Jewish Film Archive Online
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It runs in the family

TITLE: It runs in the family
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Fred Schepisi / Michael Douglas
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 109
SOURCE: MGM
TEXT: Stars Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Rory Culkin, Diana Douglas, Cameron Douglas, Bernadette Peters. A homage to the Douglas family of actors and producers. A slow paced family comedy and drama. The upper middle class Jewish family of Mitchell Gromberg interacts. Mitchell (Kirk) is recovering from a stroke, and his son Alex (Michael) is running the family law firm. Mitchell must learn to readjust to his wife after the stroke. Son Eli is attracted to the bad girl classmate, Abby. Son Asher seems like he is in a pot daze (hello, it is 2003, get over it). The family comes together at Passover. Some of the seder was improvised by the Douglas clan, which lends some realism to the film.

Epstein’s Night / Epsteins Nacht

TITLE: Epstein’s Night / Epsteins Nacht
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Urs Egger / Andreas Bareiss
COUNTRY: Germany - Switzerland
LANGUAGE: German w/ English ST
TIME: 86
SOURCE: Bavaria Film International. MTM Medien & Television, Constantin Film
TEXT: Three childhood friends who survived a the Birkenau death camp together must decide whether a faintly familiar looking man they encounter decades later was an SS officer there. Complex motivations and sacrifices. A game of verbal chess with a gun included. When Jochen Epstein helps drive a friend from a Christmas party to a church in Spandau, he feels the Father Groll, the parish priest, is SS Officer Geisser. He enlists his friends to help him. A must for film fests. Shown at NY Jewish Film Fest, Gothenberg Film Fest.

JUST LOOKING

TITLE: JUST LOOKING
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Jason Alexander
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000059HD6/sefersafarianonl
TEXT: Lenny, (Ryan Merriman) a Jewish 14 year old from the Bronx, whose mother (Patti LuPone) has remarried after her husband’s recent death, is sent to live for the Summer with his mother’s pregnant sister and her new Italian husband in the country, or actually in Queens. Set in 1955. Lenny works in his uncle’s Italian deli. His goal is to see his lovely neighbor have sex. His new Catholic friends have a sex club, where they talk sex. Lenny meets Hedy (Gretchen Mol), a nurse and bra model. Her father also died and her mother remarried, and her father abused her. He hopes to see her naked, but his obsession tempers.

Bonhoeffer

TITLE: Bonhoeffer
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Martin Doblmeier
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: www.JourneyFilms.com or www.Bonhoeffer.com
TEXT: The director had a good idea for this film. He did not get into Sundance, so he screened it during Sundance week at a variety of churches around Park City. He has since placed the film in theaters and churches for screenings. BONHOEFFER is a new 90-minute documentary film that tells the dramatic story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the young German theologian who offered one of the first clear voices of resistance to Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer openly challenged his church to stand with the Jews in their time of need, and eventually joined his family in the plots to kill Hitler. His books, Cost of Discipleship, Letters and Papers from Prison, Ethics, were written during the struggle and are considered classics in the world of religion and ethics. The film, shot on location in Germany and the United States, features interviews with family members, friends, students and associates who knew Bonhoeffer personally - including the last interview given by Bonhoeffer’s closest friend and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, and an interview with Ruth Alice von Bismarck, the sister of Bonhoeffer’s fiance, Maria von Wedemeyer. It also features interviews with outstanding historians and theologians including John de Gruchy and Geffrey Kelly, as well as comments from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Extensive research in archives both in Europe and the US yielded extraordinary archival footage - including a speech by Hitler praying for God’s blessing on him and the German people – and Bonhoeffer family footage that features the only known moving footage of Dietrich. The production team was also given access to never-before seen personal and family photographs that help bring visual context to Bonhoeffer’s life. Reading for the voice of Bonhoeffer is actor Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa, Russia House, etc). The film also features an original score by Emmy-award winner John Keltonic.

Thunder in Guyana

TITLE: Thunder in Guyana
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Suzanne Wasserman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 58 minutes
SOURCE: contact Human Rights Watch
TEXT: The story of an atypical Jewish American girl who took flying lessons, was a world class swimmer, and became president of a South American country. This is her story. In 1997, 77 year old Janet Rosenberg Jagan became the first and only female president of Guyana. She is American born, and the cousin of the film’s director. In 1943, Janet Rosenberg married Dr. Cheddi Jagan, and moving back to Guyana, the formed the PPP, People’s Progressive Party. She became the mother of the country, when they moved from British colony to independence. Jagan was PM for 133, until Churchill got rid of him. But Jagan became PM again again from 1961-1964. In 1964, he was forced out the U.S. In 1992, Guyana had free elections, and Cheddi Jagan was elected PM. After his death in 1997, his wife, Janet, was elected president of Guyana. Shown at Walter Reade Theater (filmlinc.com) on June 12, 2003.

Welcome to Hadassah Hospital

TITLE: Welcome to Hadassah Hospital
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ramon Gieling
COUNTRY: The Netherlands
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 50 minutes, video
SOURCE: www.npbsales.com
TEXT: In WELCOME TO HADASSAH HOSPITAL director Ramón Gieling takes a startling, close-up look at the individuals who make up the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Filmmaker Gieling cleverly exposes the pulse of his film when he chooses as his main character the charismatic, controversial and bluntly philosophical Dr. Avi Rivkind who, along with his staff, must regularly treat those affected by, and sometimes those involved in the planning of the numerous suicide attacks which take place in the capital of Israel. In a tangible twist of irony, victims and offenders are often treated side by side. The doctors take the situation for granted and make no distinction between their patients; for the patients, the situation is more difficult to swallow. A powerful film about integrity and humanity set against the violence in Israel today

My Terrorist

TITLE: My Terrorist
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Yulie Cohen Gerstel
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 58 minute video
SOURCE: Women Make Movies www.wmm.com
TEXT: In 1978, filmmaker Yulie Cohen Gerstel was wounded in a terrorist attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A stewardess for the Israeli airline El Al, she was hijacked along with other crewmembers on their way to a flight in London. In a remarkable twist of faith, twenty-three years later Gerstel began questioning the causes of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and started to consider helping release the man who almost killed her, Fahad Mihyi. From the time she was a young girl, Gerstel considered herself a staunch Israeli nationalist. Growing up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Israel (where her neighbors included future Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon and military hero Moshe Dayan), she patriotically served in the military and was a proud citizen of her country. After working as a photojournalist and visiting the occupied territories along the Gaza Strip, Gerstel came to realize that both Israelis and Palestinians played a role in perpetuating the cycle of hostility and bloodshed. It became her goal to stand up as a survivor and call for reconciliation on each side. Opening at Film Forum, NYC on June 25, 2003.

See also HUMAN WEAPON by Ilan Ziv from First Run / Icarus Films

NICKY'S CHILDREN

TITLE: NICKY'S CHILDREN
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Matej Minác
COUNTRY: Czech Republic
LANGUAGE: English, Hebrew, Czech with English subtitles
TIME: 55 min video
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: Narrator: Joe Schlesinger. Nicky's children are the "offspring" of Sir Nicholas Winton, who, as a 29-year-old London stockbroker on vacation in 1938, encountered the plight of Czech Jewish children facing death at the hands of the Nazis. Driven to action, he began a feverish campaign to convince the world to help save them. The creation of the Kindertransport, trains which brought 669 Jewish children to safety in England, was Nicholas Winton`s brainchild and success. Modestly, he kept his remarkable accomplishments to himself. Then in 1988, his late wife Grete discovered his hidden scrapbooks, which brought his selfless acts to life and his heroism to the world's attention. Among the children he saved: the late filmmaker Karel Reisz (The French Lieutenant's Woman), writer Vera Gissing (Nicholas Winton and the Rescued Generation), Lord Alfred Dubs and Canada's own Joe Schlesinger, the veteran CBC reporter who narrates the film. Referred to as Britain's Schindler, and already the fulcrum of one feature film (All My Loved Ones, TJFF 2001) and Academy Award-winning documentary (Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport), the now 93-year-old Nicholas Winton was knighted by the Queen in March. Nicky's Children brings this remarkable man and his long ago acts to vivid life. Joe Schlesinger and other Kindertransport survivors was in attendance when shown at the Toronto Jewish Film Fest.

