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Shalom, My Dream

TITLE: Shalom, My Dream
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Noam Ben-Shoham
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 60 minutes
SOURCE: Contact Noam Ben Shoham at 137 W 67th Street #1W, New York, NY 10023, 212.877.2322 Email: nbs99@hotmail.com
TEXT: On Purim Day, 1996, months after the assassination of Rabin, and after a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 32, four teenage girlfriends went to Tel Aviv, dressed for Purim. They were about to cross Dizengoff Street near the Hard Rock Cafe when a bomber blew himself up. Three girlfriends did not return home. Killed with Bat Chen Shahak were Hadas Dror and Dana Guterman. Nili Zeltzer escaped "physical" injury. This is a moving, documentary film about the last 24 hours in the life of Bat-Chen Shahak, one of three girls killed by a terrorist bomber on Purim Day, March 3, 1996. It was Bat-Chen's 15th birthday. Through conversations with her younger brother, her Israeli teenage friends, and her family, and photos taken the day of the bombing, the film explores life and death, the price of peace and the loss of innocence. Note to File: bat-Chen means daughter of beautiful grace, and it is the name of a flower -- a flower that is plucked too early. From People Magazine (July 7, 1997), I learned that the girls were from Tel Mond, about 30 minutes North of Tel Aviv, and it was their first unaccompanied trip to Tel Aviv. If I may just excerpt the first three paragraphs of one of Bat Chen's many, many poems and letters (from her Diary, 1993, Seventh grade) "He Passes By Me" He passes by me, I just wish that... / Every day another person ends his life. / He passes by me. / I just wish that he wouldn't take me / It's unpredictable and unknown / / You can come back from school and find out / You have no father, / or grandpa, or brother, or sister, or uncle or aunt // And you say: / He stood next to me only yesterday. / Only yesterday he laughed / Only yesterday he embraced me / Only yesterday he kissed my cheek / Only yesterday he filled me with love and warmth / Only yesterday he said a good word to me /

The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years

TITLE: The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Keiko Ibi
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 37 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: visit http://members.aol.com/keikofilms or keikofilms@aol.com or write Keiko Films, 561 Hudson St. #115, New York, NY 10014 FAX: 212-645-7495
TEXT: Winner of The Oscar/Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Subject Documentary, March 21, 1999. A drama group for senior citizens performs an original play at a community theater on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Drawn from the comedy and drama of their lives, the play features elderly people looking for dates through the personal ads. As the rehearsals progress, the camera turns to the individual members of the group at their homes in an attempt to uncover both the joys and sorrows of getting old in America. Selma Wernick discusses affairs, her first time, and the time a 72 year old man tried to rape her. Rose Straub discusses life. Note to file: Ibi is a 1998 grad of NYU Film School. Seth Glassman, a drama professor at NYU was an advisor to the acting troupe at the Educational Alliance's Whittaker Senior Center and hooked Ibi up with the group. Ibi's film records a group of 12 Jewish senior citizens taking part in an acting workshop at a New York community center as they create and perform a play about personal ads. By the time of the first performance, she's followed them through personal crises and become a friend, provoking them to offer insightful and often disarmingly frank comments on the past, their ambitions, their health and their sexuality

Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa

TITLE: Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Marlene Booth
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 58
SOURCE: Marlene Booth, Raphael Films 23 Irving, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617)547-2865
TEXT: Using home movies and photos, Marlene Booth tells her story of growing up as a humble Midwesterner in Des Moines, Iowa in an Orthodox Jewish family the 1950's and Sixties. She went to football games and dreamed of being a cheerleader. She felt pressure to assimilate into Christian conformity. Even within the orthodox Jewish community, blending in was encouraged; setting a bad example reflected poorly not only on you and your family but on all Jews. So her family became Jewish in private, Iowan in public. As she aged, she became a political activist and Zionist. She moved to Israel, but she is currently married to a fellow Iowan and lives in Cambridge Mass. Includes her trip back for a high school reunion.

