Six months ago, we published a roundup of new Jewish movies to stream on Netflix, listing recent films beyond the well-known classics like Schindler’s List. Here is an updated list with even more movies now available for streaming on the service—including everything from Jewish comedies to dramas to documentaries.
To Each, Her Own
This French film, distributed by Netflix in 2018, is a comical take on religion, relationships and sexuality. From director Myriam Aziza, To Each, Her Own focuses on a trio of young Parisians. Simone is a lesbian who has been in a relationship for three years and is struggling with how to tell her conservative Jewish family. Just as she is about to come out, she suddenly falls for a young black Muslim man. The film is a lighthearted portrayal of a Jewish family and one woman’s exploration of identity. (Family, Judaism and identity are themes that Aziza has explored in her past films as well.) This film is available in French with English subtitles or with English dubbing.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
This 2017 documentary drama directed by Alexandra Dean tells the life story of famed actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr, from her upbringing in an Austrian Jewish family to her flight to America during the rise of Nazism to her rise to Hollywood stardom. Though Lamarr’s family was quite assimilated, her traumatic background undoubtedly had a major effect on the events of her life and career. The film explores her story in depth, claiming to focus on the parts of her life that she felt important, rather than most people’s obsession with her looks and Hollywood star power. The film gives much attention to her background and scientific achievements, as well her career as an actress.
They Are Everywhere
This French film, directed by Israeli-born French director Yvan Attal, consists of several vignettes about Jewish people confronting anti-Semitism in France. The three stories consist of an anti-Semitic politician who discovers he is Jewish, a man who does not believe he is really Jewish because he is poor, and a Mossad agent who goes back in time to prevent the death of Jesus. Classified as a “dark comedy,” the film deals with Attal’s frustrations with being Jewish in a France where anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment is on the rise. Though some critics have declared that it is not funny, the film is certainly relevant to current events.
This Israeli gangster comedy focuses on the antics of two criminals who try to change their ways after surviving a bombing in Jerusalem. They set out to help people who have left notes about their problems in the Western Wall. Directed by Israeli filmmaker Oded Raz and released in 2017, the film is a comic portrayal of two men trying to help do God’s work while avoiding getting into trouble with their former boss. The film is available in Hebrew with English subtitles.
Read about The Raft, the new release directed by Oded Raz.
This documentary focuses on what happened to Csanad Szegedi, a prominent politician in Hungary who was known for helping to start an anti-Semitic nationalist party, after he discovered that part of his family is Jewish. Seeking to learn more about his ancestry, he contacts an Orthodox Rabbi to learn more about Judaism and ends up with an entirely new outlook on life. The film follows his attempts to reconcile his past and present and to live as a Jew. Co-directed by British filmmakers Joseph Martin and Sam Blair, this film feels strikingly relevant for those who seek ways to bridge the gap in today’s politically divided world.
This Israeli-American spy drama focuses on the true story of a member of the Egyptian government who became a spy for Israel in the 1970s. Ashraf Marwan began working with the Mossad, eventually providing them with advanced warning of the attack that led to the Yom Kippur War. This film, released by Netflix in 2018 from Israeli director Ariel Vromen, details a dramatic and intense part of Israeli history. Like many films dealing with Arab-Israeli conflict, the film was controversial, particularly among Egyptians who viewed it as Israeli propaganda. In return, Vromen has said that he was invested in depicting both the Israeli and Egyptian sides of the story.