ADIO KERIDA

TITLE: ADIO KERIDA
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ruth Behar
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English, Spanish with English subtitles
TIME: 58 min video
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: Narrator: Elisabeth Pena. Her family left when she was small but anthropologist Ruth Behar never lost her love for her Cuban birthplace. Returning regularly, she attempts to connect with those Sephardic Jews who stayed behind in Castro's Cuba and with her own family history, which was rudely interrupted by the Revolution. But can one return to a country one has never really lived in? Behar's lyrical journey into her Sephardic community's past, a trip her parents and brother refuse to contemplate, is a necessarily melancholy but also strangely upbeat travelogue, enlivened by actress Elisabeth Pena's poignant first person narration and Behar's sheer joy at being in her beloved Cuba. A Jewish Buena Vista Social Club with its own unique musical styling, Adio Kerida will stay with you. Documentary Award, East Lansing Film Festival, Michigan, 2002.

JEWS IN ARMENIA

TITLE: JEWS IN ARMENIA
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Vartan Akchyan
COUNTRY: Poland
LANGUAGE: Polish, Armenian, Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 25 min video
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: The unusual, mesmerizing story of the Jews of Armenia, who have undergone successive waves of acceptance, assimilation and revival. Are some of them remnants of one of the lost tribes of Israel? Are they authentically Jewish or are they non-Jews who have adopted some Jewish customs and rituals? Jews from distant lands - with a twist.

Black Hats and Short Skirts

TITLE: Black Hats and Short Skirts
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Micah Smith
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Polish and Yiddish with subtitles
TIME: 7 minute video
SOURCE: Vag Films, 641 Warner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 e-mail: Micah@VagFilms.com tel 310-441-9441
TEXT: from the director of NOSE JOB JEW.. a new short video. Black Hats & Short Skirts is a short film about a Chassidic boy, a Polish girl, and a subway bench that can bridge great divides. When Yankel and Natalia meet, they don’t understand each other’s cultures, or each other’s languages, but they understand each other. But, with body language being their only medium of communication, wires can easily get crossed. Ultimately, it's about the conflicts between religious and secular in both society and ourselves, and how those often contradictory forces actually come from the same source, our Jewishness. Note the use of color and b/w.

EYE OF THE STORM

TITLE: EYE OF THE STORM
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Bill Dackman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: 55 min in Beta SP
SOURCE: bpage@del2.vsnl.net
TEXT: Documentary. With footage never before revealed to the public, Eye of the Storm takes you to the core of the most ancient ideological struggle known to mankind. A conflict of beliefs, where the center stage of this furious controversy focuses on control of a tiny patch of land in Jerusalem's Old City. The Temple Mount is the central issue blocking agreement between Israelis and Palestinians in their attempts at finding peaceful solutions to their respective national aspirations. Mindful of dangers threatening global peace, almost every nation in the world has involved itself in trying to find an acceptable solution. Eye of the Storm reaches into the core of this conflict.Beta SP in. 50 minutes PLATINUM award - Houston Worldfest 2003; screened at the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival 2003; and aired on Australian Television (ABC -  on "Compass").

The Vancouver Jewish Film Festival screened it with “Come Home: The Jews of Glace Bay” Canada 2003. Director: Joel Kranc. Documentary. The rise and fall of the once-thriving Jewish community in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The film takes a historical perspective and ends with the 100th anniversary celebration of the local synagogue. Beta SP in English. 22 minutes.

INDIAN SYNAGOGUES

TITLE: INDIAN SYNAGOGUES
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Pawan Gupta bpage@del2.vsnl.net.in
COUNTRY: INDIA
LANGUAGE: some English ST
TIME: 55 minutes on CD
SOURCE: http://www.bpagency.com/synainst.asp
TEXT: The filmmaker writes:… A New Documentry "INDIAN SYNAGOUGES" has been released. Price for Institutions/University $95+$7.50 (Air Mail Postage) Price for Individuals $65+$7.50 (Air Mail Postage). Please visit http://www.bpagency.com/synainst.asp for more details about the Documentary. "Indian Synagogues" is a documentary film. It's like a Rare Opportunity covering Synagogues spread over Various parts of India. Some of the synagogues were built in 18th Century and even much earlier. The CD brings out the splendour of Indian Synagogues. This is an important aid to a person planning to explore the Jewish Heritage of India by visiting these Synagogues. The CD is in Marathi Language (Language normally spoken in Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune and Raigad). Two - Three instances of coverage in English Language are also there. CD COVERS: 1. Film Start by Title History of Bene Israil (Indian Jews). 2. 1st Synagogue (Shaar Harahamim Synagogue). 3. About Synagogues of Indian Jews. 4. Mumbai Synagogues 5. Thane synagogue 6. Panvel 7. Raigad District 8. Pen 9. Poinad 10. Pune 11. Ahmadabad 12. Kolkatta 13. Delhi 14. Cochin (Kerela) 15. Manipur / Mizoram
Please visit http://www.bpagency.com/synainst.asp for more details. Many people visit these synagogues but due to several reasons one might not have visited all. This documentary helps cover the gap at it covers Synagogues in Eastern part of India (Kolkatta, Manipur). East India is relatively less visited. Architecture, Physical layout, Interiors of Various Synagogues is worth noting. Some of these are very well mantained but few are in not. The strongest reason being migration of the young Jews to Israel. Which has left few of these synagogues unatteneded. Though in Marathi language this documentry over a period of time will serve as a Mirror of the Heritage of Indian Synagogues.
Tech:- This CD plays well on all VCD players. While seeing on a PC you have to select individual files. Total Length 55 Minutes. In case you face any problem while ordering, either Fax your Order on our United States Fax Number i.e. +1-801-8816189 or email us. Regards, Pawan Gupta bpage@del2.vsnl.net.in BOOKS & PERIODICALS AGENCY B-1, Inder Puri, New Delhi-12 http://www.bpagency.com U.S. Fax Number : +1-801-8816189

Shooting Conflicts

TITLE: Shooting Conflicts
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Noam Shalev
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 46
SOURCE: noam@highlight.co.il info@highlight.co.il   www.highlight.co.il
TEXT: For seven years they have witnessed every major event from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, filming terrorist attacks, military occupation, aftermaths of suicide bombings, peace initiatives and human suffering… Their views and opinions are shaped and formed by personal, direct encounters with the events, undiluted by the editorial bias that dictates the daily TV news seen all over the world.Alon Bernstein, an Israeli TV news journalist, and Jimmy Michael, a Palestinian TV news journalist, expose their life experience behind the camera. SHOOTING CONFLICTS gives a unique perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by the people who cover it day after day. A third part of the PRIMETIME WAR trilogy, SHOOTING CONFLICTS sums it up: it brings a perspective of seven years of hope and sorrow, dreams and death, and daily coverage of the events that dictate the life, well-being and future of millions of people who suffer the consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A Vilna Legend (reissue of Tkies Kaf 1924)

TITLE: A Vilna Legend (reissue of Tkies Kaf 1924)
YEAR: 2003 restoration of 1933 film
DIR/PROD: George Roland
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Yiddish narration with English ST
TIME: 60 b&w 35mm print
SOURCE: www.Brandeis.edu/jewishfilm
TEXT: Narrator: Joseph Buloff. 1924 Credits: Director: Zygmund Turkow Cast: Ester-Rokhl Kaminska, Ida Kaminska, Zygmund Turkow . A precursor to the 1937 classic, The Dybbuk, A Vilna Legend features a tale of frustrated love and destiny with the breaking/fulfillment of vows. A yeshiva student and an orphan girl who are deeply in love face eternal separation even though their parents promised them to each other before birth. In 1933, a group of New York Yiddish actors decided to give the original 1924 gem a new lease on life by adding a narration and several new scenes, which gave dramatic justification to the narrative form.

