2013-2014 Fellowship session - Oliver Twist

Next fall we will be examining Oliver Twist and hope to include the films:  The First Fagin, and Oliver Twist.

Jean Paton from the Dickens Fellowship - Toronto Branch advised these two films will be presented at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival:


Friday, April 12, 3:15 pm ROM Signy and Cléopheé Eaton Theatre. 100 Queen’s Park

Sunday April 14, 4:15 pm Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas 5, 4861 Yonge Street


Canadian Premiere, Australia/Israel 2012, 86 minutes

Director: Alan Rosenthal and Helen Gaynor

The emotional, true story of Ikey Solomon, an infamous British convict whose life is considered to have been the inspiration for Dickens’ Fagin of Oliver Twist and perhaps also an influence on the creation of the felon Magwitch of Great Expectations. The First Fagin seamlessly blends still photography, historical records, interviews with scholars and historians, and vivid dramatic re-enactment, offering insight into the 19th century British penal colony in Van Diemen’s Land.

Guest in Attendance: Co-director Alan Rosenthal


Saturday April 20, 5:00 pm Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.


UK/Czech Republic/France/Italy 2005, 130 min

Director: Roman Polanski

Free Screening: Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Desiring to make a film his children could enjoy, Roman Polanski adapted the Dickens classic, transporting us to early Victorian England to tell the beloved tale of the orphan Oliver Twist, who makes his way to London where he falls into a gang of pickpockets led by the villainous Fagin. Excellent art direction, set and costume design give the film an authentic look and feel, and Polanski’s direction captures equally well the novel’s grim moments and the more hopeful ones. Featuring strong performances, especially from Ben Kingsley who brings out both the treachery and the kindness in Fagin, this is a visually effective and literate film.