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The Angel Levine

TITLE: The Angel Levine
YEAR: 1970
DIR/PROD: Jan Kadar
TIME: 104
TEXT: Based on a story by Bernard Malamud. Starring Harry Belafonte, Gloria Foster and Eli Wallach. An angel's mission to provide a miracle for an elderly couple is hindered by their lack of faith.

Barton Fink

TITLE: Barton Fink
YEAR: 1991
DIR/PROD: Joel Coen / Ethan and Joel Coen
TIME: 116
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TEXT: Stars John Turturro and John Goodman. In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer's block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task.

Batman Returns (1992)

TITLE: Batman Returns
YEAR: 1992
DIR/PROD: Tim Burton
TIME: 126
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TEXT: Nasty, nihilistic nightmare movie about an abandoned freak baby who grows up to be The Penguin--a deadly threat to Gotham City, especially when he teams up with megalomaniac Max Schreck (named after the actor who played Nosferatu)(Christopher Walken). Meanwhile, Batman finds a more personal enemy in Catwoman. Stars Michael Keaton. Michelle Pfeiffer, and Danny DeVito. Although it is part of the Batman trilogy of films, it is also a story of identity. Is the Penguin a symbol for The Jew? Sent down a river like Moses in an ark (teva)? Shunned from society? Filled with a nefarious hidden agenda to destroy?

Body and Soul

TITLE: Body and Soul
YEAR: 1947
DIR/PROD: Robert Rosen
TIME: 104
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TEXT: Also known as An Affair of the Heart. Written by Abraham Polonsky, who would later become blacklisted. John Garfield (nominated for Best Actor) plays Charley Davis, a Jewish boxer, who wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a fight for money. His career blooms as he wins fight after fight, but soon an unethical promoter named Roberts begins to show an interest in Charley, and Charley finds himself faced with increasingly difficult choices. More than just another boxing movie, this film is a statement about the role of money. Superbly shot by two-time Oscar winner James Wong Howe, especially the unforgettable, climactic fight scenes - which heavily influenced Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull a generation later.

The Frisco Kid

TITLE: The Frisco Kid
YEAR: 1979
DIR/PROD: Robert Aldrich
TIME: 95
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TEXT: In 1850's America, a Polish rabbi forms an uneasy alliance with an inept outlaw bank robber, on his way to his new congregation and wife in San Francisco. Stars Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford (who had just done Star Wars). Other cast includes: Leo Fuchs (Chief Rabbi); Jack Somack (Samuel Bender); Beege Barkett (Sarah Mindl); Shay Duffin (O'Leary); Walter Janowitz; Joe Kapp; Henry Rowland; John Steadman and Steffen Zacharias. Another name for the film was "No Knife."


TITLE: Clueless
YEAR: 1995
DIR/PROD: Amy Heckerling
TIME: 95
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TEXT: Jane Austen's Emma meets Beverley Hills 90210 in US West Coast teen lifestyle parody. Alicia Silverstone plays "Cher Horowitz" Paul Rudd plays Josh. Cher, a high school student in Beverly Hills, must survive the ups and downs of adolescent life. Her external demeanor at first seems superficial, but rather it hides her wit, charm, and intelligence which help her to deal with relationships, friends, family, school, and the all-important teenage social life.

Funny Girl

TITLE: Funny Girl
YEAR: 1968
DIR/PROD: William "Billy" Wyler
TIME: 151 (2.5 hours)
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TEXT: Omar Sharif and Streisand star. Barbara Streisand's Oscar-winning film debut as Fanny Brice, singer-comedienne whose unhappy private life contrasted comic antics onstage. The score is by Robert Merrill and Jule Styne. Contains the song "People who Need People" and ``Don't Rain on My Parade, ``My Man'' and ``Second Hand Rose. In Panavision.