Solomon and Gaenor

TITLE: Solomon and Gaenor
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Paul Morrison / Sheryl Crown
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English, Welsh and Yiddish
TIME: 102 minutes
SOURCE: Four Film International, 124 horseferry road, London, sw1p 2tx United Kingdom, tel 44-171-306-8602, fax: 44-171-306-8631
TEXT: NOMINATED FOR OSCAR 1999 (March 2000) FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM. A takeoff on Romeo and Juliet set in Wales in 1911. The background is of industrial unrest in the mines. Welsh girl and Jewish boy are star-crossed lovers. Solomon, the Jewish boy from the next valley, peddles fabrics door to door, and hides his religion. Gaenor, the local Welsh Christian girl from a mining family, gets pregnant, and flees with Solomon, but they get separated. As industrial tensions mount, the local Jewish families become the target of resentment. When the bosses put the pressure on, it's not the bosses who catch the rage, but any other outsiders who appear to be competing at the same level. Solomon is beaten by Gaenor's brother, Crad. Solomon staggers through the snow to the farm where she is staying for a final reunion. NOTES TO FILES: Morrison grew up in the Jewish area of North London. His grandparents were anarchists and his parents founded a Reform community. Like many members of his generation, Morrison took a circuitous path to his Judaism. In his university days, he became involved himself in leftist politics, and perhaps as a result of what he calls the British pressure not to be "too Jewish," he then dabbled in Eastern religions. He quickly learned, he says, that "that wasn't my language" and returned to Judaism. The longtime documentary filmmaker then decided to apply his Jewish reawakening to his work as well. "I reached a point where I realized that I had never really honored my Jewish upbringing in my filmmaking," adding that the Jewish experience in Britain has rarely been portrayed on screen. He made a series of documentaries on British Jewish identity that aired on British television before he made "Solomon and Gaenor," his first nondocumentary.

A Walk on the Moon (1999)

TITLE: A Walk on the Moon (1999)
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Tony Goldwyn / Graham Burke
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Miramax
TEXT: What happens when the Sixties' Summer of Love comes to the Catskills? The world of a young, dutiful Jewish housewife is turned upside down when she has an affair with a free-spirited blouse salesman at a summer camp in the Catskills near Woodstock. All to the musical beat of the late Sixties. Stars Tovah Feldshuh, Anna Paquin, Diane Lane, Liev Schrieber, and Viggo Mortensen. It is the summer of 1969. The Apollo Mission is on its way to the moon. The war in Vietnam - and the war against it at home - are raging. Flower power is in; the Establishment is out. Yet life hasn't changed one bit for Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane Lane), a beautiful, young housewife who feels like these catalytic times are passing her by. Far from getting turned on and tuned out, she's been busy raising children and being a faithful wife. This summer, while others are on their way to March on Washington and to find enlightenment in India, Pearl is en route to Dr. Fogler's Bungalows, a Catskills summer resort where Sinatra, Kashrut, and kvellhing are the order of the day. But what lies ahead is her own season of sensuous discovery and tumultuous changes. In this summer of love, the Kantrowitz family is about to explore exactly what love means. Pearl brings in tow her urgently adolescent, petulant, daughter Alison (Anna Paquin with some Aussie in her voice) and her precocious young son Daniel, as well as their meddling yet eerily prophetic grandmother (Tovah Feldshuh). But staying behind is her husband Marty (Liev Schreiber), a mensch, a square, and a devoted television repairman to whom Pearl fears she was married far too young and far too soon. At Dr. Fogler's Bungalows, the world is normally kept at bay. The only outside visitors are travelling salesmen who show up each day with something special for the ladies. There's the "Knish Man," "The Ice Cream Man" and then there's "The Blouse Man," who drives his eagerly-awaited bus filled with women's fashions to the resort.

Pavel and Lyalya (a Jerusalem Romance)

TITLE: Pavel and Lyalya (a Jerusalem Romance)
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Victor Kossakovsky
COUNTRY: Russia
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME:
SOURCE: Jane Balfour Films, Burghley House, 35 Fortress Rd, London England UK jbf@janebalfourfilms.co.uk
TEXT: A beautiful ode to Lyalya's love and devotion to her dying husband, the film is a meticulously photographed metaphor for his impending death. It was shot during the last day of the filmmakers' Jerusalem visit with the couple, who are both respected Russian filmmakers. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Amsterdam Doc Fest.

Hephzibah

TITLE: Hephzibah
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Curtis Levy
COUNTRY: Australia
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 75
SOURCE: Jane Balfour Films, 35 Fortress Road, London NW5 1aQ, United Kingdom, Tel: 44 171 2675392 Fax: 44 171 267 4241
TEXT: a portrait of Hephzibah Menuhin, talented concert pianist and sister of the world-famous violinist, Yehudi. Unlike her brother, she abandoned her life as a musician at age 18 when she married Lindsay Nicholas, a wealthy Aussie, and moved from California to a remote Australian sheep farm; the film attempts to understand why she did this and why she left everything to make a change. After wwII, when she visited Europe she sensed her alientaion from her former life of luxury. She separated from her husband, left her children, and married the Viennese sociologist, Richard Hauser. They moved to London where the fought for Human Rights around the world. Winner of the Silver Wolf for Best Documentary at Amsterdam Fest. Also shown at docaviv in April 1999

