Film festival leaves viewers speechless

by Ingrid Sanora

The nineteenth annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival began Feb. 8. Many films are showing around the Valley through Feb. 22.

“Quality Balls: The David Steinberg story”—if those first two words of the title together don’t cause you to pay notice to it, I don’t know what else would.

Believe it or not, but those two words seem to speak volumes about David Steinberg and the way he pushed boundaries with his stand up material at the time.

Most of you probably have no idea who he is and neither did I before I saw this film. With the interviews from comedians and actors in this documentary, who have had the opportunity to work alongside David Steinberg or who have been inspired by his contribution to comedy, you really get a sense of who he is as a director. He has directed shows like “The Golden Girls,” “Seinfeld” and “Mad About You.”

It was a great documentary and will have you laughing and wanting to see more work from this brilliant actor, comedian, writer and director.

“The Last Mentsch”—Director, Pierre-Henry Salfati, tells a story about Marcus Schwartz, a Holocaust survivor, searching to find proof of his real identity (Mena’hem Teitelbaum), which he has denied his whole life after he lost everything in the Holocaust because he wants to have a Jewish burial when he dies.

His story is really captivating because you want so badly for Marcus to get his wish. It breaks your heart to watch him relive the experiences he has fought so hard to forget and to watch him—time and time again—be denied to have a Jewish burial. The film is poignant because of how much truth it has in it.

Small humorous parts throughout the film ease the painfulness of it, at least for the moment. It truly was a beautifully directed film.

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