ALL I'VE GOT

TITLE: ALL I'VE GOT
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Keren Margalit
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 62 min video
SOURCE: contact the Jerusalem film fest
TEXT: Writer / Director: Keren Margalit. Cast: Lea Szlanger, Nathan Gogan, Sylwia Trzesiowska. When 72-year-old Tamara passes on, she finds herself on a ship, heading across river to the afterlife. There she meets Uri, her first love, who died at age 22, and is offered a momentous choice. She can begin her life again with him, as a 22-year-old, but will have to give up all memories of her subsequent existence. Or she gets to stay as she is, at age 72, with her memories intact. A Ghost for the new millennium, All I've Got is a moving drama about the road not taken and what might have been. Best Script Award, Fipa-Biarritz Film Festival, France, 2003. Makor Foundation Best Producer Award: Etti Aneta, Michael Tapuach, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2002.

Foolish Me

TITLE: Foolish Me
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Gabriel Biblyovitch
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Polish w/ English ST
TIME: video 33 min
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: Writers: Gabriel Biblyovitch, Ran Sarig. Cast: Kiril Sponov, Yamit Sol, Dori Teper, Agnieszka Wagner. When two Jewish refugees in 1944 Europe enter a café, they're transported across the ocean to a café in Palestine. There they attempt to tell the Jews what's happening to their compatriots in Nazi-occupied Europe, even as a Polish woman follows them through the portal. An Israeli science-fiction journey, Foolish Me is a fantastical, original and thoughtful TV drama.

ATLANTIC DRIFT

TITLE: ATLANTIC DRIFT
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michel Daëron
COUNTRY: Austria / France
LANGUAGE: English, German and Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 35mm, 88 min.
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: When 2000 Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler boarded the ship, the Atlantic, they hoped to make it to Palestine - and safety. But they didn't reckon with the British, who stopped them from entering the country. Then, horribly, they deported them to, what were in effect, concentration camps in Mauritius, where amidst illness and deprivation, they sat out the war. Many years later, Hannah Haendel and her son Shlomo, who was born during the war, return to Mauritius to try to understand what happened to Hannah and why her husband had to die there. A heartbreaking, evocative portrait of a troubled man whose legacy and memories reside in his late father's paintings, Atlantic Drift is a moving and touching film. It's also a shocking and damning expose of a heretofore unknown and shameful slice of British history.

Benny Benny

TITLE: Benny Benny
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Eitan Anner
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Romanian w/ English ST
TIME: 51 min video
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: Cast: Amnon Wolff, Hannah Hagin, Tatiana Kanlis-Olair. Jewish Bluish! Traffic cop Benny (Amnon Wolff) has a problem. He hates straight arrows, those honest citizens who obey all the rules and always do what they're told. A routine traffic stop reacquaints him with Mira (Hannah Hagin), a straitlaced Romanian dentist, and childhood crush, whom he decides to seduce at all costs. If you liked Late Marriage, you'll love the raunchy, witty and sharp Benny Benny, which lampoons immigrants, Romeos and the age-old battle of the sexes with joyful abandon.

MINUS PLUS

TITLE: MINUS PLUS
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Shahar Cohen
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 22 min in 16mm
SOURCE: Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem
TEXT: Obsessive inventor Shaul (Shahar Cohen) and girlfriend Yael (Yael Zucker) go to war against the electricity company, which wants to cut off their power. This David and Goliath battle doesn't end as you might expect. Another offbeat gem from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem.

BETWEEN THE LINES

TITLE: BETWEEN THE LINES
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Yifat Kedar
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: video, 58 min
SOURCE: shown at tjff.org
TEXT: Of the numerous Israeli reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only one actually does so from a base within the Palestinian Authority. Meet Amira Hass, reporter for the left-wing daily Ha' aretz. Amira is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and communist, whose liberal beliefs have brought her to a unique place in Israeli society. Though she sympathizes with the Palestinians and is friends with many of the people she covers as a journalist, she still asks the hard questions - of both sides in the conflict. Driven, aware of her sacrifice of family and children in the pursuit of her career, and held in suspicion by many Israelis, Hass soldiers on. She's determined to report the truth as she sees it, even at risk of her life. An indelible picture of a brave, honest woman.

THE EYE OF THE REPORTER

TITLE: THE EYE OF THE REPORTER
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Guy Lynn
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: video 27 min
SOURCE:
TEXT: Does the media report objectively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Three reporters, from Britain, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, are profiled covering the hot spot known as Hebron. From the utter bias displayed by the Palestinian reporter to the serious attempt at neutrality by the Englishman, with the Israeli somewhere in between, The Eye of the Reporter goes beyond the headlines to smartly examine the men and women who generate them. From the Ordinary People TV series.

A BRIVELE DER MAMEN (A LETTER TO MOTHER)

TITLE: A BRIVELE DER MAMEN (A LETTER TO MOTHER)
YEAR: 1939
DIR/PROD: Joseph Green and Leon Trystand
COUNTRY: Poland
LANGUAGE: Yiddish with English ST
TIME: 106 minutes on 35mm
SOURCE: Brandeis.edu/jewishfilm
TEXT: Writers: Mendl Osherwitz, Joseph Green, Leon Trystand, Anatol Stern Cast: Lucy Gehrman, Misha Gehrman, Max Bozyk, Edmund Zeyenda A restored print by the National Center for Jewish Film. The mother Dobrish (Lucy Gehrman) tries to keep her poverty-stricken family together at all costs in pre-World War II Ukraine. With her husband away in America and war on the horizon, Dobrish perseveres, sacrificing everything for her brood but tragically falling short of her goals. Released to great acclaim in the U.S. two weeks after the Second World War broke out, A Brivele Der Mamen marked the high artistic point of Yiddish cinema, even as the Holocaust destroyed it forever. Perhaps, the greatest Yiddish film of them all.

DISPLACED! MIRACLE AT ST. OTILLIEN

TITLE: DISPLACED! MIRACLE AT ST. OTILLIEN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: John Michalczyk
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 46 min video
SOURCE: shown at tjff.org
TEXT: They survived the war but afterwards many of the displaced European Jewish refugees were quickly forgotten about by the victorious Allies. One such group was housed at an ancient Benedictine monastery in Germany, in conditions of illness, starvation and misery that nearly equalled the concentration camps themselves. Disturbed by what they saw, Bob Hilliard and Edward Herman, two 19-year-old American Jewish army privates, without any connections at all, set out to improve the survivors' abysmal living conditions. That they succeeded is miracle enough. That they managed to capture the ear of the American media, public and, remarkably, President Harry Truman himself, and actually effected a startling improvement in the refugees' lives, is nothing short of astounding. A true life thriller, Displaced! Miracle at St. Otillien is that rare movie that restores one's faith in the goodness of man.

