The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg


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By describing the life of the first Jewish baseball star in terms of other people's feelings about him, Aviva Kempner has made those feelings as much the subject of this documentary as Hank Greenberg is. Without unduly lionizing him, airing his dirty laundry, or even forcing a dramatic arc or simple moral from his life, Kempner's lighthearted yet not apolitical collage conveys how Greenberg's success as an athlete in the 30s and 40s contradicted an ethnic stereotype--one that may have been as prevalent within the Jewish community as outside it--and how much his fame meant to a group of people profoundly affected by bigotry. 95 min. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, June 23 through 29.

--Lisa Alspector

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