The Gestapo's Last Orgy

TITLE: The Gestapo's Last Orgy
YEAR: 1976
DIR/PROD: Cesare Canevari
LANGUAGE: Italina w/ English ST
SOURCE: Magnum Video
TEXT: Lise Cohen is taken to a special prisoner-of-war camp for female Jews, a camp run as a bordello to entertain the German officers and troops going in to battle. The camp is run with an iron fist by Commandant Starker and his minion Alma. Starker becomes frustrated when Lise demonstrates no fear, and devises cruel experiments to scare her, to no avail. Once she realizes her guilt is unfounded, Lise begins to play Starker's game, but even though she begins living a better life, she doesn't forget the atrocities she has seen and experienced. Known as L'Ultima orgia del III Reich


TITLE: Voyages
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Emmanuel Finkiel / Yael Fogiel
LANGUAGE: French and Yiddish w/ English ST
TIME: 110 minutes
SOURCE: A New Yorker Film release. Contact New Yorker Films in NYC; or Mk2 Diffusion, Paris 55 Rue Traversi(re, 75012 Paris, France Tel: 33 1 4467 3011 Fax: 33 1 4341 3230
TEXT: By far the Best Jewish film of 1999. Winner of two Cesar Awards in Paris (French Oscars) for best editing and best first feature. Shown at Cannes 1999 and at New Directors/MOMA March 2000. What are we losing? What are we searching for? Although we are in the present and tranquil, how close are our pasts? The story of the solitude of women in three parts. Three stories, but what is the connection? Is there a connection? You'll have to watch to learn. The film opens with a busload of elderly Jews on a tour of Poland. Rivka is so lost in thought at an old Jewish cemetery (in Krakow) that she gets momentarily left behind, and the bus drives away. The long shots of the trees; the buzz saw in the background. Chills in the audience. The event only ticks her off and allows her long-suppressed resentment towards her husband to emerge. Why didn't he notice that she was missing from the group? [Note to file. This couple are professional actors, the rest are not actors]
When the bus breaks down on the way to Katowice you know how ironic it is, you know what they are thinking, how they survived the death camps only to break down on a transport in Poland - desolation, the unknown, no one will help. And when another bus pulls up, and the windows are fogged, looking for a connection... chills in the audience.
Next we are in Paris. Here in the eternal city, Regine, a widow, receives a phone call. Her father is alive and living in Lithuania. But didn't he die in a death camp 53 years ago? At the train station, she meets a very old man who barely recognizes her. He explains that after the camp was liberated, he started walking east and wound up behind the Iron Curtain. Is he really her father? Can memories be trusted? What will she tell her children and grandchildren?
Next we are in Israel. Vera, an 85-year-old former Moscovite is all alone. She knows no one in Israel, but finds a cousin living in a retirement home in South Tel Aviv. Vera is out of place. She is the universal grandmother of us all. She wears heavy clothes in the sweltering Tel Aviv heat. On her way back to her immigrant lodgings in Rishon (although the sign near the beach says Holon), Vera gets lost; she is heading in the wrong direction, North instead of South. Or is she actually directionless, because her past has disappeared and future in unknown? Rivka is sitting near her on the bus. She invites her over to help her recover with a cool drink in the cooling rain, and then there is a phone call....
Rivka is played by the Israeli actress Shulamit Adar; Regine is played by Liliane Rovere, and VERA is played by Esther Gorintin. Vera's cousin is played by Guita Gruzina.
Note to file: Vera is played by a non-actor. She is actually a French Jewish woman who speaks Russian, Yiddish, French and a few other languages.
Note to file2: Is there any symbolism to the bus ads in Israel? Or the political ad poster at the bus stop? Or is just coincidence. Obviously it is not coincidence that a child on a Paris bus is crying for her Papa.
Note to File 3: At Cannes, journalists tried to classify the film either in the tradition of "Night and Fog" or "Shoah," which are documentaries, or in the vein of "Schindler's List" or "Life is Beautiful." Certain critics at Cannes insisted that Spielberg and Benigni be tied to a chair and forced to watch "Voyages!" Finkiel served as an assitant to Kieslowski (Three Colors trilogy), Godard and Tavernier. The film budget was 16 million francs.
Emmanuel Finkiel takes an unusual stand on camera angles. "I think there's a lot of emotion in people's backs," he says. "Filming characters from behind helps to free them from their fictional framework." Or as he also puts it: "Ozu's cinematographer once said that to find the truth of a tree, instead of making a wide shot, even with the world's best lighting, it is better to frame a section of branch which encapsulates it all." Which should give some indication of his film's structure, shifting in time and space, telling three intertwined stories that take place in Poland, Paris and Tel Aviv. "While I was working on the script," says Finkiel, "I tried to recreate the feelings I had years ago when I first heard the incredible tales of these people scattered all over the world but whose lives were intertwined; all these funny old people with quaint accents, cousins and old aunts who'd been separated and spent their time meeting again, or looking for each other or missing each other. Each story was unique, and yet seemed to be part of a whole, single movement, which is why I used a linear narrative style for the three stories."
(Awarded a special mention by both a jury of readers from the Austrian daily "Der Standard" and the FIPRESCI critics at the Viennale 1999.
Finkiel also directed Madame Jacques sur la Crosette, in 1996, about a group of elderly Jews meet regularly on the Croisette in Cannes. Maurice, a widower, is weary of this organized boredom. He eagerly awaits the arrival of the widow, Madame Jacques. Available from Les Films du Poisson/ 24 rue de Dunkerque / F-75010 Paris / Tél. +33-1-45 26 90 01 / Fax +33-1-45 26 80 60

