The ‘Jewish Netflix’, ChaiFlicks offers a focus on Jewish and Israeli-themed entertainment

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DAN BUFFA, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

Imagine Netflix but with a tighter focus on Jewish and Israeli-themed movies and television shows — and your mind should formulate one answer: ChaiFlicks. Coined the “Jewish Netflix” by the Detroit Jewish News, this website offers a deep volume of award-winning and highly popular movies and shows with a definite hook towards the Jewish Light’s demographic

The pricing options and sign-up method is direct and easy: You can either pay $66 annually or $5.99 per month. The website offers a quick three step process and a home page featuring a versatile array of news, new trailers, new movies and shows available — and the design isn’t overwhelming

So, in order to break myself in, I am going to pick a movie per-week to watch and review. See where it goes. A few clicks on the website didn’t require much time to find my choices. Here they are:

“The Bouncer” (not the Van Damme film)

The stoic face of Moris Cohen is blasted across ChaiFlicks’ homepage for this film, originally named “Our Father.” He looks like Arnold Vosloo never stopped seething in his old bad guy roles. But in Meni Yasch’s 2016 critically acclaimed film, Cohen played the protagonist, one of Tel Aviv’s toughest bouncers who runs into trouble when he takes a job with the wrong people in order to help his family. Cohen won Best Actor at the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2016, and the film was nominated for 12 Ophir Awards (aka, the Israeli Academy Awards).

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There’s no better way to open my door with ChaiFlicks than with a hard-boiled yet polished thriller. Good yet flawed men. A wife trying to get pregnant. An opportunity with a poisonous end to its trip. Game on. Look for this next Friday.

“The Keeper”

It was only recently that I started watching more soccer due to a friend’s diehard interest. While the live action is briefly captivating, I prefer football stories inside a movie scope. This 2019 winner of 11 Audience Awards at U.S. film festivals seems to fit the bill.

The true story of a German soldier and prisoner of war who becomes a goalkeeper for Manchester City, thanks to some guidance from a wise rabbi in town and a woman after his heart. It scored 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and looks like a genuine crowd-pleaser. I’m all for a feel-good sports story.

“My Polish Honeymoon”

Elise Otzenberger’s 2019 film about a young Parisian couple venturing off to Poland for some family history and a chance to get away from the robotic nature of adulting seems like a fine way to finish off my introduction to ChaiFlicks. This isn’t just a story about rekindling a marriage, but one with a potent Hebrew hook to its tale.

Anna and Adam carry Jewish origins and venture off to see his grandfather’s celebration of the Jewish community in Poland. But each of them feels different about this particular trip: Adam is like a branch desperately trying to break off a large tree, holding little desire to find out more about his family background. Thankfully, Anna does want to remain close to her roots, and is excited enough for both of them.

I am looking forward to dive headfirst into ChaiFlicks, which has a plethora of well-received movies and television shows.

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