Living. Period

TITLE: Living. Period
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Vered Tendler-Dayan
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew
TIME: 50
SOURCE: ZEBRA PRODUCTIONS 49 Shalom Alechem St. Tel Aviv Israel Tel: +972 3 5250620 Fax: +972 3 5253974
TEXT: screened at docaviv film festival in tel aviv. documentary portrait of the director-screenwriter-actor, and cultural hero to many, Assi Dayan, muttering, cursing, at home, in bed, watching a soap opera, grocery shopping, at work on his films. Filmed over the course of two years. Directed by his live in companion. She writes, "I always thought that too many people know too many less important things about Assi... I made the film with great love." Some call it genius, others pretentious.

The Specialist

TITLE: The Specialist (Un Spécialiste) Portrait of a Modern Criminal
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Eyal Sivan
COUNTRY: France/Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and German with English ST
TIME: 128 minutes
SOURCE: Amythos, 51 Ashkenazy Street, Tel Aviv, Israel. Amitbamythos@attmail.com or Arcapix & Intermedia Arc Pictures, London; or from Doc & Co. 13 rue Portefoin, 75003 Paris, France, Tel: 331-4277-5687, Fax: 331-4272-6482 email: CatLeclef@compuserve.com
TEXT: Hannah Arendt said that Eichmann was an ordinary man whose "normality is much more terrifying than all atrocities together." This is a legal courtroom drama, based on raw material filmed at the Eichmann trial and never before revealed to the public. It 350 hours of raw footage was shot in 1961 by Leo Horowitz. Here is Eichmann, the mediocre nebbish, the bureaucrat in charge of the deaths of millions who respects order and law, sitting in a courtroom, he is a master of denial. Over the 2 hours of the film, a portrait of a frightening yet average man develops. One understands the banality of evil by watching this film. According to Variety, it "recasts footage from the 1961 Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann into a hypnotic dance of bureaucratic stubbornness, highlighting the very ordinariness of this eccentric, relentlessly unrepentant monster.... Organized into 13 sections punctuated by blackouts, the film immediately announces itself as something other than a straight presentation of the material: the prologue is composed of disembodied voices from the trial recordings and a discordant, foreboding score." Eichmann admits the crimes were committed but insists that he was "weak and powerless" to stop it. He invokes a parade of deflections - "That was unfortunate, but it wasn't my fault," "I had orders to carry out" and endless other variations. Defense lawyer Robert Servatius hardly says a word on behalf of his client, while the three Israeli judges of German origin each approach the accused in a different manner. The audience at the trial is glimpsed only briefly (a few protesters are escorted out), yet an entire section of the film is devoted to the testimony of survivors (whose faces are digitally superimposed on the booth's glass). Note the following digital effects: 1. the guards flanking Eichmann are subtly erased and replaced. 2. the spirit of the evil civil servant is still alive in a cubicle somewhere, just waiting to be summoned. The courtroom footage was filmed in Israel by Leo T. Hurwitz who was blacklisted by Hollywood. Tom Waits' "Russian Dance" is played over the closing credits.

Bombing / PIGU'A

TITLE: Bombing - PIGU'A
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Simone Bitton
COUNTRY: Israel, France, Belgium
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic and English ST
TIME: 60
SOURCE: Noga Communications, 4 Raul Walenberg Street, Tel Aviv Israel Tel: 972 3 6459999 Fax: 972 3 6482118
TEXT: Received an Honorable Mention at the docaviv fest, and was broadcast on Israel Channel 8 in April 1999. On September 4, 1997 their was a bombing of the Ben-Yehuda mall. Today there is a plaque to the 5 dead Israelis. Simone Bitton, the director wonders about having a plaque to the 3 dead terrorists. Okay, you get the idea of the film. (The 5 Israelis were Rami Kozashvili, Eli Markovich, and Sivan Zarka, Yael Botwin, and Smadar Peled Elhanan. The wounded included Michal Wurgaft and Daniella Birman). After a suicide terrorist attack in Jerusalem, the director follows the bereaved families on the Israeli and the Palestinian sides. The suicide bombers were all from the same West Bank village of Asira a-Shamaliya. Tha Hamas bombers were Tawfiq Yasin, Bashar Sawalha, Yusef Shuli, and Mu-awiya Jarar. The Israelis are dealing with the loss of there children (3 of the victims were 14 years of age). The Palestinian families are dealing with collective punishment, the destruction of their homes, and the loss of their sons. A relationship emerges between the parents of one of the injured Israeli girls (they are both journalists) and the parent of one terrorist. Note to file: As Simone Bitton told Haaretz in April 1999, she describes herself as a French Israeli Moroccan who resides in Paris, but rented in Nahlaot/Jerusalem. She was born in Rabat's middle class A-Tur Hassan neighborhood and her family moved to Israel after her mother pleaded to be closer to her family who had already moved. They had a stressful aliyah, and fell into poverty and her father fell into alcoholism. At 16 she became a follower of the Black Panthers and Matzpen. After her stint in the Nahal settled in Paris. Sabra and Shatila changed her. She returned to Israel in 1982 to film her Boyer high school reunion which became the film, Ha-Yoredet. In 1989 she organized the Toledo Conference in which Sephardic Jews met with the PLO. Her next project, her most ambitious, is she wants to direct a film on the Morrocan Jewish experience in Israel. As she says, "sephardim, like Palestinians are the victims of Zionism."