Women of the Wall

TITLE: Women of the Wall
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Faye Lederman
LANGUAGE: English with some Hebrew in English Subtitles
TIME: 30 min. 16mm film
SOURCE: Faye Lederman, 229 W. 105th Street #42, New York, NY 10025, Tel: 212- 865-4374 Email is preferred. Email her at:, Website:
TEXT: Feminism arrives at the "Kotel," or Western Wall, in Jerusalem. Since 1989, a group of Jewish immigrant women, both Orthodox and Reform, have fought against Orthodox restrictions prohibiting them from leading prayer, donning prayer shawls and head coverings, and reading from the Torah at the Kotel. Through interviews with women in the group and Israeli religious and political leaders, we are given insight into the diverse religious interpretations of Judaism in Israel. Note to file: In Spring 2000, the Israeli Supreme Court decided that they may pray at the wall.

Divan -The Couch

TITLE: Divan - The Couch. A documentary by Pearl Gluck
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Pearl Gluck
TIME: 60
Or contact Pearl at 212-477-7108 for info on its editing and to CONTRIBUTE towards its completion at Divan Productions contact pearl gluck at
TEXT: World Premiere on May 7, 2003 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Divan is a documentary film about a Jewish woman, Pearl Gluck, 27, who is a former member of a Hungarian Hasidic sect, who embarks on a quirky journey to retrieve a couch, a family heirloom, upon which many Hasidic leaders have rested and slept in Rohod, Hungary (where only 5% of the Jews survived the War) (Koszony). What started as a story about a couch becomes an introspective tale of parents, expectations, and children. She left the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn at age 15 with her mother. (cue the tune of Lech Lecha). In the film, she returns to her roots on her own terms and she explores the possibility of culturally re-upholstering the couch and Jewish life. In other words, the couch presents itself as a prop on which one can meditate upon a return to one's roots (Freudian, no?). A fascinating film, at least the first 15 minutes of the Work-in-Progress that I saw in NYC.
UPDATE: I saw the work in progress in January 2002 at the NY Jewish Film Festival at a sold out screening. This film is nothing less than amazing and will be a must for every Jewish film festival! Not only is it an interesting story and fun film, but it raises great issues for any community about religious practice, memory, family, and the borderline of fetish that arises from ritual or historically Jewish material items. Music by Frank London, Lorin Sklamburg, some Romani groups and others
Funding for Divan included grants from YIVO, ELTE University, Blowback/Offline Entertainment, Sundance, and Fulbright/IIE (Fulbright Travel grant to Rohod in 1996). contact Pearl at 212-477-7108 for info on its editing and to contribute towards its completion. Note to file; Pearl is a Brandeis grad who appeared in "A Life Apart." She is a past employee of Tikkun and Response.

UPDATE MAY 2003: To reclaim an ancestral couch upon which esteemed rabbis slept, Pearl Gluck travels from her Hasidic community in Brooklyn to her roots in Hungary. Along the way, a colorful cast of characters gets involved - the couch exporter, her ex-communist cousin in Budapest, a pair of matchmakers, and a renegade group of formerly ultra-Orthodox Jews. Divan is a visual parable that offers the possibility of personal reinvention and cultural re-upholstery. Five years in the making, Divan was inspired on a Fulbright grant to Hungary, developed along with the Sundance Institute, supported by foundations such as the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and finished with the assistance of the Minneapolis Film and TV Board. Divan is fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts. The following also appear in the film: Amichai Lau Lavie, Basya Schechter, Giti Koenig, Isaac Stein, Jeanette Friedman, Louis Farkovitz, Mark Joseph Altman, Michelle Miller, Pessy Sloan, Rosalie M. Osian, Sarah Cecilie Finkelstein, and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub.

