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The Apprenticeship of Mordecai Richler

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Canadian author Mordecai Richler traces the sources of his fiction in the immigrant Jewish community of his Montreal childhood and talks about his sometimes controversial reshaping of that past into novels. Richler speaks with candour and wit, and slowly his media image, one of shy abrasiveness, gives way to a fuller portrait.

Clips from the movies of his celebrated books, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Joshua Then and Now, offer visual immediacy to his discussion of how biography becomes art. Famed for his comic talents, Richler makes a surprising literary self-definition: "I'm a Jewish writer, and I'm a Canadian writer, but above all, I'm a serious writer."

1986, 57 min 28 s

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