Stress

TITLE: Stress
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Rashid Mashrawi and Duki Dror
COUNTRY: Israel, Palestinian Authority
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Arabic with English ST
TIME: 52
SOURCE: jazz productions, 61/a Ben Gurion Street, Bat Yam, Israel 59372. Tel: 972 3 506 13 58 Fax: 972 3 508 2752
TEXT: Received the Soundtrack Award at the docaviv festival. Silence and sound. The pa and israel. A film about life in the PA and Israel. Filmed in the summer of 1998. In "tension" Mashrawi shows a collection of color silent pix to force apathetic people to listen, while dror follows a radio police reporter anda taxi driver to get a feel for ordinary life, and the flux between anxiety, apathy and hope. Duki felt it was like 'waiting for godot'

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi

TITLE: Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Avi Mograbi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 77
SOURCE: write to Avi Mograbi, 5 Bilu Street, Tel Aviv 65222 Israel. Fax: 972 3 685 9154 Tel: 972 3 6858889 Email: mograbi@netvision.net.il
TEXT: premiered at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival. Avi Mograbi strings together stories about his commissions to make fiftieth anniversary films about both Israeli independence and the Palestinanian nakba (catastrophe), and his failed attempt to make a new home for himself.
Avi Mograbi, a documentary filmmaker is hired by a TV producer to make a film about the celebrations of Israel's fiftieth anniversary. The producer is tuned in to the media, and his mood swings accordingly. When the unemployment crisis breaks out, he washes his hands of the anniversary film and seeks to make a penetrating, socially engaged film instead. The deadlock in the peace-process leads the producer to a decision to make a film that will bring peace to the Middle East. During the newly awakened Gulf crisis the producer shuts himself away behind polyethylene sheets, gas-mask on. At this point he is not interested in making any film at all. In the meantime a Palestinian film-producer from the Palestinian Authority makes contact with Mograbi. The Palestinians, too, mark the fiftieth anniversary - of the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem - the Nakba (catastrophe). He asks Mograbi to help him out in producing a film about the Nakba. He wants him to shoot locations that used to be Palestinian and became Jewish settlements following the 1948 War. He only wants pictures of places, no interviews nor events. Just places, houses, ruins, signs of life lost. The same filmmaker tells the camera a story about himself, a story involving the purchase of a lot in the outskirts of the city, with the intention of building a small house to improve the quality of living, fulfill the Israeli Dream. This optimistic project turns into a sheer nightmare. Questions of ownership of the lot lead to violence between neighbors. He develops an obsession of self-documentation. Fragments of supposedly unplanned shooting find their way into the film and construct a personal, seemingly documentary, narrative. During an interview concerning the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations, Mograbi discovers that this year his own forty second birthday and the State of Israel's fiftieth Anniversary - which is celebrated according the Hebrew calendar - coincide. The material he shoots for the Palestinian project becomes a kind of a disruption of the film. The remains of the destroyed Palestinian villages invade the film as a kind of pirate broadcasts over legitimate channels. Shots of ruined Palestinian houses, of Palestinian homes turned into Jewish homes, of settlements sprouting ruins of former villages - take over the picture while the sound-track tells the history of those places. In its last third, the film becomes an argument, a strife between its three channels, its three narratives. Each one tries to overcome the others and take over the screen. One story may take control for a minute, then another disrupts and takes over with a kind of "video static". The film ends on the eve of Israel's Independence Day. People are celebrating in the streets. The Palestinians in the Occupied Territories mark the Al Nakba - the catastrophe. Fireworks light up the sky. Palestinian protesters are shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Mograbi sits at home alone and finishes the telling of the three parallel stories.
Variety writes, " The film switches artfully back and forth between the three stories, providing Mograbi with a challenging and entertaining forum in which to address serious issues facing the nation of Israel. The result is a sardonic mosaic sure to offend and delight any audience anywhere near as heterogeneous as The Holy Land... "Likely to provoke spirited discussion on the nature of media, commemorations and, of course, politics..." Maariv writes, "The advantage of the film lies, first and foremost, in the successful attempt of Avi Mograbi who wrote and directed it, to maneuver between the ridiculous and the solemn, between amused mockery of the local mayhem and serious unequivocal criticism of this society, whose so called spiritual side is manifested by Netanyahu's speeches and Rita's screeching the lyrics of the national anthem.." Awards: Doc-Aviv Film Festival - Tel Aviv - Distinguished Filmmaker Award; Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival; Special Mention in the international competition - Festival of New Film - Split; Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; Festival of Jewish Cinema - Australia; Boston Jewish Film Festival.