The Children of Chabannes

TITLE: The Children of Chabannes
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell
TIME: 92 minutes in 16mm
SOURCE: Lisa Gossels, One Irving Place, New York, NY 10003, The website is
TEXT: A tale of courage, resilience and love set during WWII, when the people from Chabannes, a tiny village in unoccupied France, chose action over indifference and saved the lives of 400 Jewish children. Filmmaker Lisa Gossels returns to Chabannes with her father and uncle, two of the 400 Jewish children who were saved. Through intimate interviews with these two men and other "children" of Chabannes, the filmmakers recreate an environment that was surrounded by fear and danger, yet full of hope and compassion. Two extraordinary sisters who taught, protected and loved these children recount with self-deprecating wit and charm a remarkable effort by the citizens of Chabannes who risked their lives and livelihoods to protect these children.
AWARDS: Best Feature Film, The Nantucket Film Festival (June, 1999); Special Jury Prize for Best Feature Film, The Avignon Film Festival (July, 1999); Best Documentary Film, The Hollywood Film Festival (August, 1999); Official entry: The Doubletake Documentary Film Festival, The Palm Beach International Film Festival, The Avignon/New York Film Festival, The Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, The Seattle International Film Festival, The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, The Nantucket Film Festival, The Avignon Film Festival, The Hollywood Film Festival, The Montreal Festival of World Cinema, The Mill Valley Film Festival, The Denver International Film Festival, The HBO Frame by Frame Film Festival, Doctober, The Hot Springs International Film Festival, The Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, The Boston Jewish Film Festival, The Washington Jewish Film Festival.
Will be shown HBO Signature and Cinemax (May, 2000.) Notes to file: 11,000 of the 76,000 Jews that France gave to the Nazi's were children.


YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Joan Grossman & Paul Rosdy
TIME: 79 minutes 16 mm
SOURCE: Pinball Films, 18 Cheever Place, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Phone and Fax: 718-855-9836 Email: or from Louise Rosen Ltd in Brooklin Massachusetts (617) 730-8430
TEXT: The migration of 18,000 Central European Jewish refugees to Shanghai, China, in the years leading up to WWII is one of the least documented stories of Jews who escaped persecution. At a time when borders around the world were closed to the victims of the Third Reich, Shanghai was an international territory that required no visa for entry. The Jewish refugees came to Shanghai in search of temporary refuge but most would stay a decade. Despite great deprivations, the refugees created a lively community and survived the Holocaust in the Hongkew ghetto under Japanese control. Life was no bowl of rice however; there were deaths, disease, hunger, and the persistent fear that Hitler would ask his Axis friends to murder the German and Viennese Jews. This remarkable story unfolds through interviews, as well as letters, memoirs, and refugee newspaper writings. Rare archival footage and photographs--much of which has been uncovered for the first time--create a vivid portrait of Shanghai in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was still the Far East's most intriguing and cosmopolitan city. screened at HRW Film Fest, June 1999; and SFJFF in July 1999.

Hit and Runway

TITLE: Hit and Runway
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Christopher Livingston / Andrew Charas, Chris D'Annibale, Christopher Livingston
TIME: 110 minutes
SOURCE: Mirador Films 1520 south beverly glen #603, los angeles california 90024, 310-557 0907
TEXT: Alex is a young, straight Italian-American writer is obsessed with movies and works in his family's restaurant since his father died. Alex takes a screenwriting class to develop one of his pic ideas, where Gwen has the hots for him. He meets Elliot, an older, nebishy, gay, Jewish writer. Elliot is trying to seduce Joey, a new hunky waiter at the restaurant, and Alex sees an opportunity to learn scriptwriting from Elliot. The two begin to meet regularly in Elliot's place. Elliot takes Joey to his gay synagogue, where even the rabbi cruises the blonde Joey. Elliot and Alex become odd couple roommates. Co-written by comic Jaffe Cohen. Blah blah blah.

