"This is my fave Shakespeare!"-Mel Gibson on Merchant Of Venice.
Okay, I just made that up. But still, after seeing the new Merchant Of Venice trailer, I've come to the conclusion that it ain't the best time to be a cinematic Jew. Between being accused of killing the messiah, and watching Al Pacino's Shylock lisp (If you PWICK us...) his demands for that whole "pound of flesh" thing, my people are in desperate need of some good P.R. on the big screen.
Not that I'm shedding any new light here, but it goes without saying that caricatures like Shylock perpetuate negative stereotypes of Jews. Shylock makes Bernie Bernbaum seem like Elie Wiesel, for crying out loud! I long for the days of the early 90's, when admirable characters like Ben Kingsley in Schindler's List saved scores of lives but placing his own butt on the line. I'm not saying movies like Merchant Of Venice and Passion Of The Christ shouldn't ever be made, but how 'bout a tad less blood-lusting lord-killers and money-lusting loan sharks and a hair more well-rounded and/or respectable characters? A wonderful Passover gift, it would be.
posted by drew on 4/05/2004
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