Review: In ‘My Coffee With Jewish Friends,’ Sit With Me in addition to Talk of God


Walter Hess in addition to Hannah Hess within the documentary “My Coffee With Jewish Friends.”

Streetwise Films/Grasshopper Film

“Where there are two Jews, there are three opinions,” Manfred Kirchheimer says in his little gem of a documentary, “My Coffee With Jewish Friends.” within the film he speaks with more than 20 people in addition to comes away with countless viewpoints, as well as some smiles in addition to bittersweet tales.

Mr. Kirchheimer can be himself something of a gem. After escaping Nazi Germany with his family, he came to the United States in 1936. Since the 1950s he has worked as a cameraman in addition to editor, in addition to has directed his own independent films, among them “Canners” in addition to “Stations of the Elevated.” His skills are keen here, particularly in editing in addition to intercutting conversations that will range through wistful to indignant to delighted.

He’s just as nimble in front of the camera, usually sitting one-on-one with others to consider topics including Israel, marriage in addition to orthodox religion. Touchy subjects are approached in easygoing tones; Mr. Kirchheimer can be too gentlemanly to badger his guests, yet he’s not shy about questioning an opinion or seeking clarification.

The most thoughtful discussions are with those who have lost faith in a god, or those whose beliefs have altered over time. One friend wonders how any creator could allow the Holocaust, in addition to another explains why he holds tight to his Jewishness: “I cannot betray my grandparents. I cannot betray the millions who came before [in addition to] who were murdered.”

No matter the topic, Mr. Kirchheimer keeps “My Coffee With Jewish Friends” accessible, in addition to cerebral without a shred of pretension. For sure, This specific documentarian remains in fine form. This specific’s hard to have a different opinion on that will.

Continue reading the main story