My Parents read Dreams I've Had About Them

TITLE: My Parents read Dreams I've Had About Them
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Neil Goldberg
TIME: 9 minutes video
SOURCE: Neil Goldberg, 9 East 7th Street Apt 19, New York, NY 10009,
TEXT: Neil hands his parents transcripts of an assortment of dreams he has had about them over the years and they read them in a deadpan manner. They had not seen the transcripts prior to reading them on camera. They were given no coaching as to how to read them. Their deadpan performances are at turns moving, anxiety-provoking and often very funny.

Gotta Have Heart

TITLE: Gotta Have Heart
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Eytan Fox
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 36 minutes, 16mm on video
SOURCE: Sharon Shamir, Al Ahava Ltd, 159 Yigal Alon Street, Tel Aviv 67443 Israel Phone: 972-3-693-9300 Fax; 972-3-695-9171
TEXT: Young Israelis in a small town find love and hope as they sing and dance. A candy-coated gay fantasy full of songs from the Eurovison song contest-a glittering spectacle beloved by Europeans and Israelis. (It's also where ABBA got their start, and was recently won by an Israeli drag queen.) Set in small town Israel, where the only entertainment is the local Israeli folk dance club, Gotta Have Heart follows the adventures of best friends Gur and Mitzi as they lust after Merito, the new stud on the block. Caught in between them is sweet Nohav-madly in love with Gur, obsessed with Eurovison and desperate to be asked to dance.

Speedway Junkie

TITLE: Speedway Junkie
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Nickolas Perry / Gus Van Sant
TIME: 102 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: Golan Globus, 10 Glickson Street, Tel Aviv 63567 Israel, Phone 972-3-526-6360 Fax: 972-3-528-3187
TEXT: An Israeli produced film that takes place in Las Vegas. Johnny is a drifter from North Carolina who arrives in Vegas to become a race car driver. He gets befriended by Eric, a hustler, and some other street hustlers, prostitutes, and drug dealers. Steve the hustler is played by JTT, Jonathan Taylor (Weiss) Thomas, formerly of television's Home Improvement sitcom. Daryl Hannah plays the surrogate mom to the group. Johnny becomes a hustler to earn enough money to escape Vegas, and also must deal with Eric's attentions.

South Park. Bigger, Longer Uncut

TITLE: South Park. Bigger, Longer Uncut
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Trey Parker / Trey Parker and Matt Stone
TIME: 100
SOURCE: Viacom Paramount Video
While waiting for the video, you can click here for back episodes
TEXT: Although it is uncut, this is still a film that has Jewish characters and heroes, namely Kyle Broflovski and his family. Kyle's mother, Sheila Broflovski, plays an integral part in this film about the struggle for basic, inalienable freedoms in the face of oppression, and the hatred of all things Canadian. Music by Marc Shaiman. Filled with super-vile obscenities, but it is a parody of other cartoons and political correctness. Please note that Sheila becomes the Secretary of Defense and leads America into a war against Canada. Please also take notice that when Kyle hides his adopted baby brother, he is hidden in an attic with Hanukkah decorations, (as in Diary of Anne Frank)


YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Heddy Honigmann / Pieter van Huystee
COUNTRY: Netherlands
LANGUAGE: Dutch with English ST
TIME: 87 minutes
SOURCE: Pieter van Huystee Film and TV, Amsterdam
TEXT: Every year on May 4 at precisely 8 PM, traffic stops. Some people stand alone while others gather together for two minutes of silence. Two minutes in memory of those killed in World War II. Holland may not be a place where grief is openly expressed, but many people, young and old, continue to honor this custom. After her direct and uncompromising look at Peru, her country of birth, in Metal and Melancholy (1994), the sexy nostalgia of O Amor Natural (1997), and her feature Au Revoir (1996), she now turns to the restrained culture of Holland, her second home for two decades. Over the course of a single day, from 8 AM to 8 PM, twelve film crews followed several men and women for whom this Memorial Day is of special significance. The result does not concern the culture of memorials in society. More than the memories themselves, 2 Minutes Silence, Please succeeds in raising to the surface the unexpressed, hidden emotions, the imprint of memory on the human face. Questions concerning life and death, guilt and innocence, good and evil, are part of the lives of all people, whether they have personally endured the horrors of war or not. In Israel, where memorial culture is even more developed, it is of interest to see how another people, who may seem to have fewer scars, deal with pain and loss. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999


YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Dan and Noit Geva / Jonathan Aroch, Dikla Barkai
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 85
SOURCE: Talisma Prod., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Yossi, Shlomo and Guy are 21 years old and are ready for their long trip. After three years in the paratroops, they won't even consider doing anything else. They say goodbye to their friends in the battalion and to their worried parents at the airport and go out to conquer South America. Elisha, 22 years old, doesn't even consider travelling abroad. After his military service in Lebanon he must study in a Yeshiva and hopes to find himself a wife who will accept him even if he doesn't have a well-paying job. 23-year-old Ron feels that its about time he begins his life. After two years in New York, he returns to Israel without any clear idea of what exactly it is he's returned to. Five young Israelis in the process of growing up-from the draft to the huppa. Three of five 28-minute long segments describing the forced trajectory available to young Israelis: being drafted, leaving the army, leaving Israel, returning, deciding to remain, deciding to be religious, to get married, to leave. Dan Geva's camera takes an intimate cinéma vérité look at the small but crucial moments in the lives of young Israelis. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999


YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Ran Tal / Eado Zuckerman
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 46 minutes
SOURCE: Roll Communications, Tel Aviv
TEXT: 67 Ben Tsvi Road is the address of the only Institute for Forensic Medicine in Israel. 2,500 bodies arrive at the Institute each year for investigation of cause of death. Bodies sent there for examination do not, needless to say, die of natural causes. Here, in the place better known as Abu Kebir, the experts try to explain what happened to the deceased. Professionally, coldly, cynically, some might say, the staff of the Institute works on numerous bodies each day. The bodies provide a new angle on social conditions in Israel. The violent reality of Israeli society is apparent in many cases, whether in the body of a newborn infant or a homeless person. The Institute is a cruel mirror to the most unflattering aspects of Israeli society. This fact puts 67 Ben Tsvi Road out of bounds on Israeli television. In a country in which death is often regarded as something taboo, it seems that there is no room for a more mundane, matter-of-fact treatment of the death that surrounds us, no room for this tangible, blatant delving into the human body. The film functions upon the tension between taboo and its profanation, between the repulsive and the possible. It may be difficult to watch 67 Ben Tsvi Road, but it will intrigue. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999


YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Ivan Nichev / Bruno Christov Bonev
COUNTRY: Bulgaria
LANGUAGE: Bulgarian Greek Romani and Turkish with English ST
TIME: 109 minutes
SOURCE: Cinemascope Nichev, 8, L. Karavelov Street, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria Phone: 359-2-872-577 Fax: 359.2.980.7055 Emaile: Also available from Progress Film, Beugstr. 27, D-10178 Berlin, Germany Tel: 49 3024 0032 03 Fax: 49 3024 0032 22 OR CONTACT Peter Rehnke at Saxonia Media Tel: 011-49-341-2221281 or Fax: 011-49- 341-222- 1288. OR CONTACT Bavaria Film International, Claudia Rudolph at 011-49-89- 6499-3728
TEXT: Albert Cohen, an Israeli historian of the Byzantine period, flies to a professional conference in Bulgaria. Here he meets Araksi, an Armenian piano instructor and his first love from the days when Bulgarians, Jews, Armenians, Greeks, Romanians and Turks lived together peacefully in the southern Bulgarian town of Plovdiv. During those distant days, the Orthodox Priest Isai, the Rabbi Ben David and the Mullah Ibrahim knew that they were praying to the same God. All three men of the cloth were also in love with the same woman, Zulfie, of Turkish extraction. This idyll was destroyed by the socialist regime. The Turks and Romanians were resettled elsewhere, the Jews left for Israel, and Araksi's family was detained after they tried to flee to Paris. Despite the long years of separation, the relations between Albert and Araksi are still warm. But the landscape of their childhood remains locked in photos of Costas, an old Greek who still lives in Plovdiv. While Albert meets his old friends, a lawyer working for the mafia does everything possible to take control of Albert's old family home... Ivan Nichev is a graduate of the Lodz Film School and is foremost among Bulgarian directors. His film moves between past and present, against the background of beautiful and picturesque Plovdiv. After the End of the World is a call for humanity and love-not out of naiveté or a misunderstanding of reality, but from a deep and sincere sadness. Any thinking person understands that even the fall of communism cannot bring the beauty of those days. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999, and made its US premiere at the SF Jewish FF in July 1999. Stars the leading Bulgarian actor Stefan Danailov.

