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Jews in the News: Totally Absurd!

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by Sydney Levine
April 13, 2014 8:00 AM
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Philippe Mora's "Absolutely Modern"

Philippe Mora, the Australian-U.S. Producer of incredibly Jewish stories which are based on his own family is now showing his film Absolutely Modern on Amazon Instant Video and we think you should tune in. If Sandy Lieberson of Film London says that " Philippe Mora never ceases to surprise, challenge and amuse. He is a one man film industry and satire is his weapon. then it’s worth the look.

Philippe is best known in the film world for Brother Can You Spare a Dime (which was produced by Sanford Lieberson and David Puttnam and edited by Jeremy Thomas!) It was a great film, a nostalgic look back at the Great Depression with contemporary archival footage and film clips picturing James Cagney as an American Everyman that Dimension might still have for U.S. Other films he is known for —Mad Dog Morgan (1976),Howling III (1987) and Communion(1989) are just a few on a long, long list of films. Check him out on IMDb or IMDbPro now.

Here are some links to this smart, well reviewed comedy about muses, modernism and the role of sexuality in art as told by the famed art critic Lord Steinway when a football player, 29, confronts Steinway as his long lost son,.

Movie link: Amazon Instant Video 

I hope all my film friends don’t ask me to do this, because I am not an advertising agency, but in the case of Philippe (we go back a long way!) I am happy to do this and besides it is a great opportunity to see how modern media can sell using modern technology. DYI as its best!

And on another note, a documentary film titled Man Made Mora about him is being directed and produced by Alan Goldman and edited by Alex Soler for Blue Plate Productions.

Philippe Mora

The film is a feature documentary about Artist and Filmmaker Philippe Mora as he takes us on a unique journey into film, art and history, which reveals a tragic family past, but his family's survival and work represents a celebration of life, creativity and art.


Mr. Mora's parents were survivors of the Holocaust and moved to Melbourne, Australia from Paris when he was three years old. In 2010, he was attending a retrospective of his work at the New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw. As you probably aware Wroclaw was formerly part of Germany and was known as Breslau prior to the end of World War Two. Before he left for the festival his mother Mirka told him that she remembered his father telling her that his grandfather Max had gotten married there. The archivist said that she would help but needed a couple of days to see what she could find.

Upon his return Philippe was amazed to learn that the archivist had found a lot more than just the marriage certificate. She had unearthed a plethora of Third Reich documents revealing the fate of his great uncle Fritz Morawski, a wealthy businessman and landowner, who had all of his assets and possessions stolen by the Nazis and then, along with his family, he perished in Auschwitz. Mora recently passed the papers over to a lawyer who specializes in these types of claims who stated “this kind of extensive documentation—250 plus items—is extremely unusual because the Nazis destroyed such records.” By searching through the documents Mora has determined that eight of his relatives were murdered at Auschwitz.

Philippe is fascinated by the “banality of evil”, a theme flowing through all of his art and films. Although Mora has made four films about the scourge of Nazism, it is too simplistic to categorize him as a filmmaker obsessed with everything to do with the Third Reich. Mora is constantly turning over the rocks of history searching for answers to his questions. Philippe has examined subjects such as Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death believing that “many important historical artifacts are just hiding in plain sight.” Why the continual search for answers? Is it because he recently discovered that the Nazis murdered eight of his relatives in Auschwitz, or because his father was an important member of the French resistance? Whatever the reasons, he has a desire to continue to question the past through his art, in an attempt to better understand how history has shaped our current day life. In Man Made Mora we will see Philippe tackle that past directly.

We will document Philippe’s journey back to Poland and Germany to find out what happened to his family and their possessions. The journey will serve as a physical and metaphorical means of structuring the film and will result in an intimate portrayal of the man. The audience will get an account of what happened to his family and witness Philippe sharing his own thoughts about their tragic past. 

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