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David Proshker (short)
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by Chris Parry

"'Avalon' played out in under half an hour."
4 stars

Movies that deal with people who survived Nazi death camps are always going to get an easy run from critics, so when you see the rating attached to this review, you might be tempted to roll your eyes and think I’ve fallen into line with the rest. Thing is, David Proshker is a good film, cramming a whole lot of family, heartache, humor and poise into a 23-minute running time. Larry Eisenberg’s sole film credit to date is far from perfect, but it certainly is something to think about.

Executive Produced by Gabriel Byrne (among others) and narrated by F. Murray Abraham, this story of the son of a Jewish man who escaped the Nazis, only to see his best friend, David Proshker, fall to an assassin’s bullet, starts slowly and never really picks up to a trot.

But that’s okay, because the real story here is that of the son, Louis (Rory Gallagher) and his father (Peter Konerko), struggling to figure out where the lines are drawn as the old country influence struggles to survive life in the west. Little Louis wants to play ball, but his father has seen too many things to think that life can be wasted with such pursuits. The other kids make fun of Louis’ dad, and Louis doesn’t understand why, though he goes along with it anyway.

“Why is my dad different?” – that’s the question seething under the surface, and the father’s refusal to discuss what he’s been through means Louis lives his life in ignorance… at least for a while.

David Proshker is not without imperfections. The accents are at times awful, and the reappearance of the long dead Proshker takes things from poignant to fantasy rather abruptly, but what do you want from a low budget 23-minute short film from a first time filmmaker who was only doing the thing to complete a Master of Fine Arts degree at the California Institute of the Arts?

Intrigued? If so, you can watch this short right now when you join (, where for just $9.95 a month you can watch this film, and a whole lot more, either streaming online or download to your computer. Take a look today.

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originally posted: 04/23/04 12:09:53
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  01-Jan-2000 (NR)



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