Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The Rabbi's Cat," First a Graphic Book, is Now a Movie


France's best-loved talking cat, star of a hit comic book series, makes his big screen debut in this long awaited adaptation by celebrated graphic artist-turned-director Joann Sfar (Gainsbourg). 

Rabbi Sfar lives a quiet life by the sea with his beautiful daughter Zlabya and her pet cat in 1920s Algeria. After swallowing his arch-rival the family parrot, the cat receives the miraculous gift of speech, with no intention of ever shutting up! This irreverent, quick-witted feline loves discussing philosophy and Jewish law and demands to have a Bar Mitzvah. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the city, the Rabbi, his cat and an array of motley characters set off on a fantastical Indiana Jones-style adventure into the unknown heart of Africa.

Co-directors Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux use beautiful hand-drawn animation and a nostalgic, groovy soundtrack to bring multicultural, pre-war Algiers, with its Arab, Jewish and European inhabitants lovingly to life, in this funny, quirky and thoroughly enjoyable film.

The film has been shown at Jewish film festivals around the world, but somehow has not yet made it to the United States. We are keeping an eye out for announcements of showings and will let you know as soon as we have more information. For now, we'll have to be content with the trailer below.

In the meantime, it's worth getting a copy of the book and reading it before you get a chance to see the movie. We got a copy as a gift and devoured it, much as the cat devoured the parrot in the story.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)