Seriously Good Films: Fiddler, Midnight Traveler, The Current War

In this issue’s round of films made for a serious crowd, a look back at an internationally beloved musical, a harrowing real-life journey, and a battle of power (the electric kind).

(Thunder Road Pictures)

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Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (August 23)

A scene from the documentary, "Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles" that shows an older man playing the fiddle in a city park.
(Dog Green Productions)

Fiddler on the Roof has been performed somewhere on the planet every single day since it opened on September 22, 1964. As if to prove that claim, director Max Lewkowicz travels the world to film casts belting out Fiddler standards like “Tradition” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” Best of all, he sits down with octogenarian Israeli star Topol, who played Tevye in the 1971 film. Lewkowicz also interviews Broadway legend Joel Grey, who directed the all-Yiddish version of Fiddler now selling out in New York.

Midnight Traveler (September 18)

"Midnight Traveler" director, Hassan Fazili, takes a cell phone photo of his family as they travel towards Europe.
(Hassan Fazili)

Afghan film director Hassan Fazili had a choice: Face certain death from the Taliban, which had put a price on his head, or escape his native country with his wife and two young daughters. He chose the latter, and with nothing but some smartphone cameras he created this intensely personal, sometimes harrowing account of the family sneaking across borders, lurching across open fields, and sleeping in freezing forests as they try to make their way to safety — if an uncertain future — in Europe.

The Current War (October 4)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in the film, "The Current War."
(Thunder Road Pictures)

Held back from release for nearly two years after its original production company went belly-up, this enthralling historical drama about a titanic face-off between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) is well worth the wait. The stars are compelling as the ingenious inventors who, in the late 1800s, battled over how best to deliver electricity to the masses. As feuding moguls, Cumberbatch and Shannon offer a pleasantly charged history lesson.

For biweekly video reviews of the latest films, go to or check out Bill Newcott’s website,

Featured image: Thunder Road Pictures.

This article is featured in the September/October 2019 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  1. It really does look like there as some excellent films coming out. I may see ‘Fiddler: Miracles’ in the theater, Bill. It already has a special place in my heart as my parents took us to see ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on Christmas Day 1971; for what else would a good Catholic family go (and see) on that Holiday?! I’ll schlep myself over to see it. It’s a tradition that’s just had a near 48 year hiatus, that’s all. Mozel tov, Bill!

    The ‘Current War’ was one I really wanted to see sometime back, when it was originally scheduled for release, but then wasn’t. No matter, I want to see it even more now. The Industrial Revolution in the late 1800’s has always fascinated me, and it still looks great! Since these films are actually aimed at intelligent people and are in limited release, I’ll have to hurry to see them while they’re still current.


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