Just in time for July 4th, one of our AJFF interns, Kristin Guy, took a look at some of the best patriotic films with a Jewish connection. So, pre, post, or during your holiday plans, watch these picks to feel really patriotic.
An American Tail
In this children’s animated classic, the Mousekewitzes, a Russian-Jewish family of mice, emigrate from the Ukraine in order to get to The United States of America, a land where cats that tyrannize them don’t exist. The film’s themes of oppression, immigration and hope are still just as timely as they were when the film debuted. And, good luck getting the Academy Award nominated song “Somewhere Out There” out of your head; but you probably won’t even want to try!
What’s more patriotic than getting together with friends and family over a national holiday? We’re joking (sort of). Set during the 4th of July weekend, Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), reunites with four of his high school friends and former basketball teammates after the passing of their late coach. While the film, which features a slew of SNL favorites, did not perform well with the critics, it was a hit at the box office, which led to a sequel soon after.
Stick to the 1996 original of this franchise where Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum defend not just America, but the entire world, from invading aliens as the U.S.A.'s national holidays approaches. The relationship between Jewish Goldblum and veteran (also Jewish) actor Judd Hirsch is a bonus and a big part of the film's heart.
Saving Private Ryan
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this uber-patriotic movie, set during WWII, follows a unit of soldiers tasked with bringing a private back home and away from the fighting in Normandy after the government finds out that all of of his brothers have been killed in combat. With an all-star cast including Jewish character actor, Adam Goldberg, the film is one that sticks with you long after the credits. When you’re through, find out more about the behind the scenes.
In addition to being a talented writer, Kristin Guy is a student at University of Georgia and an AJFF intern; and you could be too. Interested? Let us know.