Text & Subtext


The theme of father-son conflict has figured richly in movies, often bearing a conspicuously manly aspect. Consider the generational face-offs in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Rebel Without a Cause, The Godfather, Road to Perdition—replete with guns, booze, fast cars, fights over money, fights over women. The Israeli film Footnote abjures such lurid and obvious topics to focus instead on the fraught acrimonies of...Talmudic scholarship? It might seem...

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About the Author

Rand Richards Cooper, one of Commonweal's film critics, is the author of two works of fiction, The Last To Go and Big as Life.