Film: Mordechai Richler: The Last of the Wild Jews

23/02/2012 3:45 pm

Director Francine Pelletier, 2010 52 minutes

Canadian novelist Mordechai Richler undoubtedly belongs in the pantheon of Jewish giants who dominated North American letters in the second half of the twentieth century alongside Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and Norman Mailer amongst others.

The archetypal angry child of immigrants, and raised on a diet of comic books, the Talmud and Isaac Babel’s tales of Jewish gangsters in Odessa, Richler was, like his famous colleagues, perfectly placed to shake up the complacent post-war status quo, changing the cultural landscape for good.

Feisty, contrary and predictable only in his unpredictability, Richler rejected easy categorization, but this engaging film manages to get under the surface of this incomparable artistic voice, and capture a personality which could just as easily be charming, gentle and thoughtful.

Sponsored by the Québec Government Office, London, in association with the UK Jewish Film