A BRIDGE OF BOOKS

TITLE: A BRIDGE OF BOOKS
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Sam Ball
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 13
SOURCE: contact tjff.org
TEXT: Founder of the National Yiddish Book Center, Aaron Lansky has, over the last twenty years, helped rescue 1.5 million Yiddish books from neglect and destruction. A Bridge of Books is the story of how he came to his mission in life, the archive he created from scratch, and the invaluable contribution he has made to Jewish continuity.

EPSTEIN'S NACHT (EPSTEIN'S NIGHT)

TITLE: EPSTEIN'S NACHT (EPSTEIN'S NIGHT)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Urs Egger
COUNTRY: GERMANY
LANGUAGE: German, French, Yiddish with English subtitles
TIME: 82 min in 35 mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writer: Jens Urban Cast: Mario Adorf, Günter Lamprecht, Bruno Ganz, Annie Girardot Released from prison, after serving fifteen years for murder, Jochen Epstein (Mario Adorf) is suddenly confronted by a woman from out of his past. Her arrival triggers his long suppressed memories-of the Nazi whose existence he uncovered in post-war Germany, of his two friends, brothers Adam and Karl Rose, and of the terrible secret from the concentration camps that the trio carries to this day. It`s a tragic, mysterious and suspenseful story of three emotionally devastated Holocaust survivors who, even though they escaped death during the war, cannot forget the horrors that scarred them. A dark, disturbing, but also highly compassionate film. With Bruno Ganz (The American Friend, Wings of Desire).

GEBIRTIG

TITLE: GEBIRTIG
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Lukas Stepanik, Robert Schindel
COUNTRY: AUSTRIA / POLAND / GERMANY / USA
LANGUAGE: English, German, Yiddish with English subtitles
TIME: 35mm, 115 min.
SOURCE: www.gebuertig.com
TEXT: Writers: Lukas Stepanik, Robert Schindel, Georg Stefan Troller Cast: Peter Simonischek, August Zimer, Daniel Olbrychski, Ruth Rieser. The destinies and memories of a diverse group of people collide when the existence of a noted Nazi, known as the Skull Cracker of the Ebensee concentration camp, is unearthed in Austria. Hermann Gebirtig is a Viennese Jewish composer, now living in New York, who's vowed never to return to Austria. Danny Demant is a Jewish entertainer in a satirical revue in Vienna, bent on provoking reaction from the complacent Viennese. Susanne Ressell, Danny's journalist girlfriend, is the angry daughter of an anti-Nazi communist, who was sent to Ebensee. The troubled Konrad Sachs, Susanne's former boss, is haunted by the knowledge that his father was an SS officer and war criminal. Hovering above them all is Austria itself, a country that has managed to cast itself as a victim of the war and not as the perpetrator of the genocide of its Jews. Powerful and uncompromising, Gebirtig is a reminder that the country of Kurt Waldheim, Joerg Haider and Hitler himself, has still not come to terms with its Nazi past.

KHASENJAH: THE JAMAICAN JEWISH WEDDING

TITLE: KHASENJAH: THE JAMAICAN JEWISH WEDDING
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: David Stein
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 6 minute video
SOURCE: you can watch it online on the klezmer bands webpage http://www.beyondthepale.net/AudioVideo.php http://www.beyondthepale.net/ChasenJah.ram I recommend you contact the Toronto jewish film festival to get the print.
TEXT: A nice Jewish boy and an equally nice Jamaican girl are about to get married. They have all the love in the world to keep them together, but will their families' fear and mistrust of each other spoil the big day? An allegorical tale of inter-ethnic marriage and cultural collision from David Stein. This spirited performance piece features the original music of Beyond The Pale and the mesmerizing choreography of Kaeja d'Dance`s Allen Kaeja. Screened at TJFF

LA GUERRE A PARIS (THE WAR IN PARIS)

TITLE: LA GUERRE A PARIS (THE WAR IN PARIS)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Yolande Zauberman
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 35mm, 81 min.
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writers: Yolande Zauberman, Gérard Brach Cast: Jérémie Rénier, Grégoire Colin, Elodie Bouchez, Julien Le Gallou, Jean-Pierre Léaud. As the war rages on, the noose tightens around the Jews in occupied Paris. Two young Jewish men, Jules (Jérémie Rénier) and Thomas (Julien Le Gallou), struggle to survive, but only Thomas attempts to fight back, joining the resistance and then brazenly stealing a gun belonging to a German officer. When Ana Maria (Elodie Bouchez of The Dreamlife of Angels), a Spanish communist fleeing Franco enters the picture, a love triangle develops. Meanwhile, Jules is being pressured by a French collaborationist policeman to turn informer, under threat of his parents being deported to the camps. A fast-moving, detailed portrait of French life under the Nazis, La Guerre à Paris is the newest emotionally powerful film from the director of the acclaimed Ivan and Abraham (1993).

LES GALETS (SKIMMING STONES)

TITLE: LES GALETS (SKIMMING STONES)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Micha Ward
COUNTRY: BELGIUM / FRANCE
LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles
TIME: 11 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Hiding out in the forest, an Orthodox Jewish family attempts to stay out of sight of the German officer who has appeared in their midst. A subtle and disquieting tale of survival.

A FEVER IN THE BLOOD

TITLE: A FEVER IN THE BLOOD
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Andrew Pulver
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 11 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Hard-boiled, florid private eye Victor Shapiro (Martin McDougall), has just gotten one ear bitten off by a culprit and promptly has lost his hearing in his other one. What's a hearing impaired detective to do? A quirky, flamboyantly funny tale based on a short story by producer/writer Ethan Coen (O' Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo). Winner, Kodak / BAFTA Short Film Showcase, London, 2002

JOHN GARFIELD

TITLE: JOHN GARFIELD
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Mike Rapaport
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 9 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Born Julius Garfinkle, John Garfield was set to become a movie star on the scale of Humphrey Bogart. But the Hollywood blacklist and a heart condition contributed to his death, in 1952, at age 39. Utilizing only film clips from John Garfield`s career (Body and Soul, Gentleman's Agreement), this skillful mini-bio gets under the skin of a Jewish actor who brought a unique ethnic sex appeal to the screen.

MONSIEUR BATIGNOLE

TITLE: MONSIEUR BATIGNOLE
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Gérard Jugnot
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 35mm, 99 min
SOURCE: Christophe Pécot UGC International 20 bis avenue Charles de Gaulle 92200 Neuilly-sur-Scene France Phone: 33-1-46404663 Fax: 33-1-40298910 CPecot@ugc.fr
TEXT: Writers: Philippe Lopes Curval, Gérard Jugnot. Cast: Gérard Jugnot, Jules Sitruk, Jean-Paul Rouve. Like many Frenchman in German-occupied Paris, butcher Edmond Batignole (played by director Gérard Jugnot) is getting by. He makes a little profit off the black market, deals grudgingly with the Germans and turns a blind eye to what's happening to his Jewish neighbours. When young Simon Bernstein, whose family lived upstairs from the Batignoles, shows up, having escaped deportation and needing his help, Batignole's conscience is belatedly awakened. A sentimental but honest portrait of wartime France and a lovely tale of a budding friendship, Monsieur Batignole will touch you deeply.

