User Reviews (4)

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  • Quietb-110 April 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Documentaries tend to get lost among theatrical releases. Here's a fun one to track down.

    It is sort of a one note or one song pony and may pale in comparison to more serious subject matter documentaries.

    It moves along at a fun pace with very little new footage but plenty of old clips and shots from other Hollywood features including some you would expect and a few surprises such as "True Grit" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

    This film will not change the world and maybe it doesn't take a stand as to who really wrote the song but it is interesting and entertaining. If you can't find it in a theater it will be coming to cable soon . Sit back and enjoy it.
  • Don't believe the low rated score, probably deliberately skewed low for "certain reasons". This movie was funny, interesting little documentary. A delightful look into Jewish culture for those of us non-Jews who know this song so well but have no idea about it's background or influence. Although on the surface it's about the song, in examining the song it gives a deeper look into Jewish culture. It looks at the history of the song and it's progression of the decades into modern pop culture. All in a light, interesting way. Recommended. Although be forewarned, you will hear the song about 100 times during the course of the documentary!
  • edwagreen29 September 2015
    10/10
    ****
    Warning: Spoilers
    Absolutely a wonderful documentary giving the history of this noted song. It transcends from its beginnings in the Ukraine, to Europe, and to the U.S., before becoming a totally world phenomenon.

    It's emphasis is the depiction that joy must be a part of Jewish life, no matter how much we have suffered through various persecutions.

    Scenes from films depicting this joy are shown throughout the documentary.

    People such as Harry Belafonte and Connie Francis, both of whom shall always be remembered for their renditions for this time-honored song are interviewed along with late Leonard Nimoy.
    • Even if you are not Jewish, you probably know the song "hava nagila", festive folk song that is played at most Jewish celebrations. In the Hava Naglia (The Movie), you are taken back to the history of this song. Seems most don't know about its origins. Turns out that two claim its authorship but most likely it bubbled up from the Ukraine where a charismatic rabbi used it to celebrate the faith. What I learned was that the song is really not that old, it is really a modern song. The influences of the Jews evolution in American enabled this song to grow into the cultural icon it has become. The movie is full of interesting clips of the diversity of singer's interpretation of the song from Elvis, Lena Horne, and Harry Belafonte. When I first saw the title of the song I wondered how you could make a film length movie on a song that is short and central to any Jewish gathering, but director Roberta Grossman had made a highly entertaining and educative tale. A cross cultural song Hava Naglia takes you into a delightful world of celebration. I saw this film as featured in the 2013 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival