Every scholar of modern Jewish history is familiar with the poet Judah Leib Gordon’s 1862 exhortation to European Jewry: “Be a man in the street and a Jew at home” (as quoted in Ashkenazi, xv, 48). This motto takes on new relevance in the work of historian Ofer Ashkenazi, for whom public and private behaviors play out in the spatial terms of Weimar cinematic representation. Within the world of the street, Jews display only authentic bourgeois mannerisms and appearances; in private, the masquerade ceases to be necessary. According to Ashkenazi, we see this duality reflected in films made by Jewish directors and writers for whom public and domestic spaces are necessarily linked in the project of representing Jewish identity. [excerpt]
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Wallach, Kerry. “On Ashkenazi’s Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity.” Jewish Film & New Media: An International Journal 1, no. 2 (2013): 226-229.
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