About Shai Ginsburg

Shai Ginsburg teaches Israeli culture at Duke University, North Carolina. He has published articles on Israeli literature, culture and history. He formerly reviewed films for Tikkun.


In Search of Anti-Semitism

By August 4, 2009

Yoav Shamir’s 2009 documentary Defamation is the one must-see film at this years’ San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This is not to say that it is the most artistically successful of the current festival lineup. Nor is the reason behind … Read More

Jewish Film Festival Diary, Week 2

By July 29, 2009

The recent stream of successful Israeli features—The Band’s Visit, Waltz with Bashir, and Beaufort, to name the most obvious—has significantly raised the bar for Israeli filmmakers. No longer can we consider oursleves satisfied by a well-made, albeit Israeli film. Rather, … Read More

Jewish Film Festival Diary (Updated)

By July 23, 2009

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival requires little introduction. Now in its twenty-ninth year, the annual summertime event has turned into the most important global gathering of its kind. Transforming the west coast American city into a temporary stand-in for … Read More

Mirror to the Crisis: Israeli Media

By July 13, 2009

Whenever I return to Israel, I always make a point of listening to local talk shows and reading as many magazines as possible.  If you want to gauge changes in public opinion quickly, there’s no better way to do it. … Read More

The State of Utopia

By July 6, 2009

It is difficult to believe that three weeks ago the main news item in Israel was Netanyahu’s endorsement of the two state solution. Notwithstanding the coverage his Bar Ilan address received, within days, it had largely slipped from public consciousness. … Read More

The Sounds of Citizenship

By May 6, 2009

In his film Voices from El-Sayed, Oded Adomi Leshem tackles the often-neglected issue of Israel’s unrecognized Bedouin villages. Contrary to stereotype, Israeli Bedouins lead a sedentary, non-nomadic life. 170,000 Bedouins reside in the Negev Desert, in the south of Israel, … Read More

Justifying the Holocaust

By April 6, 2009

Whether it be in the US, Europe, or Israel, filmmakers are demonstrating a renewed interest in World War II, specifically the Jewish Holocaust. Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet, Adam Resurrected directed by Paul Schrader, Boaz … Read More

Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir

By January 30, 2009

It is difficult to categorize Ari Folman ’s extraordinary film Waltz with Bashir: a cinematic autobiography, a war documentary, a meditation on trauma and memory, a hybrid of reality and fiction, or an acid-like cinematic trip. Every category equally applies. … Read More