As has been widely reported on the various Jewish baseball blogs, Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story made its debut earlier in July at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
According to the film's web site:
"Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story explores the connection between Jewish Americans and baseball, our
nation’s most iconic institution. More than a film about sports, it is a
story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of
traditions, and the shattering of stereotypes.
… Interviews include fans, writers, executives, and especially players –
including Al Rosen, Kevin Youkilis, Shawn Green, Norm Sherry, Ron
Blomberg, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, and a rare interview with the
legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Fans Ron Howard and Larry
King speak of the meaning of Jewish ballplayers in their own lives,
while historians and even two baseball-loving rabbis relate the stories
of Jewish players to the turbulent history of the last century. These
powerful personal and historical stories are interwoven with an
extraordinary collection of rare archival footage and photos, and a
musical score ranging from Benny Goodman to Yo-Yo Ma to Rush."
The documentary is produced and directed by Peter Miller, narrated by
Dustin Hoffman, and written by Ira Berkow, the Pulitzer prize winning former New York Times
sportswriter and author of Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life, the movie that inspired the
Aviva Kempner film.
A short trailer for the film is viewable on YouTube, or by clicking on the video embedded below.
A note to anyone who read this posting when it was original published, the film's full-length trailer is no longer offered on YouTube. It is viewable on the film's web site, which requires a QuickTime plug-in.
After its screening in Israel, Jews and Baseball will be lighting up screens at Jewish Film Festivals across the United States. Scheduled showings include:
- Stony Brook Film Festival,
Stonybrook, NY –
- San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, San Francisco, Catro
Cinema – Jul. 25
Berkshires Jewish Film Festival – Jul. 26
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Palo Alto, Cinearts –
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Berkeley, Roda Theatre
– Aug. 1
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, San Rafael,
- Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center – Aug. 8
- Iowa Jewish Historical Society, Des Moines,
Iowa – Aug. 8
Rhode Island International Film Festival,
Providence – Aug. 10-15
Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, Montclair,
New Jersey – Aug. 19
Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
Boston Film Festival, Sept. 17-23
Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York – Sept. 26
Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, Commack, New York – Oct.
- The JCC in Manhattan, New York – Oct. 5
Boston Jewish Film Festival, Nov 3-15
Quad Cinema, Manhattan – Nov. 5
Winnipeg – Nov. 8
Temple, Los Angeles – Nov. 13
Jewish Film Festival – Nov. 21
A full, and growing list, of screenings is available here.
Memorabilia associated with the film will no doubt include film festival ephemera, such as programs, posters and tickets.
The producers also promise a full line of merchandise.The film's web site includes a link to a store, but as of this posting, nothing is yet available.
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is the latest of several films dealing with Jews and baseball, part of what Martin Abramowitz, publisher of the Jewish Major Leaguers baseball card sets, calls a "renaissance" of interest in the topic.
The first, of course, was Kempner's Hank Greenberg. This was followed by Brett Rapkin and Erik Kesten's Holy Land Hardball, a documentary dealing with the Israel Baseball League. Most recently, in addition to Love Story, The Yankles, a comedy about a Yeshiva baseball team coached by a washed up major leaguer doing community service as part of a DUI conviction (see related post). All offer a plethora of memorabilia for Jewish baseball collectors, including DVDs, ephemera, etc.
Have you yet seen Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story? What did you think? What collectibles associated with the film have you added to your collection?