First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

The Coen brothers: “Is God Jewish?”

Media

Media

The Coen brothers: “Is God Jewish?”

George Clooney isn’t acting in A Serious Man, the latest film by the Coen brothers. But that’s probably because not even he could pull off a character named Larry Gopnik.

The movies of Joel and Eitan Coen are nothing if not enigmatic. In their best-known works, including Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), and the Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men (2007), the brothers from Minneapolis have painted a darkly humorous world where character traits are exaggerated and life on the whole is violent, bizarre and unfathomable. Now, in a surprising tribute to their origins, they have focused their lens on Judaism. It promises to be a match made in heaven.

A Serious Man, which opened in US cinemas on Friday, is a movie about a character named Larry Gopnik – a one-size-fits-all Jewish-American name if ever there was one – who is not so much intimidated by God as he is confused, baffled, mystified. Who is God and what does he want? Larry doesn’t get the answers he’s searching for, but the audience is apparently taken on the sort of sophisticated and ironic journey that is the Coen brothers’ hallmark.

As A.O. Scott writes in the New York Times: “The vein of fatalistic, skeptical humor that runs through so many of their movies has frequently had a Jewish inflection, both cultural and metaphysical. Here, that inheritance, glancingly present in movies like Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski, is, so to speak, the whole megillah.”

The “whole megillah”, for those whose Yiddish is a bit rusty, can loosely be translated as the “whole shebang” – what we are led to believe by Scott is that A Serious Man is somehow the apotheosis of the laden-with-symbolism Coenesque worldview. If so, and even though Coen staples like John Turturro, George Clooney and Frances McDormand are absent from the acting credits, this could be a movie worth a lot more than “bapkes”.

Read more: The New York Times

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted