- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2006

The phrase “never again” heals our guilty souls, but good intentions aren’t enough to sustain its promise.

Consider the ongoing slaughter in Darfur as exhibit A, coming just a decade after Rwanda’s genocide.

The new documentary “Ever Again” examines anti-Semitism’s reach across Europe, suggesting that Nazi Germany 2.0 may be headed humanity’s way.

Narrated by Kevin Costner, “Ever Again” digs into the various sources of Jewish hatred abroad, from radical religions to enduring stereotypes time can’t bury. Mr. Costner’s dry but chilling narration never overstates the menace, even if the film occasionally does.

“Ever Again” bombards us with troubling data, interviews and revelations. A key cog in the anti-Semitism machine involves Muslim extremists, who use the media to spread their hate. We see a clip of an Egyptian-produced miniseries of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a conspiracy theory based on a czarist forgery purporting to expose a Jewish plot to dominate the world.

Imam after imam preaches anti-Semitism to their followers either in person or over the Internet, while younger Muslims learn the joys of martyrdom from the adults. One televised sequence shows two young girls declaring their wish to die for their faith, a theme hit upon in the recently released documentary “Obsession.”

Some stats cry out for more context. When we learn hate crimes against Jews are up 400 percent in Belgium, we want to hear not just the percentage but the raw numbers.

A series of European speakers flesh out the statistics behind the upswing in Jewish-based hate crimes, but none is as convincing as American legal eagle Alan Dershowitz.

The author of “The Case for Israel” is furious over anti-Semitism’s growth, and he states his concerns with conviction and clarity. He delivers a tasty smack down on London Mayor Ken Livingstone after the politician is seen in full moral-equivalency glory in one film clip.

We also believe Mr. Dershowitz when he talks about meeting moderate Muslims who are equally appalled at how some distort Islam to fuel such rage.

Director Richard Trank, an Oscar winner for the 1997 documentary “The Long Way Home,” delivers little in the way of visual extravagance, and the talking-head montage might have been numbing if not for the film’s brief running time.

“Ever Again” follows the modern documentary track, dispensing with dissenting voices to hammer home its point.

Viewers may hope against hope that the message delivered here proves premature.


TITLE: “Ever Again”

RATING: NR (Some disturbing imagery)

CREDITS: Written and directed by Richard Trank. Produced by Mr. Trank and Rabbi Marvin Hier.

RUNNING TIME: 73 minutes

WEB SITE: www.moriahfilms.com


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