Three Sisters

TITLE: Three Sisters
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Tsipi Reibenbach
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Yiddish, Polish, and Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 68 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: TSIPI PRODUCTIONS 4/40 Eliyahu Chakim St. Tel Aviv 69120 Israel Tel:+972 3 6428073 Fax: +972 3 6415115
TEXT: Screened at docavic festival, where it received the cinematography award. a documentary about three sisters in their seventies, now living in Israel. Two reside in their Tel Aviv apartments; one resides in a nursing home. All three were once in love with the same man. They are the mother and two aunt's of the director. Emotional without sentimentality. The sisters are not self-conscious, they forget about the camera, and the viewer gets an intimate portrait of their lives. They are holocaust survivors, and residents of Tel Aviv. We watch them as they live their lives in their apartments, cooking, doing laundry, caring for their husbands, going to the doctor, attending a funeral. Reibenbach said at docaviv that the film cost $325K to produce. Some of the $$ were provided by ZDB, the German television company. No music soundtrack. Tsippi writes, "How do you make a film about lost love and lost youth, about old age, with three sisters who do not meet, are usually silent, live in the shadow of their trauma of the past and fear of death in the present, and all this with a picture which contains humor? Come and see for yourselves. See you."

Children of the Revolution

TITLE: Children of the Revolution
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Riso Tsror
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew
TIME: 64
SOURCE: Kol Ha'emet productions, POB 14484 Tel Aviv 61143 Israel Tel 972 3 510-1447 Fax: 972 3 5162816
TEXT: Shown at docaviv. A group of ultra-orthodox young people take travel t o Kiryat Shmona, to give it a "push up" and double the strength of the Shas party in the local elections. They cover the twon for 10 days, following a carefully detailed plan drawn up by their rabbi. These children of the revolution were pre-schoolers when the Shas revolution occurred in 1984. The 10 yeshiva students are led by Yosef Hayyim, an 18 year old from Bnai Brak of Turkish and Yemeni ancestry. He is the chief protagonist in the film and he and his crew are the future leaders of Shas.

Ecole 27

TITLE: Ecole 27
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Szymonn Zateski and Marilyn Wataler
COUNTRY: Belgium
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 64 minutes
SOURCE: contact docaviv or Cinema du Reel
TEXT: The director sets out to find his friends and teachers from the last Jewish school in Poland in the nineteen sixties

Stars

TITLE: Stars
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Ziva Postak
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 100 minutes, video
SOURCE: Lora Productions. 8 Raziel Street, Tel Aviv Israel 68120. Tel/Fax; 972 3 681 6989
TEXT: shown at the docaviv festival, where it won for Best Direction and Best Israeli Documentary Film. An intimate film about an institution for the mentally challenged in Herzliya, based on involvement of the filming team with the residents. Two years of research and two months of filming created close ties between the residents and the filmmakers. The film follows several residents in their daily lives of waking, washing, eating, and activities. We learn to understand the concept of "personal growth" within the retarded community, as well as among the filmmakers. It is only through an establishment of contact with "the Other" that we find that we can overcome "the Other" within ourselves. As Ziva Postak wrote, "In making Stars, I learned about the hidden worldm, which has no real reason for being hidden. It is society which causes it to be hidden."

