Roberta Grossman (shown at right) and writer, Sophie Sartain, have their tongues in cheek from the start. They understand what they're dealing with (they even includes a section involving folk who hate the song, and there plenty of these -- Jews and non-Jews alike). After getting an interesting opinion from one of their talking heads that they feel a need to counter, they explains that "We'll have to ask someone else." The next interviewee is identified simply as Someone Else. (This sort of thing could get kitschy, too, but the filmmakers don't overdo it.)
Leonard Nimoy, Harry Belafonte, Danny Kaye, Glen Campbell, Connie Francis, the Klezmatics, Regina Spektor -- if you weren't hooked already, you soon will be. Listening to Belafonte (below), in particular, talk about what the song means to him (then seeing him sing it with Kaye) goes a long way toward kitsch-reduction.
Joseph Dorman's recent and wonderful documentary did for Sholem Aleichem. It gives us history served up as genuine entertainment, as well as yet another enjoyable walk down memory lane.
Lincoln Plaza Cinema and on March 15, will hit the Los Angeles area at Laemmle's Royal, Noho 7, Town Center 5, Playhouse 7 -- and Orange Country, too.