Aimee and Jaguar

TITLE: Aimee and Jaguar
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Max Farberbock
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: German with English ST
TIME: 127
SOURCE: Zeitgeist Films, 247 Center Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013 212 274 1989; or Senator Films, Berlin. Or from International Pictures London 20 Earlham Str., London WC2H 9LN, England Tel: 44 171 240 2511 Fax: 44 171 240 599
TEXT: 1943. Berlin is under heavy Allied aerial bombardment. Lilly Wust is a married woman in her late twenties, the perfect hausfrau, with four children. Her husband is away serving in the German army. One evening she meets a woman who will change her life. Lilly does not know that Felice Schragenheim, a Nazi newspaper columnist, leads a double life. She does not know that Felice is Jewish, nor about her secret activities in the underground. The second time they meet, bourgeois Lilly finds herself attracted to the charms of this intelligent, energetic woman, so radiant with self-confidence. In the midst of the bombardments, a passionate romance develops between the two very different women. They send letters and poetry to each other. Lilly's pseudonym is Aimee and Felice's is Jaguar. Aimee doesn't understand why Jaguar periodically disappears for days at a time... Max Farberbock's first feature film is based upon a true story from the midst of the chaotic German capital during World War II. Maria Schrader and Juliane Kohler successfully capture the psychological nuances of the characters they portray. The result is a burst of physical energy and pure erotic tension. Shown at the Berlin Fest 1999 and Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999

American Master: Leonard Bernstein. Reaching for the Note.

TITLE: American Master: Leonard Bernstein. Reaching for the Note.
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Susan Lacy
TIME: 117
TEXT: A fascinating and moving portrait of Leonard Bernstein-composer, conductor, pianist, teacher-one of the most important figures in 20th century music. It begins in 1943-the first time he held the conductor's baton, leading the New York Philharmonic in an electrifying performance that won him the title "the Orson Wells of Music" and the ultimate complement: "he conducts like Joe DiMaggio plays baseball". His next success was with the Jerome Robbins' ballet Fancy Free. The stage success led to a filmed version (On the Town, one of the high points of the musical film genre to this day). After a period searching for his sexual identity, Bernstein married a young Jewish woman from Chile and they raised a family. He wrote the music for On the Waterfront by Elia Kazan, conducted Medea starring Maria Callas, did an adaptation of Voltaire's Candide with Lillian Hellman. Then came what many regard as the climax of his work-the revolutionary West Side Story which changed the face of the musical forever (lyrics: Steven Sondheim; choreography: Jerome Robbins). This documentary also recalls his roots in Jewish musical tradition and looks at his special relationship with Israel-all through musical selections, passages from his diaries, and interviews with those who worked together with him.

Another Night Without Drugs

TITLE: Another Night Without Drugs / OD LAYLA BLI SAMIM
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Yehuda Peres
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 42
SOURCE: Yehuda Peres, Sderot
TEXT: An ordinary winter morning. The bell rings. Somebody needs help. From all parts of the village, people head for the meeting point. Somebody needs help. They cluster around the victim, close, hugging. Somebody needs a hug. Here, at Kfar Ilanot they call it an "alarm." Everyone lends a hand. Here in a village designed to rehabilitate drug addicts, this is a common sight. Support for addicts by addicts. During a particularly harsh winter, a film crew directed by Yehuda Peres, a resident of the town of Sderot, settled down at Ilanot for two weeks. Peres slept, woke and lived with the people in the program. Gradually, suspicions regarding Peres and his camera were laid aside and his presence forgotten. Only then did the participants in the program begin to open up in front of the camera. Peres' camera follows several individuals in different stages of rehabilitation and engages in an open, sensitive and authentic dialogue with them. Are we, the drug-clean, doing enough to treat our brothers, people who stumbled somewhere in life and fell into drugs; people who arrived at the village in a terrible state and are struggling to return to themselves, to self-respect and to their loved ones. The answer is no. But every additional night without drugs gives these people a feeling of being loved once more. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999