David Rubinger - Eye Witness

TITLE: David Rubinger - Eye Witness
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Micha Shagrir / Yael Hadasi-Bachar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 50 minutes video
SOURCE: Shiba Communications 2 Aminadav street, Jerusalem 93549 Israel, Tel 972 2 673 4587 Fax: 972 3 671 8773.
TEXT: a documentary on David Rubinger. Who is rubinger? david rubinger is the Time-Life photographer whose images of Israel over the past 50 years has shaped the world's perception of the state. Among his most famous pics are of the crew of the "Bat Galim" ship that tried to break the blockade of the Suez Canal in 1955; a mother and two daughters in kibbutz Gadot after their home was hit by a Syrian rocket in 1967; Ella Yosefi of Bet Shean after the news of a terrorist attack at the town school in 1970; a female soldier during the 1973 war treating the wounded; and of course, the soldiers at the Kotel in June 1967. In this film, Rubinger returns to the places and the people he has photographed over the years, and through his pictures he guides us to the realities of 1998.

A World To Come

TITLE: A World To Come
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Mira Sharf
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 5 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: Premiered at Toronto Jewish Film Fest, tjff.com,
TEXT: Leonard Nimoy narrates this animated fable about two blue people, Ubar and Uberet, who wonder what life after death is like. The answer is surprising.

Natie The Pirate

TITLE: Natie the Pirate
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Ron Yavnieli
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 11 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: contact tjff.com
TEXT: Oy, Ahoy! Natie meets Matey as an Odessa peddler is mistaken for a fearsome pirate in this uproarious animated adventure.

Juliet Finkelstein Does The Hamptons

TITLE: Juliet Finkelstein Does The Hamptons
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Sherri Cooper
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 17 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: screened at The Toronto JFF, tjff.com
TEXT: Juliet just wants to meet a guy, preferably Jewish, and where better to do that than at the Hamptons? A hip, personable comedy about love, romance and sex, not necessarily in that order. From ex-Torontonian Sherri Cooper, who is in the process of remaking her short into a feature film.

MELVIN SCHMATZMAN: FREUDIAN DENTIST

TITLE: MELVIN SCHMATZMAN: FREUDIAN DENTIST
YEAR: 1997
DIR/PROD: David Grotell
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 20 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: Gender bending, cross dressing and extreme role playing are part of the therapy when womanizing dentist Melvin Schmatzman finds out that his son is gay. A lunatic, crazy and sweet comedy for the 90s.

Bye Bye Yahweh

TITLE: Bye Bye Yahweh
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: James Mandrinos
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 7 minutes in video
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: Forty year-old Schlemiel Irving meets God, who, he thinks, speaks to him from inside a cigarette butt! Written by Benny Benowitz.

Split

TITLE: Split
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Dan Tal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 50 minutes in video
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: Filmmaker Dan Tal's father, born a German Christian, came to Israel, married a Kibbutz girl and converted to Judaism. Now years later, he returns to Germany and to his estranged family to ask what they did during the war. Although the answers don't come easy, the issues of identity and guilt make for a provocative documentary.

Primetime War

TITLE: Primetime War
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Noam Shalev
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 51 minute video
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: Noam Shalev's controversial documentary follows two cameramen: an Israeli and a Palestinian, as they film violent acts in Hebron and Jerusalem. Just as often, they stand around joking and waiting for the actors in the ancient Middle Eastern drama to assume their roles. Does the camera cover the story or create it?

Moskowitz's City

TITLE: Moskowitz's CIty
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Michael Karpin
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 30 video
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: From Michael Karpin (The Road to Rabin Square) comes a hard-hitting exposé of Irving Moskowitz, the American millionaire whose donations ­ derived from bingo parlour proceeds from a virtually bankrupt Hispanic-American town ­ fuel Arab-Israeli tensions in Jerusalem.

RAW IMAGES FROM THE OPTIC CROSS

TITLE: RAW IMAGES FROM THE OPTIC CROSS
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Karl Nussbaum
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 23 minutes in 35 mm
SOURCE: tjff.com
TEXT: Karl Nussbaum juxtaposes his bittersweet recollections of growing up Jewish in America with his painful relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor. Surrealistic, beautifully shot and unlike any other Holocaust remembrance you've ever seen.

NOVEMBER 29, 1947

TITLE: NOVEMBER 29, 1947
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Dov Gil-Har
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 17 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: One of the most famous photos in Zionist history is recreated by Time photographer David Rubinger, exactly 50 years after he first took it. That was the day the U.N. decided to partition Palestine, an act which led towards the establishment of the state of Israel. Locating the original participants, or their surviving family members, brings to the fore the dreams deferred, the hopes dashed but also the joys lived in an historic period.

