Movie Mom

Movie Mom


What Can Barbie Teach Us About Judaism?

posted by Nell Minow

What can the most successful doll on the planet show us about being Jewish today? A new film called The Tribe uses the story of the Jewish woman who created the Barbie and Ken dolls to explore the nature of identity for Jewish Americans. Actor Peter Coyote narrates the film, which “weaves together archival footage, graphics, animation, Barbie dioramas, and slam poetry to take audiences on an electric ride through the complex history of both the Barbie doll and the Jewish people- from Biblical times to present day.” It is a thought-provoking film that raises more questions than it answers and a good discussion-starter for middle- and high-schoolers. Curriculum guides for school and home use are also available.



  • jestrfyl

    OK, I am intrigued to the point of actually looking for this. I am as interested in toys as I am in comics and sci/fi. This sounds incredibly interesting.

  • http://1049.33c.2.80 WilliamGrady

    The Tribe you say! Well I’ll just have to reserve judgement upon Where the line is drawn? see there has been all of the stories of the slaughter of so many “Native American Indian tribes” That no one thinks of the possibility that either the “Jewish” peoples nor the “Armenian” peoples consider themselves an “Tribe”. How many “Tribes ” in the Main continent of Africa also fall under this (Victim of Genoside)Classification? Finally will this 21 st centry see the 3rd world war in Africa due to the rampant TRIBLE-Conflict that is RWANDA/Congo/HUTU? The doll has an African version but no Asian nor India version.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, William! There is an African Barbie and a Japanese Barbie. The Jewish people throughout history spoken of being made up of the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • Your Name

    William Grady I neither agree nor disagree with what you said but your spelling and grammar are atrocious! Good heavens, man! Use a dictionary and ask for help! Better yet, take a course in basic English usage. You’ll be glad you did.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I am glad to have you comment but please let me remind you of the rules for commenting here. I have no tolerance for bad manners and it is important to me that everyone feel that this is a safe place to ask questions and express views. You are more than welcome to disagree, but no one will be allowed to be disagreeable, hostile, or rude and I will delete any comments I consider inappropriate. “Why do you think that?” is fine. Corrections are appreciated. But insults of any kind are not permissible. Please keep that in mind in the future.

  • Lynnie

    I thought I would hate this. Instead, it was a powerful look at myself!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Lynnie, I agree! It was more thoughtful than I expected and I liked the way it refrained from drawing conclusions.

  • Your Name

    Grammer was not an strong point in school! Trying not to get shot was. Forgive my 1960 to 1992 timespan of education in these urban settings. there was plenty of danger and I did lose several people which I was calling friends back then. I do posess an Bacheloriate degree in an technical disipline but am very under educated in Written english.That is the diasperia of being whom I am! Indeed yours is the right of edit and &censorship to your column. So please feel free to redress any typographical(s) I might be guilty of so as to allow your enterpritation of my Intended opinion.
    The request still stands. I have limited equipment to view your story/Tale the existing format(s) are Standard Dvd, Laserdics, Vhs videotape. which of these can you allow me to watch “TRIBE” upon? how do I get an physical copy? and lastly I do not know what an blog is and am not in possession of a “dual-core computer” to do all your fancy DSL magic(s).

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I welcome your comments and apologize on behalf of the commenter who was disdainful of your grammar and spelling. This site you are visiting is a blog; that is just a term used to describe sites like this that have running commentary by one person or a limited group of people.
    You can order the movie on DVD by going to this website: http://www.tribethefilm.com/order/ or by emailing: info@tribethefilm.com The phone number is 415.380.0881
    Thanks for writing and if you do see the film I would like to know what you think of it.

  • Pingback: Interview: Tiffany Shlain of ‘Connected’ - Movie Mom

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