Hava Nagila (The Movie)

73 minutes 2013

This documentary about the roots and global popularity of the Hebrew folk song "Hava Nagila" contains some fascinating passages about the history of the Jewish diaspora, but director Roberta Grossman and writer Sophie Sartain show little discernment between vital information and trivia (the birth of Hasidism gets little more attention than Allan Sherman's 1960s novelty records). Thankfully there are enough eloquent talking heads—Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy (who once studied cantorial singing), and numerous impassioned Jewish history professors—to keep this watchable.

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