Jews' Blues

TITLE: Jews' Blues
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Avi Hemy
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 56 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Meet an unusual group of people who, to celebrate Israel's 50th anniversary, and to benefit the Jewish National Fund in England, organized a classic car rally from London to Jerusalem. Led by a born again Christian and attracting all manner of Jewish eccentrics, the rally brought together people who shared both a love for Israel and for vintage automobiles. Mishaps, misunderstandings and newly formed friendships all came out of this unique event. (why, isn't that the story of Israel?) A charming, touching film journey.

STATELESS, ARROGANT AND LUNATIC

TITLE: STATELESS, ARROGANT AND LUNATIC
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Lena Einhorn
COUNTRY: Sweden
LANGUAGE: English and German w/ English ST
TIME: 100 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: The amazing true story of Gilel Storch ­ a mysterious Latvian Jewish refugee in Sweden. He initiated talks with leading Nazi Heinrich Himmler to save Jews from the gas chambers in the waning days of the war. That Himmler would consent to meet with a Jewish representative, is just one of the many remarkable revelations in this documentary/drama. One of the strangest stories of World War Two and an enthralling film. Winner, Picture & Word Academy Award, Stockholm, 1998

I am Dekel

TITLE: I am Dekel
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Yoram Chertok
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 28 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Dekel Shekarzi is special. Though afflicted with Down's Syndrome, he leads a full, active life, supported by his loving family. He would, however, like to marry and settle down but he prefers "normal" girls. I Am Dekel shines a new light on a little understood segment of society and challenges our perceptions in the process. Unforgettable.

L. A. MOHEL

TITLE: L. A. MOHEL
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: David Bezmozgis
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 22 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Toronto filmmaker David Bezmozgis profiles three L.A. mohels; one of the first female mohels, an Orthodox mohel of the old school and a younger man, known as "The Mohel to the Stars." An entertaining, smart look behind the scenes of ritual circumcision.

HIGH HOLiDAYS WITH MOSCOW HILLEL STUDENTS

TITLE: HIGH HOLiDAYS WITH MOSCOW HILLEL STUDENTS
YEAR: 1997
DIR/PROD: Sam Zisman
COUNTRY: Russia
LANGUAGE: English, Russian with English subtitles
TIME: 7 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: The revival of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union is celebrated through footage of young Russian Jews praying and talking about their return to Judaism. The director examines their hunger for knowledge of their previously forbidden culture. A touching portrait of a community that has finally tasted freedom.

Bronstein's Children

TITLE: Bronstein's Children
YEAR: 1991
DIR/PROD: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: German with English ST
TIME: 95 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: An assimilated young Jew has to choose between loyalty to his father and his feelings about vengeance when he discovers that his father is helping to keep prisoner ­ and torturing ­ a former concentration camp guard. The post-Holocaust generation must confront those who lived through the horror in this disquieting drama. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Shine) is a standout as a bitter Jew who seeks to wrest the truth from those who deny what they did during the war.

The Cruise

TITLE: The Cruise
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Bennett Miller
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 76 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Meet Timothy 'Speed' Levitch, an eccentric, wounded soul who just may be the best tour guide in New York City. He knows everything about anyone famous who ever lived ­ or died ­ there. But it's his staccato patter, twisted use of the English language, and charming goofiness that makes him stand out from the crowd. Bennett Miller's touching documentary follows the highly articulate Levitch on his rounds. He lets him expound on his offbeat philosophy of life and also allows him to quietly disclose his inner pain and torment. 'Speed' is also a comic able to win over the audience with his remarkable personality and wit.

Nebitara

TITLE: Nebitara
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Ron Goldman
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 16 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: A boy and his grandfather, who share a love for old coins, clash as the youngster prepares to move to America with his family.

PASTRY, PAIN AND POLITICS

TITLE: PASTRY, PAIN AND POLITICS
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Stina Werenfels
COUNTRY: SWITZERLAND
LANGUAGE: English, Yiddish, and Swiss-German with English subtitles
TIME: 32 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Starring Jack Carter, Viola Harris, Neza Selbuz. Veteran comedian Jack Carter portrays a curmudgeonly Jew whose hospitalization while on vacation in Switzerland puts him under the care of a bitter Palestinian nurse. His intolerant comments and her anti-Zionist jibes obscure the fact that these two people have more in common than they realize. An unsentimental and brave drama.

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER "...ABOUT A HIDDEN GOD..."