MY NAME WAS SABINA SPIELREIN

TITLE: MY NAME WAS SABINA SPIELREIN
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Elisabeth Marton
COUNTRY: SWEDEN/SWITZERLAND/DENMARK/FINLAND
LANGUAGE: English, German with English subtitles
TIME: video, 90 min.
SOURCE: http://www.sabinaspielrein.com/
TEXT: She was known as a footnote in the annals of psychoanalysis and briefly mentioned in the existing correspondence between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. In 1977, the newly discovered diaries and letters of Sabina Spielrein revealed that she was so much more. The first client treated by Jung in analysis, the young Jewish woman went on to meet and work with Freud and became one of the first female psychoanalysts. (She was also the first to write about schizophrenia in children.) Spielrein, who heavily influenced Freud in many particulars, may have had a love affair with the womanising Jung, and, tragically, lost her life in the Holocaust, a fate that ended up relegating her to the back pages of history. A powerful, provocative depiction of a trailblazer who never received the appreciation she deserved in life. Elisabeth Márton was born in Stuttgart in 1952. She has resided in Sweden since 1973. She studied psychology, film and theatre and worked as a critic and director's assistant. In 1990 she finished director's studies at the Film Academy in Budapest. She writes, “Since Sabina Spielrein reemerged from oblivion through the discovery of her correspondence with Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, numerous publications and interpretations of her life story and scientific work have appeared. The spectrum of phrases about her ranges from "tragic victim” through "incest victim” to "seduction on the couch”, "scandalous connivance between Jung and Freud”, and the feminist variant, the "victim as heroine”. My intension in making this feature-documentary is primarily to create a cinematic counter-image to the above fragmentary and often negative views, one that deals with Sabina’s many-sided personality, her story and her work. Since Sabina Spielrein’s story is so closely bound up with the early history of psychoanalysis, I chose an analogous way to structure it. The search for undiscovered landscapes of the soul, the subconscious, and the language of dreams with its own world of symbols suggest this path. I proceed like an analyst in a psychoanalytic session: linearly and chronologically on the one hand, disconnectedly and associatively on the other, leaping over the boundaries of time, place, and causality, back to childhood memories, and anticipating future events. This form also determines the rhythm of montage and the multi-layered sound backdrop. Classical elements of documentary films such as inserts from historical documents and photographs, archive films and newsreels will convey the objectivity of the film story, interwoven with subjective scenes from Sabina Spielrein’s inner world.”

Only In America

TITLE: Only In America
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ron Frank
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: video, 72 min.
SOURCE: www.7thArt.com
TEXT: Only in America! Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman said those momentous words after he was chosen by Al Gore as the first ever Jew to run for the office of Vice-President. Interviews with comedian Alan King, historian Arthur Hertzberg, as well as Lieberman himself, his wife Hadassah, who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and his proud 83-year-old mother Marcia, round out this revealing and heartwarming portrayal of a self-deprecating, modest man. Having announced his candidacy for the American Presidency in 2004, his importance as a Jewish trailblazer is more apparent then ever. Featuring interviews with Lieberman's inner circle-from his wife and his mother to members of Congress such as Dianne Feinstein and John Breaux to New Republic Literary Editor Leon Wieseltier, director Ron Frank tells Lieberman's story from a myriad of positions to construct a critical analysis of the Jewish-American experience, its current impact and its potential for the future. This is a future in which, contrary to the mid-century period wherein Jews believed that visibility made one a lightning rod for anti-Semitism, there is even a possibility that the next president of the United States could be a Jewish one.

Reconstruction

TITLE: Reconstruction
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Irene Lusztig
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English, Romanian, Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 90 minute video
SOURCE: http://www.komsomolfilms.com/main.html or Irene@komsomolfilms.com or Women Make Movies 462 Broadway Suite 500 New York, NY 10013 212.925.0606 http://www.wmm.com
TEXT: On September 18, 1959, Monica and Igor Sevianu were arrested, along with four other men, for the "crime" of robbing an armoured car of one million (Rumanian) lei, en route to a branch of the Romanian National Bank. All six of the alleged criminals were Jews, and except for Monica, who served five years in prison, all were sentenced to death by the Communist state. Before the men were executed, they, along with Monica, were coerced into starring in Reconstituirea (Reenactment), a dramatic feature-length propaganda film, which re-created the crime and their arrest. Forty years later, director Irene Lusztig, grandchild of Monica and Igor, set out to reconstruct the events of that time, now shrouded in mystery and lost in memory. Did the group actually commit the robbery? Or, more likely, were they innocent victims of a post-Stalinist anti-Semitic purge? The lack of clear answers about the case and Lusztig's dogged determination to unearth the truth makes for a compelling excursion into the past. Rediscoveries/Discoveries Award, Boston Society of Film Critics, 2001 Certificate of Merit. San Francisco International Film Festival, 2001 Best Documentary, New England Film Festival, 2001

SAMY Y YO (SAMY AND I)

TITLE: SAMY Y YO (SAMY AND I)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Eduardo Milewicz
COUNTRY: ARGENTINA
LANGUAGE: Spanish w/ English ST
TIME: 85 min video
SOURCE: http://www.samyyyo.com/
TEXT: Writer / Director: Cast: Ricardo Darin, Angie Cepeda, Alejandra Flechner. Meet Samy Goldstein (Ricardo Darin), a Jewish sad sack TV writer, who's about to turn 40, with a girlfriend who treats him like dirt and a life which is going nowhere. Then he meets the tempestuous, sexy Mary and before you can say Woody Allen, Samy is the star of his own TV show, which plays off his deepest fears and confusions for laughs. Of course, Samy is still unhappy being a TV star. Waiting in the wings, however, is his overbearing mother, who wouldn't mind a show of her own. A charming confection, Samy Y Yo offers up the new Jewish face of Argentina. Misery was never so much fun. Special Jury Prize, Wolgin award, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2002. Leslie Katz wrote: “His relationship with his overly literate girlfriend Esther (the funny Alejandra Flechner) is at a standstill, his whiny sister (Alejandra Darin) needs money for her son’s bar mitzvah, and his mama (Henny Trayles) simply personifies the classic kvetchy Jewish mother. But his world changes suddenly one day when the gorgeous Mary (Angie Cepeda), accosts him on the street, thinking he is her father’s psychiatrist who has done her wrong. She doesn’t go into details, and it’s not until after she’s literally beaten him up that she believes he’s the mild-mannered writer he says he is.     Thrilled to discover that he works in TV, she shows up at his studio, where she somehow (again the "somehow" – Milewicz really does test our suspension of disbelief) ends up a producer, having somehow convinced the program’s creators to let Samy take over as star of his own reality-type show. Samy, of course, protests in his low-key way, but Mary proves right. The audience loves it when Samy lives his own depressing life onscreen. He doesn’t even write the show anymore, because viewers simply eat up his ad libbing, how he complains over life’s constant, nagging troubles. His mom even guest stars, and is a popular character on the program. Samy becomes a household name, and billboards plastered with his image are all over town, but of course his happiness doesn’t last long because ratings fall when the public resists the new, successful Samy. In spite of having insufficient explanation about Mary’s past, which keeps her from being entirely believable, Samy y Yo wins with its delightful details, from the dry witted Esther, who provides spot-on satire of self-satisfied intellectuals to the pleasantly, and surprisingly underplayed party scene at Samy’s nephew’s bar mitzvah. Marcelo Camorino, director of photography, and Daniel Gimbelberg, art director, capture an eye-catching Buenos Aires on film – from both Samy’s desultory and Mary’s giddy perspectives. Mary’s home décor radiates in shocking pink and orange, and she sits on a bright red sofa that’s shaped like a pair of poofy lips. In the end, Samy y Yo is like a big, friendly kiss.”