As If Nothing Happened

YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Ayelet Bargur / Eyal Shiray, David Mandil
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 50
SOURCE: Cinema Factory in Tel Aviv
TEXT: Based upon the personal story of Ayelet Bargur. Starring Assi Dayan, Rivka Neuman, Sivan Shavit, Danny Steg, Guy Loel, Tal Kapitolnik, and Hana Drory. The daily routine of the Gonen family was cut short the moment they heard the first news report concerning the terrorist attack at Beit Lid Junction. Ziv, their son and an IDF officer, was supposed to arrive at the junction at exactly the time the attack took place, but nobody knows if he arrived there on time and, if so, what happened to him. The family pulls together including the eldest daughter, who no longer lives at home, and her ex-boyfriend who suddenly appears. The father goes out to look for Ziv and gets stuck in a traffic-jam, the youngest son returns from school, and the mother tries hard to continue as if nothing happened. The house turns into a kind of center for gathering information, and the media reports turn into an inseparable part of that day's tensions, expectations and fears. As time passes without news of the son, fear spreads. People crumble under the tension, and conflicts surface. Over all looms the question: "What if the worst has happened?" Ayelet Bargur's story is based upon her personal experience involving the Beit Lid terrorist attack that took place at 9:30 AM on 21 January 1995. The film incorporates archival footage. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999


YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Ron Ofer
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian, English subtitles
TIME: 50
SOURCE: Zoog Productions, Jerusalem
TEXT: Every Jewish New Year, Braslaver Hasidim and other traditional Jews from Israel and the world over converge on a small Ukrainian town to pay tribute to the gravesite of their spiritual leader, Rabbi Nachman of Breslau. As Reb Nahman said to his followers, "on Rosh Hashana, be with me in Uman." "Back to the answer" is a popular Hebrew term describing someone who has made a sudden and intense change to an ultra religious way of life. Ron Ofer is perhaps the last of his friends who did not make this drastic change. Nonetheless, he accompanies his newly enlightened friends on a surreal journey from Jerusalem to Uman to visit the sacred gravesite. Uman, a sleepy backward Ukrainian town, is the orthodox answer to Woodstock, where prayer reaches ecstatic convulsions and ritual baths are taken in a serene, majestic, frozen lake. This documentary was filmed from divergent viewpoints-that of the newly religious, who never tire of preaching and prayer; that of the local Ukrainians, who never really figure out why these intruders invade every year; and of course, that of Ron Ofer, the director, who is never prepared for the amazing events and people he encounters. This trip is portrayed with humor and humanity. It is bound by friendship, religious awakening and acceptance of one's true self. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999 NOTE TO FILE: For more info on Reb Nahman, visit and check out Arthur Green's book, Tormented Master. (Hi Yehuda)

Bali Resort

TITLE: Bali Resort /
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Natali Eskinazim
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Turkish with English ST
TIME: 44
SOURCE: Natali Eskinazim in Israel
TEXT: Natali, a young Israeli born in Turkey, has made a personal film about the process of disintegration of her family, and of its wanderings from Israel to Istanbul, to Los Angeles, and back to Israel. The film focuses upon the complex relationship between Natali and her mother - a relationship that began to deteriorate with the mother's divorce and separation from her husband and teenage daughters, and which completely ends when the mother leaves to begin a new life in Bali, Indonesia. The film opens with Natali's trip to meet her mother in Istanbul, in an to attempt to understand her motivations. The process of the family's breakup is detailed during the course of Natali's journey. The visit with her grandmother reveals, through the memories shared by members of the family, the origins of the mother's crisis. From the beginning of her marriage, when the family still lived in Istanbul, she left home for the first time and visited Israel. A visit to the Turkish primary school at which Natali studied enables her to understand the reasons for her mother's rebellion against the patriarchal, strict, and sometimes corrupt Turkish culture. The meeting in Istanbul shed light upon the personality of the mother and upon the reasons for her insistence upon emigration, the break-up of the family, and her life as an individualistic and independent woman who tries to achieve her non-conventional ambitions far from the family framework which she built during the previous part of her life. At the end of her journey, Natali finally achieves a partial acceptance of the situation in which her mother refused to fill her traditional role in the family. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999

YEAR: 1999
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Fest, July 1999

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