TITLE: ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER "...ABOUT A HIDDEN GOD..."
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Isy Morgensztern
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 50 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: An affectionate tribute to the late, great Yiddish writer. He comments on his fame, his Nobel Prize for Literature, why he writes in Yiddish, and his philosophy of love, sex, women and Judaism. With arresting historical footage of the young Singer and narrated excerpts from his books and stories.

Minyan on the Mira

TITLE: Minyan on the Mira
YEAR: 1997
DIR/PROD: Sonya Jampolsky, Michael MacDonald.
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 50 minute video
SOURCE: www.cinematheque.bc.ca/previous/jewish.html
TEXT: Minyan on the Mira is about an orthodox Jewish congregation in an isolated town on the east coast of Canada. They have kept their synagogue open decades longer than anyone expected, but two recent deaths and the imminent move of the president of the congregation leave their future very much in doubt. Minyan on the Mira is an intimate look at a remarkable group of people who, like so many other small Jewish communities around the world, face difficult questions and much uncertainty about their fate.

Twoyosi

TITLE: Two Yosi / Shnay Yosi
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Yael Kieper-Zaretsky and Einat Fishbein
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English St
TIME: 58 minutes video
SOURCE: Yael Kieper-Zaretsky and Einat Fishbein, 42 Merkaz Balay Mlacha street, Tel Aviv Israel. Tel 972 3 629 6239 Fax: 972 3 525 1939
TEXT: In the winter of 1997, 20 homeless families broke into an abandoned building in Jaffa and became squatters. Most of these squatters were single parent families headed by women. One was a single parent family headed by a man -- Yosi. Yosi Ben Baruch is a single parent of four boys, and a senior fire officer in Jaffa. After his divorce, he lost his wife, kids, and house. But his kids ran away to live with him. Yet he must still pay child support to his former wife. Thus he lives with 2 of his sons in the squat. On the one hand, he is homeless. On the other, he is a senior fireman. At night he fights the authorities. At day, he is an authority who risks his life for others. It is a story of poverty and deterioration.

Kadosh

TITLE: Kadosh
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Amos Gitai
COUNTRY: Israel and France
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 110
SOURCE: Agav and Shuki Friedman Productions in Israel, or MT Productions in Paris. Or UGC Interantional
TEXT: Selected to compete at Cannes in May 1999 (52nd Cannes). The last official entry at Cannes from Israel was in 1974 (Moshe Mizrachi's Abu al-banat) This is based on the French Jewish novel by Ilea Abackasis about love in a Haredi community in Mea Shearim. Stars Yael Abuskasis, Yoram Hatav, Metal Barda, ori Klausner, Sami Houri, Lea Kenig, and Rivka Michaeli. The film is a protest against the religious right and its treatment of women. Kadosh is the third part of Gitaï's trilogy about life in three Israeli cities. Devarim (1995) was set in Tel Aviv, Yom Yom (1998) in Haifa and Kadosh is situated in Mea Shearim, an ultra-orthodox area of Jerusalem. It is an area that protects itself anxiously against modern urban and profane influences by the rabbi, who exercises strong religious and social control. Rivka and Malka are two sisters who are confronted with the rigidity of faith and the suffocating climate within a community where free human interaction is not possible. Rivka has been married to Meir for ten years, but they still have no children. Meir is put under pressure to divorce Rivka and marry another woman to safeguard his succession. Malka is in love with a man who has been banished from the community, so the relationship is doomed in the eyes of the rabbi. He decides that Malka has to marry his assistant Yossef. Both women give in to the pressures of their faith, but in a very different way. The clear and detailed Kadosh is an almost anthropological investigation into the way in which religious extremism and patriarchal repression intervene in people's lives and also looks at the value of faith that does not really allow any private life. Gitaï does this in the form of a heart-rending classical tragedy. Note to File: Gee Amos, why not just wear your contempt on your sleave.

Annie Hall

TITLE: Annie Hall
YEAR: 1977
DIR/PROD: Woody Allen / Joffe and Rollins and Greenhut
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
Click here to buy the video for less than $12
TEXT: Woody Allen as the character Alvie Singer woos the non-Jewish (WASPy) babe Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton. A neurotic romance and classic comedy. Or in the words of Leonard Malton, "Woody's best film, an autobiographical love story with incisive Allenisms on romance, relationships, fame, N. Y. C. vs. L. A. , and sundry other topics. Warm, witty, intelligent Oscar winner for Best Picture, Actress, Direction, Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman). Look sharp and you'll spot future stars Jeff Goldblum (at the L. A. party), Shelley Hack (on the street), Beverly D'Angelo (on a TV monitor), and Sigourney Weaver (as Woody's date seen in extreme long-shot near the end of the picture).

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