American Wedding (American Pie 3)

TITLE: American Wedding
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jesse Dylan / Adam Herz
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: amazon.com
TEXT: Futuremovies writes: “Jim, Michelle, Stifler and the rest of the gang return for one more slice of the pie in another likeable, if crude, comedy. If you liked American Pie, you’ll doubtlessly find something to enjoy in American Pie: The Wedding. Shelving the deadwood cast members that caused the second Pie film to be the cinematic equivalent of the saggy bags underneath Tara Reid’s eyes, writer/producer Adam Herz and director Jesse Dylan have fashioned together a movie that continues the mixture of chuckles and gross out moments which proved so popular the moment Jim shoved his schlong in warm baked goods. The opening of American Pie: The Wedding pretty much indicates the standard and intentions of the rest of the film. James Emmanuel Levenstein (a solid Catholic Jason Biggs plays a Jewish character once again hehe) is attempting to propose to his very own band camp geek Michelle Flaherty (an effortlessly amusing Alyson Hannigan) in a busy restaurant. Misconstruing his efforts, Michelle takes it upon herself to start pleasuring Jim under the table. Jim’s dad (the splendid Eugene Levy) walks in to give Jim the engagement ring he has unknowingly left at home, and starts offering well-intended advice about marriage while his son is, simply put, getting sucked off. Ostensibly, the film’s plot has two main strands: the first sees Jim trying to make sure that the most important day of his life goes to plan, and the second sees Steven Stifler (Seann William Scott) try and woo Michelle’s fit sister Cadence (January Jones) by playing against type. What passes for plot, however, is just an opportunity to present set piece after set piece, some of which work beautifully (Stifler having a ‘dance off’ in a gay bar), and some of which don’t (an unnecessarily extensive bachelor party scene which is just an excuse to show some fake tits)… The strength of American Pie: The Wedding however, is that it has whittled itself down to a strong cast which can pull off all of these set pieces. This third installment only features actors with a good sense of timing (Biggs and Hannigan) or who inhabit an infectiously amusing character (Scott)… a streamlined and more sophisticated feel, allowing more room for superb character actors such as Levy and Fred Willard (as Michelle’s dad) to effortlessly steal the film from its young stars. The film also doesn’t totally shy away from the problem it raises – the fact that one of the prospective newly-weds is clearly very Jewish-American and the other is very clearly Irish-American. True, the film doesn’t exactly tackle the thorny issue of ‘inter-marriage’, more taps it on the shoulder and asks it politely to go away, but at least it recognises it as in issue in the first place. Of course as soon as it’s recognised, the film tries as hard as it can to make the issue go away (and does so by making sure that the main stumbling block to the marriage, Jim’s grumpy Jewish granny, gets real happy by one of the boys, who plays an unsuspecting Harold to her lascivious Maude). Yet the film at least shows an attempt to rise a little bit out of the quagmire of teen movies, and is all the more enjoyable because of it.”

SECRET LIVES: HIDDEN CHILDREN AND THEIR RESCUERS DURING WORLD WAR II

TITLE: SECRET LIVES: HIDDEN CHILDREN AND THEIR RESCUERS DURING WORLD WAR II
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Aviva Slesin
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English, French, Polish with English subtitles
TIME: 35mm, 71 min
SOURCE: 207 E. 84th St. Suite 405E New York, N.Y. 10028 Phone: 212-744-2829 Email: AvivaFilms@aol.com
TEXT: The Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who saved Jews during the time of the Holocaust, remain a source of fascination and admiration for many. Why, when so many were apathetic, did others risk their lives, and even the lives of others, to rescue their fellow Jewish citizens, including thousands of children? And how did those children cope with being uprooted from their parents and "forced" to live with strangers for years? In Secret Lives: Hidden Children and their Rescuers During World War II, Academy award-winning director Aviva Slesin (The Ten Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table), herself hidden by Lithuanians as a baby, profiles those brave, unique individuals, from France, Lithuania, Poland, Belgium and Holland and the children whom they sheltered. From varying political and religious backgrounds and from different classes, each of the rescuers acted according to their consciences, without worrying about the consequences had they been caught. They speak out, many for the first time, about what compelled them to take extraordinary chances in the service of decency. Interviewed, touchingly, alongside those they saved, these heroes and heroines modestly declaim anything special about their brave acts. But there`s nothing modest about their extraordinary accomplishments nor about this inspirational, moving film.

SHALOM IRELAND

TITLE: SHALOM IRELAND
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Valerie Lapin Ganley
COUNTRY: Ireland
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 56 minute video
SOURCE: Share Productions 616 Manor Drive Pacifica, CA 94044 Tel/ 650-738-9495 Fax/ 650-738-9492 vlapin@aol.com
TEXT: Since the 1860s, Jews have flourished in Ireland. An emotional connection between the oppressed (by the British) Catholics and the Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe, combined with minimal anti-Semitism, allowed Jews to thrive in towns like Dublin, Cork and (mostly) Limerick. (The first Jewish Lord mayor of Dublin, the colourful Robert Briscoe, was elected as early as 1956.) But the once 5000 strong community is now down to 1200 souls and the future of Ireland's Jews is in doubt. The highly engaging Shalom Ireland introduces us to a community we know little about, even as, ironically, its days seem to be numbered. SHALOM IRELAND is her feature-length directorial debut. The film was inspired by her discovery that her Lithuanian great-grandparents were the first Jewish couple married in Waterford, Ireland

THE BELIEVERS OF THE ISLAND OF TOLERANCE

TITLE: THE BELIEVERS OF THE ISLAND OF TOLERANCE
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Jan Sosinski
COUNTRY: Poland
LANGUAGE: Polish w/ English ST
TIME: 26 min video
SOURCE: check with the Toronto jewish film festival
TEXT: The ancient Jewish community of Djerba, Tunisia, has managed to peacefully co-exist with its Arab neighbours to this day. Carrying out traditional Jewish rituals, albeit with a Middle Eastern twist, Djerba's Jews celebrate marriages, Bar Mitzvahs and holidays with distinct pleasure. Another fascinating account of the lives of Jews in distant lands.

THANATOS & EROS - THE BIRTH OF THE HOLY FREAK

TITLE: THANATOS & EROS - THE BIRTH OF THE HOLY FREAK
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Karl Nussbaum
COUNTRY: USA / GERMANY
LANGUAGE: English, German with English subtitles
TIME: 59 minutes video
SOURCE: check with the Toronto Jewish Film Fest or Montreal Jewish Film Festival
TEXT: What is the real meaning of love? What is the real feeling of death? Karl Nussbaum (Raw Images of the Optic Cross) offers up another grippingly haunting and experimental examination of the Holocaust and how it has shaped (and warped) us all. Whether it's uncomfortably prying into his parents' unique courtship and marriage or being brutally honest about his own conflicted feelings about women, sex and death, Nussbaum goes places no other filmmaker would dare. Blending startling images of pop culture, including a Jewish take on the Frankenstein and Dracula myths, with film shot during Nussbaum's emotionally wrenching road tripacross Germany, Thanataos & Eros - The Birth of the Holy Freak is a psychological tour de force. A uniquely meditative rumination on mortality and memory. Warning: Scenes of explicit sexuality. Karl Nussbaum has been making films for over 18 years. His films have been screened in numerous European and American film festivals and museums. In 1997 he received a grant from the Puffin Foundation for RAW IMAGES FROM THE OPTIC CROSS, which premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival and has screened at over 45 International Film festivals in 1998- 99. In 1995 he won a Jury Prize at the Hamburg International Kurz Film Festival for PSYCHO-BIOLOGY, and was chosen to be a judge for the festival the following year. He has made over 25 short films and videos. Philadelphia 03, Toronto Jewish 03, Montreal Jewish 03

