A chance reunion of two Holocost survivors - one a Hasidic Jew, the other a skeptical journalist who has turned his back on religion - leads to a searing probe of good and evil and an ultimate test of faith and redemption.... more » Interactive Menus, Scene Access, Filmographies, weblink« less
"It is 1948. World War II has been over for three years and distinquished author and poet,Chaim has come to Montreal for a reading. His blissful sleep is broken by the harsh ring of a phone. On the other end, his one night stand, requests that he return her necklace. How annoying when you want to sleep but he acquieces to her request to meet her in the park but first he must have breakfast. What a beautiful day and such a bountiful breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. Just as he begins to dig in he realizes that it is Rosh Hashana. A man outside of the restaurant stares at him. Chaim's appetite goes away and before long he reluctantly finds himself in a minyan. After prayers he escapes to the park where he encounters him. His enemy, his friend has come to life before him. The two had thought that the other had perished in the Holocaust as had their families. They look at each other, keep silence and then a spew of emotion unleashes as the two clash about the meaning of life and God after that experience. The Quarrel takes up the age old question of God's justice or lack there of that plaqued Job and other humans since the dawn of time. Hersh stands firmly in his fundamentalist faith. Chaim insists on the goodness of humanity. Both men have become extremists as they attempt to give some meaning to their lives after being in the Holocaust. Hidden within their psyches are betrayals, hypocrisy and plain stubbornness that the two were unable or unwilling to share. This brief moment in the park is an opportunity for reconciliation, if they choose to do so. A brilliant film such as this should be shown in every class room and home as we struggle with the notion of forgiveness, human failure, and religious faith. All of these questions emerge from the encounter of these two men who deep inside are filled with loneliness and grief. Rosh Hashana leaves open for them a new beggining in faith as it will for you."
Like finding a Diamond
Bonita L. Davis | 02/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am the son of Holocaust survivors and remember seeing this movie in the theater with my father. Later, I returned see it with an Armenian businessman friend of mine, a man who had lived in Africa and Europe. All three of us thought it was great. I could not remember the title and have been wanting to buy it for the last 2 years, until I found the name today at a Jewish film website and ordered it on Amazon about 15 minutes ago.This movie was as if someone took all the conflicting arguments in my head and soul, ripped them out, and put them on the Big Screen for all the world to see. Yes, as one reviewer said, it is a bit overblown, pedantic, but..the people portrayed were small town/city Europeans living in a sheltered Yeshiva (Jewish religious school) world until the wider world shocked their existance and social order with great force in 1939. I don't think the characters could have been portrayed much more accurately. False beards ? Maybe, but not false emotions."
Nathan Blumenfeld | Wilmington, DE United States | 01/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Quarrel, taking place in the late 40's, is the story of two Jewish Holocaust survivors who have both lost their entire family during it. For one of them, the experience bolstered his faith in God until it was all that he had, while in the other it killed whatever faith in God he had had left. The second man, Chaim, is now a writer who has come to Montreal to publicize his book, when he bumps into the other, Hersh, who he believed dead in the Holocaust. Hersh is now the head of the local Jewish community and Yeshiva. This film is about an afternoon spent together between them and their quarrel over their friendship and faith.I believe that this movie was originally either a short story or a play, and it was probably better as such, because it doesn't make the big screen too well. It is too slowly paced and is basically one big discussion with little background music (though what's there is quite good). However, its points are still remarkably relevant to Jews in todays world over fifty years later. We watched this in my Bible class, and it left our teacher crying. I definitely recommend this film to everyone, but especially those who lost family or faith in the Holocaust and to Jews wondering about their faith.Even if you only watch it once, go out and rent or buy The Quarrel"
Riveting simply riveting
B. Porter | Whittier, CA United States | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My family (wife and 15yr. old girl) were glued from start to finish. The story weaves it's path over and under many threads of life using the motif of secular/orthodox tension such as guilt/forgiveness, reason (as basis for good)/or God and His Words, youthful zeal/aged wisdom (remember the brash orthodox student?), self rigteousness/self sufficiency etc. A nice balance of gripping emotion as well as deep profoundness of thought.
Even though I was not a holocaust survivor I could relate to some degree with this movie as my best friend growing up was Jewish. He went on as good Jewish boys do and became a Geriatric Physician albeit liberal; and I an all out hedonistic pagan eventually distanced myself from him during the turbulent '60's. Since then I learned my bio father was German also I had become a Christian and quite devout. So I couldn't help but picture the two of us in a similar reunion as I was watching The Quarrel."
A beautiful portrait of tension between Orthodox vs. Secular
rubinstb | Kirkland, WA USA | 03/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this movie and immediately fell in love with it. It's a true piece of art, and it addresses the tension between the secular and the orthodox worlds with incredibly beautiful feelings and poetry. A lovely masterpiece that cannot be missed by anyone who is interested in this theme, regardless of what your personal belief and/or affiliation are. I strongly recommend that you watch it if that's a theme that is genuinely interesting to you."