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Jerusalem: A Family Portraitby Boaz Yakin
Synopses & Reviews
Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic graphic novel that follows a single family—three generations and fifteen very different people—as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948. Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel.
With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin's family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.
"This grim and relentless comic by filmmaker Yakin was inspired by tales his Israeli father told him. It follows the families of two estranged Israeli brothers — focusing primarily on the sons of those brothers — as the many wars involving Jerusalem rage around them. They suffer life, death, and everything in between, all while searching for their own identities within a passionate love for the place they call home. The book draws lovely if depressing parallels between these families and the Arabs and Jews, as they fight for control of Jerusalem. While the troubles of the Middle East are familiar , it's impossible not to get drawn in to the plight of these characters. The youngest sons, first cousins Motti and Jonathan, are perhaps the sole bright spots and also the most tragic aspect of this work. Best friends regardless of their fathers' estrangement, they are eventually pulled apart as they grow up, and as Jerusalem continues to pull itself apart. The way Motti and Jonathan's story ends is somehow both shocking and inevitable. Bertozzi's art, in grimly appropriate shades of black, white, and grey, sets a fitting tone for a story filled with unflinchingly honest violence." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Boaz Yakin is a screenwriter and film director based in New York City. Yakin studied filmmaking at New York City College and New York University. As a producer he has been involved in bringing projects as diverse as Hostel and the award-winning Bombay Beach to the screen. His first graphic novel published by First Second, was Marathon with Joe Infurnari.
Nick Bertozzi lives in Queens, NY, with his wife and daughters and is the author and artist of many other cartoon stories, among them The Salon, Houdini: The Handcuff King, and First Second's Lewis & Clark and Stuffed! He is a teacher at the School of Visual Arts.
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