The Holy Land

TITLE: The Holy Land
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Eitan Gorlin / Udi Yerushalmi & Ran Bogin
COUNTRY: USA/Israel
LANGUAGE: in English/Hebrew/Arabic/Russian
TIME:
SOURCE: http://www.theholylandmovie.com/direct.htm
TEXT: A rabbinical student in Israel becomes involved with a prostitute. Starring Oren Rehany, Tchelet Semel, Saul Stein, Albert Illooz. Set in the world's holiest city during the dawn of the new century as fanatical Christians from across the globe arrive in hopes of provoking a confrontation between the many extremist Arabs and Jews, the plot of "The Holy Land" focuses on Menachem Weinbaum ("Mendy"),a young rabbinical student who is restless to learn about the bigger world. On the advice of his slightly demented teacher, Mendy visits a brothel in Tel Aviv so he can be rid of his "madness" and return tohis studies. There he meets Sasha, a nineteen-year-old Russian prostitute, whose dire situation and immense beauty captivates him. But Mendy's world really opens up when he discovers Mike's Place, a real-life magnet for the lost souls who flock to Jerusalem. A place where Arabs, Christians and Jews drink side by side, Mike's Place introduces Mendy to a gun-toting American-born settler, a shady entrepreneurial Arab and a slew of American expatriates, forever changed by the sixties, who act out biblical roles. As Mendy becomes more immersed in this culture of the millennium he begins to wonder if Mike and his band of misfits are as harmless as they seem? Or are they intent on provoking Armageddon? A story of doomed, passionate love and coming of age in troubled times --set in a world-famous place not unlike Rick's Cafe American or the Cantina in "Star Wars" -- "The Holy Land" explores the underbelly of real life in Jerusalem after the sun goes down and the tourists and Orthodox families go to sleep. Production Design by Carl Stensel. Photography (Color) by Nils Kenaston. Edited by Yair Elazar & Josh Apter. Music by Chris Cunningham. Seen at L.A. Indie 01, Slamdance 02 (Best Narrative Feature), N.Y. Avignon 02 (Best Film), Avignon 02, Oldenburg 02. Opened July 2003 in USA in theatres.

MEMOIRES INCERTAINES

TITLE: MEMOIRES INCERTAINES
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michale Boganim
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English and French w/ English ST
TIME: 35mm, 36 min.
SOURCE: Ardèche Images Production Le village 07170 Lussas, France Tel: +33 (0)4 75 94 26 16 Fax: +33 (0)1 45 47 75 75 aiprod@wanado.fr Contact: Stefane Riguet
TEXT: Was he a World War II resistance fighter? Did he spy for the Mossad? Was he a croupier in a casino or was that a cover for something else? The mystery of who and what Michale Boganim's Great Uncle Henry was, has haunted her family for years. Each family member has a different take on the mysterious man and each specific memory of him only clouds his identity further. Elliptical, ravishing, oblique and even infuriating, Mémoires Incertaines raises questions it cannot answer. In the process, however, it also weaves cinematic magic out of the stuff of a family legend. From London's Film & Television School and the director of Dust.

Once

TITLE: Once
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ellen Flanders
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English, Yiddish with English subtitles
TIME: video 12 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.cfmdc.org/cfmdc_home.html
TEXT: Young and older men and women speak about memory, loss, pain and their relationship to and love of the Yiddish language. Haunting.

Asesino

TITLE: Asesino
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Nurit Kedar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Spanish with English subtitles
TIME: 57 min video
SOURCE: Tel/ 972 3-6203828 nasto@netvision.net.il
TEXT: Of the 30,000 Argentineans who "disappeared" during the reign of the Argentinean junta in the 1970s and early 1980s, a disproportionate number, about 3000, were Jews. Asesino profiles the victims, who were murdered by the virulently anti-Semitic military, and their anguished families, whose lives were torn asunder by what happened to their loved ones. Those families also cry out for the justice denied them when amnesty was given to the military officials implicated in the torture and killings. In one arresting, startling scene, residents try to shame one of the murderers and chase him out of the quiet neighborhood where he has retreated to live. A raw examination of a country's wound that has still not healed.

THE TRAMP AND THE DICTATOR

TITLE: THE TRAMP AND THE DICTATOR
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Kevin Brownlow, Michael Kloft
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 58 video
SOURCE: Bettina Hell Spiegel TV GmbH Brandstwiete 19 D-22605 Hamburg, Germany Bettina_Hell@spiegel-tv.de
TEXT: Narrator: Kenneth Branagh. Though born in the same week in April 1889, and with similar childhood backgrounds, Adolf Hilter and Charlie Chaplin could not have been more different. One, a failed artist, became a ruthless dictator and murderer. The other, a successful comedian and movie star, became a beloved world figure. The Tramp and the Dictator connects them through one film, The Great Dictator, where Chaplin comedically attacked Hitler and his actions. With newly unearthed color footage of the black and white classic film, this fascinating documentary delves into the controversial background of the movie, which was actually opposed by the assimilated Jewish moguls in Hollywood. Ironically, the Nazis had always assumed that Chaplin was Jewish, which might have motivated him to make the film. Whatever the truth, The Tramp and the Dictator casts a beloved movie classic - and its talented creator - in a welcome new light.

THE PAWNSHOP

TITLE: THE PAWNSHOP
YEAR: 1916
DIR/PROD: Charles Chaplin
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 16mm, 20 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: In The Pawnshop, Charlie plays a hapless assistant to a Jewish pawnshop owner, who is fired but then redeemed when he confronts and bests a robber. One of Chaplin's funniest silent films.

UNDYING LOVE: TRUE STORIES OF COURAGE AND FAITH

TITLE: UNDYING LOVE: TRUE STORIES OF COURAGE AND FAITH
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Helene Klodawsky
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English, German and Yiddish with English subtitles
TIME: 88 video
SOURCE: http://www.undyinglovemovie.com/ La Fete Productions (514) 848-0417
TEXT: check out the webpage above. One of the most ironic aspects of the Holocaust is that it often threw together men and women whose relationships would never have developed if not for the Shoah. In the moving Undying Love, Montreal-based Torontonian Helene Klodawsky interviews twelve survivors, including her mother, whose love stories took place during and just after the Second World War, when survival was the key thing and romantic feelings were often a luxury. Whether it was love at first sight or a love that needed time to gel, these wonderfully witty and frank raconteurs, who are mainly residents of Toronto, tell how they met, felt, and finally united in an attempt to recreate their shattered lives. With expert dramatisations of their stories and illustrated with appropriate clips from romantic Hollywood and Yiddish films, Undying Love pays heartfelt tribute to the redemptive power of love.

Y.I.D. - YEHUDEEM IN THE DIASPORA

TITLE: Y.I.D. - YEHUDEEM IN THE DIASPORA
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Igal Hecht
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English, Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 69 video
SOURCE: contact the Toronto Jewish Film Fest for info
TEXT: Are the Israeli Jews who live in Toronto really an accepted part of the larger Jewish community in the city? Some say they are not. From the commonly expressed Canadian-Jewish perception of Israelis as arrogant and pushy to the latters' views, in turn, of Canadian - born Jews as passive and weak, Y.I.D. attempts to bridge the great divide between the two groups. A disquieting look at two new solitudes in Toronto.

Falafel

TITLE: Falafel
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Avner Levona
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 10 minutes video
SOURCE: Avner Levona Levona Film 97 Sandringham Dr. Toronto Ontario M3H 1E1 CANADA Tel: 416-633-4278 Fax: 416-633-4278 levonadigital@rogers.com
TEXT: Are the best falafels made in Israel? And if so, why? Avner Levona visits a falafel restaurant in Toronto to ask these hard questions and along the way, samples a sandwich or two. A tasty movie about a tasty dish.

