Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema (2001) Australia
Written and Directed by Monique Schwarz (Australia) 73 minutes
The caricature of the Jewish mother is easily the most ubiquitous and distorted image of Jewish women found in movies and television today. You know the one: the overbearing, emasculating, long-suffering Jewish mother, ever-ready with mountains of food. Combining film clips, cultural commentary, and interviews with Hollywood and Israeli filmmakers, Australian director Monique Schwarz takes a funny and penetrating look at how the loving and affectionate portrayals of mothers in early Yiddish and Hollywood silent movies morphed into the maligned Jewish mother of modern Hollywood and, conversely, into the more flesh and blood characterizations in contemporary Israeli cinema.