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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
An Impressive Film
by Betty Jo Tucker

It’s evident that Daniel Kremer and Deniz Demirer put lots of hard work and thought into Ezer Kenegdo, a worthy film they directed and wrote together.

These two talented filmmakers also show off their acting talents as Izzy (Kremer), a deep-thinking but fear-filled Hassidic Jew, and Polish-born Catholic Marek (Demirer), who appears more daring and open to life’s experiences. Izzy worries about so many things, including being a good father and even holding a baby. Marek takes things as they come, and he tries to be a good host to Izzy. But that’s not easy because his guest has so many daily religious restrictions. The treatment of Jews in Poland during the World War II period also comes into play. Plus, Izzy is scheduled for an arranged marriage – just like his parents – and this puzzles Marek.      

The conversations between Izzy and Marek come across most of the time as thought-provoking and frequently amusing or sometimes even belligerent. While they are talking together, we feel almost like we’re eavesdropping on two real people.  

Izzy and Marek’s big San Francisco adventure involves an iconoclastic artist (the great Rob Nilsson) who has agreed to be interviewed by them. And what an interview it is! Things do not go as planned, much to my surprise and delight.      

This fascinating movie motivated me to write the poem below     

Two friends find out their baggage counts.

What’s past is past but tension mounts.

 

Polish-Jewish relations may

be the thing that keeps them at bay.

 

To meet an artist is their goal.

Will this meeting take its toll?

 

“Ezer Kenegdo” explores this theme.

Humor and heart are the main team.

 

Plus, actors help this tale to tell.

They seem so real and play roles well.

 

See history come to the fore --

for explaining, and not to bore.

 

Hear background music blending in,

enhancing scenes. That’s a big win.

 

Differing opinions are heard.

Is one’s religion so absurd?

 

Being worthy is the real key.

That’s why this movie impressed me.

 

NOTE: The term ezer kenegdo refers to “a helpmate/rescuer and a force of resistance in the same breath.”

If a man is worthy, his ezer kenegdo will be a help to him; if he is not worthy, it will be a help against him. --- Talmud

(For more information about this Public Shore Films release, go to the IMDb website.)


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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