9 Dead Gay Guys

TITLE: 9 Dead Gay Guys
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 35mm 83 minutes
SOURCE: A TLA Releasing Film
TEXT: Outrageously comic, proudly tasteless, and undeniably politically incorrect, this over-the-top British comedy follows the misadventures of Kenny and Byron, two cute, seemingly straight, Irish lads who seek their fortune in a bizarre but hilarious gay underground. At first content to turn tricks for generous older men in the local gay pub, the boys soon concoct a scheme to rob size-queen Golders Green, a secretive Orthodox Jew, reputedly (and stereotypically) hoarding a large stash of cash. In their quest for the cash, Kenny and Byron must pass increasingly absurd challenges, including a randy dwarf with anger management issues; a Pakistani cab driver with hygiene problems; an alarming but amusing succession of dying gay men; and, most daunting of all, Golders Green's Really Hard Red Bull Test (don't worry, all will be explained...). Fast-paced and wickedly funny, 9 Dead Gay Guys doesn't take itself seriously, so sit back, relax, and get ready to laugh

The Bombay Jews

TITLE: The Bombay Jews
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Rajesh Latkar
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English, Hindi, Marathi with English subtitles
TIME: 30 min video
SOURCE: E-mail: rajeshlatkar@yahoo.co.in
TEXT: The storied history of the Jews of Bombay (Mumbai), who have lived there for centuries, their acceptance in multicultural India and their own unique religious practices. A loving look at an atypical Jewish community.

I Exist: Voices from the Lesbian & Gay Middle Eastern Community in the US

TITLE: I Exist: Voices from the Lesbian & Gay Middle Eastern Community in the US
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Peter Barbosa
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: video, 56 min
SOURCE:
TEXT: Gays and lesbians of Middle Eastern descent in the US suffer not only general societal homophobia, but also homophobia within their own families and communities and vilification in the media and popular cultural for their ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Through personal stories from lesbian and gay individuals and their families - including Jews, Christians, and Muslims from Armenia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, and Sudan - I Exist gives a voice to a largely invisible and oppressed community.

Fantasy - Another Country

TITLE: Fantasy - Another Country
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Sharon Hammou Avi Hershkovitz
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 52 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Though both gay, Samy Jaber and Michael Shimeon have very different backgrounds: Samy is a Palestinian from Jaffa, while Michael, a Sephardic Yemenite Jew, comes from religious B'nai-Darom. Each has found in Tel Aviv a greater degree of freedom to live openly as a gay man and to perform drag. Working together, Samy and Michael plan a joint performance in which they explore questions of identity, gay politics, and racial and religious identity in modern day Israel. Blending witty and entertaining performance footage with insightful commentary, Fantasy offers a refreshing example of mutual respect and friendship between Arabs and Jews.

Mommy Queerest (Johnny)

TITLE: Mommy Queerest (Johnny)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Eitan Anner
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: video, 2 x 25 min
SOURCE:
TEXT: Presenting The Will and The Golden Hanger, two episodes from a hilarious Israeli sitcom centered on a 29-year-old gay fashion designer who opens his studio right downstairs from his overpowering homophobic mother. Created and written by Jonathan Koniak & Itzik Cohen

Zero Degrees of Separation

TITLE: Zero Degrees of Separation
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ellen Flanders
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: Work in progress shown at newfest in nyc
TEXT: Zero Degrees of Separation is a documentary film-in-progress focusing on queer Palestinians and Israelis and their relationship to the current conflict. At the heart of the film are Selim and Ezra, an Israeli and Palestinian gay couple who are trying to win the right to live together in Jerusalem and survive not only the larger conflict but the smaller battles of their daily lives with family and friends. Director Ellen Flanders, who recently returned from the region, will show an excerpt from her film and discuss the current situation as it relates to the queer world. The presentation will focus on the current conflict in the Middle East and the process of making a documentary film in difficult circumstances. Ellen Flanders is a filmmaker and photographer based in Toronto and New York. She was the Executive Director of the Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival of Toronto, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video. Middle East Focus

Jake: Today I Become a Man

TITLE: Jake: Today I Become a Man
YEAR: 2000
DIR/PROD: Stacy Foiles
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 15 minute video
SOURCE: Bird Pictures 718-768-6199 safoiles@aol.com u can see it online on ifilms.com
TEXT: A 13-year-old boy’s take on gender roles and drag. A hilarious, insightful Jake: Today I Become A Man. documentary that ends, of course, with a dance number. Includes a bar mitzvah, and his discussion of lesbian parents and his love of drag.

See ifilm.com for SOPRANOwitzes by Seth Weidner
NYPD Jew
Good Jill Hunting

TITLE:
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT:

A Yiddish World Remembered

TITLE: A Yiddish World Remembered
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Andrew Goldberg
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: Connecticut Public TV
TEXT: Production funding provided by the Koret Foundation, Public Television Viewers and PBS. Producer: Two Cats Productions in association with Connecticut Public Television. Executive producer: Andrew Goldberg. Reminiscing about his childhood in Oshmana, Belarus, Michal Baran describes the delirious odors of the Sabbath dinners he smelled as he walked through his shtetl on Friday nights. "The smell of the gefilte fish," he says, wistfully, as klezmer music can be heard being played softly in the background. "And the kugel and the cholent!" Those smells and sounds are at the heart of Andrew Goldberg's new documentary, "A Yiddish World Remembered." It will serve as an excellent introduction to anyone who wants to get a basic education in Yiddish life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The filmmakers interview dozens of native Yiddish speakers who grew up in Eastern Europe about their past day-to-day lives, as well as scholars of Yiddish and Jewish history. According to Goldberg, the film's director and producer, he and his co-producers, Melissa Nix and Lee Rogers, plowed through hundreds of photographs and films at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (some of which were from the Forward archive housed at YIVO) as well as sources in Eastern Europe. The result is a remarkable depiction of the vanished world of Yiddish life and culture. Aron Grunfeld talks about growing up in cheder, under the exacting guidance of old-time Yiddish schoolmasters, who demanded an exacting rigor and discipline when it came to learning about Judaism. "We didn't have time to play; they didn't let us," said Grunfeld, who was born in Dukla, Poland. "In other words, it was so important... to learn that I went to school until about 2 o'clock and I would go to cheder from there. Then I came home and studied. So it was kind of hard for us to grow and get tall." The yiddishe mama — and all her impossible chores and worries — is also discussed in detail. Anna Brünn Ornstein describes taking care of her household in Szendro, Hungary. "The milk had to be kosher," said Ornstein. "As a little girl... I would take our own kosher soap and make sure that the woman who was about to milk the cow would wash her hands very thoroughly with my soap... Then she had to — in front of me — clean the udder of the cow. And I would be there while she was milking to make sure." Mila Baran, Michal Baran's wife, describes frenzied Sabbath afternoons in Oshmana when women would pick up the pots of cholent that they had asked the baker to cook. "Some people didn't remember what kind of pot it was," Baran said, "and this one used to say: 'This is my pot!' and the other one would say, 'No, this is my pot!'" Samuel Kassow, a history professor at Trinity College in Connecticut, describes the world of Yiddish insults: "May all your teeth fall out — may one remain as a toothache!" "In every city we visited," Goldberg said of his travels in Poland and Ukraine, "we found the oldest people in town." Many remembered the Jews fondly; some even asked after the Jewish survivors who had moved to America. In one incident that wound up on the cutting-room floor, Goldberg interviewed an elderly Pole who spent 15 minutes on camera denouncing Jews. "I didn't tell him I was Jewish," Goldberg said, but the man did nothing to hide his attitudes. He then went two houses down, where a neighbor talked about the Jewish friends he had as a child.




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