What does it mean to be a "mensch" - a decent human being? The Torah, the Talmud, the prophets, and Jewish commentary all say we must seek justice, truth, and peace. Director Ralph Arlyck also attempts to answer this question in his award-winning film diary, which examines how we respond - or do not respond - to the news. We grow numb from a ceaseless stream of media images with scenes of war, starvation and brutality. Yet there are individuals attempting to bridge the gap between distanced concern and action: a nun working in a Senegalese clinic, the mother of a slain boy in Nicaragua, an Amnesty International activist in Colorado. Arlyck interviews an inspirational group of people and searches for the elusive nature of present-day ethics in this lyrical and soulful film.
Over a distinguished career, Ralph Arlyck has produced more than a dozen prize winning, independent films. Writer and critic Phillip Lopate,in In Search of the Centaur: The Essay Film, says "To my knowledge, Ralph Arlyck is, besides Chris Marker, the one consistent essay filmmaker."
Arlyck's work has been broadcast on PBS and the BBC, and has been screened at Input and at the top international festivals. His current film, SEAN NOW & THEN, a feature length revisit with the four year old Sean, subject of his 1969 award winning film of the same name, is scheduled for early fall release. His CURRENT EVENTS premiered at the New York Film Festival. AN ACQUIRED TASTE is considered a classic of personal filmmaking and was hailed by Vincent Canby in the New York Times as a "funny, loving movie.".
Arlyck is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. He is a Board member of Input and a long-time active member of AIVF and New Day.