense Tisha B’Av experiences.

10- Operation Thunderbolt (1977)
9-Hester Street (1975)
8-The Chosen (1981)
7-Paper Clips (2004)
6-The Wave (1981)
5-Exodus (1960)
4-School Ties (1992)
3- Life is Beautiful (1997)
2-Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

And the top of the list is…

1-Schindler’s List (1993)

Other recommendations were Pleasantville, Night and Fog, Cast a Giant Shadow, Eichah, Pay it Forward, The Devil’s Arithmetic and Hotel Rwanda.

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At Ramah in the Poconos in the 80’s and early 90’s it was Exodus or Operation Thunderbolt, as I recall. Am I remembering correctly that it was also Lies My Father Told Me? There must have been others, but these stick out…

Elise says:

A nitpick – one of the movies listed under Other Reccomendations has the wrong English title: It should be “NIGHT AND FOG”, not the other way around.

Benjamin Entine says:

Jewish suffering? What about “The Shop on Main Street”, “Korshak”, “The Pawn Broker”, “Europa, Europa”, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, “The Pianist”, “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis”,”The Summer of Aviya”–just to name a few of real substance, for a lesson that could last after camp ends.

Todd says:

I am pretty sure that one year at camp they showed the TV miniseries “Masada” and another year they showed “The Holocaust,” also a TV miniseries. I spent one Tisha B’Av trying to get through all 9.5 hours of “Shoah.”

Norman Kabak says:

The memorable moment for me as a camper was having the entire camp float candles on the waters of the Delaware River near the Delaware Water Gap. It was at Camp Pocono and Ramonah.
To this day I still envision the stream of candles floating down river singing “Al Naharot Bavel”.
Have an easy fast to all.

Hey JA, Quick ramah poconos shout out wee bah..

Also missing from the list in late eighties and early nineties GHANDI… a classic.

One of the best wedgie fights of my camp experience was on tisha b’ av… memories.

And while you’re taking a break from the screen, there’s always my first collection “Dancing on Tisha B’Av,” winner of a Lambda Book Award.

Alex says:

What about “Europa, Europa” or “The Pianist?”


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Top Ten for the Ninth of Av

Movies for the Mourning

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