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TITLE: Dummy
YEAR: 2002 released in 2003
DIR/PROD: Greg Pritikin
TIME: 90
SOURCE: on video
TEXT: An aspiring singer in a dysfunctional household finds her niche in Yiddish music, while her friend tries to make it as a ventriloquist, saddled with a dummy who embodies his inner doubts. Stars Adrien Brody, Steven Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, and Ron Leibman. The Village Voice wrote: "it has Adrien Brody in his last pre-Pianist role, leading one to assume that the film-which veers torpidly from antic humor to mortifying sentimentality-would have remained shelved were it not for his Oscar coup. Brody plays Steven, a nerdy clerk who decides to pursue his dream of ventriloquism after losing his job and falling for his unemployment counselor (Vera Farmiga). Dummy's laughs revolve around Steven's one-dimensionally neurotic family (including Illeana Douglas) and a punk-rock pal (the decidedly multi-dimensional Milla Jovovich), while the curdled plot, and Brody himself, who must be awfully thankful for Roman Polanski, flounder listlessly."

Lost In Translation
What really gets said by the Japanese director when he is directing Bill Murray for a Suntory commercial

Bob, who is in town to make a whiskey commercial, doesn't speak Japanese. His director (Yutaka Tadokoro), a histrionic Japanese hipster, doesn't speak English. In one scene, Bob goes on the set and tries to understand the director through a demure interpreter (Akiko Takeshita), who is either unable or (more likely) unwilling to translate everything the director is rattling on about.

Needless to say, Bob is lost. And without subtitles, so is the audience. Here, translated into English, is what the fulmination is really about.

DIRECTOR (in Japanese to the interpreter): The translation is very important, O.K.? The translation.
INTERPRETER: Yes, of course. I understand.
DIRECTOR: Mr. Bob-san. You are sitting quietly in your study. And then there is a bottle of Suntory whiskey on top of the table. You understand, right? With wholehearted feeling, slowly, look at the camera, tenderly, and as if you are meeting old friends, say the words. As if you are Bogie in "Casablanca," saying, "Cheers to you guys," Suntory time!
INTERPRETER: He wants you to turn, look in camera. O.K.?
BOB: That's all he said?
INTERPRETER: Yes, turn to camera.
BOB: Does he want me to, to turn from the right or turn from the left?
INTERPRETER (in very formal Japanese to the director): He has prepared and is ready. And he wants to know, when the camera rolls, would you prefer that he turn to the left, or would you prefer that he turn to the right? And that is the kind of thing he would like to know, if you don't mind.
DIRECTOR (very brusquely, and in much more colloquial Japanese): Either way is fine. That kind of thing doesn't matter. We don't have time, Bob-san, O.K.? You need to hurry. Raise the tension. Look at the camera. Slowly, with passion. It's passion that we want. Do you understand?
INTERPRETER (In English, to Bob): Right side. And, uh, with intensity.
BOB: Is that everything? It seemed like he said quite a bit more than that.
DIRECTOR: What you are talking about is not just whiskey, you know. Do you understand? It's like you are meeting old friends. Softly, tenderly. Gently. Let your feelings boil up. Tension is important! Don't forget.
INTERPRETER (in English, to Bob): Like an old friend, and into the camera.
DIRECTOR: You understand? You love whiskey. It's Suntory time! O.K.?
DIRECTOR: O.K.? O.K., let's roll. Start.
BOB: For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.
DIRECTOR: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut! (Then in a very male form of Japanese, like a father speaking to a wayward child) Don't try to fool me. Don't pretend you don't understand. Do you even understand what we are trying to do? Suntory is very exclusive. The sound of the words is important. It's an expensive drink. This is No. 1. Now do it again, and you have to feel that this is exclusive. O.K.? This is not an everyday whiskey you know.
INTERPRETER: Could you do it slower and --
DIRECTOR: With more ecstatic emotion.
INTERPRETER: More intensity.
DIRECTOR (in English): Suntory time! Roll.
BOB: For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.
DIRECTOR: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut! God, I'm begging you.

In an interview, Ms. Coppola said she wrote the dialogue for the scene in English, and then it was translated into Japanese for Mr. Tadokoro. The scene, she said, came out of her own experience promoting her first feature film, "The Virgin Suicides," in Japan. Whenever she would say something, she said, the interpreter would seemingly speak for much longer. "I would think that she was adding to what I was saying and getting carried away, so I wanted to have that in the scene."

In the scene, Ms. Coppola said, Mr. Murray never did learn what the director was saying. "I like the fact that the American actors don't really know what's going on, just like the characters," she said.

Anything Else

TITLE: Anything Else
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Woody Allen
TIME: 90
SOURCE: video
TEXT: Woody Allen takes a crack at GenX romantic comedy with the story of a young NY writer (Italian American Jason Biggs plays the quintessential Jew again), who has trouble with a neurotic girlfriend (Christina Ricci). When she refuses to have sex with him. He turns to an older writer, his mentor (woody Allen) for advice.

Marci X

TITLE: Marci X
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Richard Benjamin
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Paramount video
TEXT: Lisa Kudrow and Damon Wayans play the stereotypical Jewish shopper and Black rapper, respectively. The Village Voice wrote: "When black people make love, is it different?" cooing JAP Marci Feld (Lisa Kudrow) asks the not-hardly-surly rapper Dr. S (Damon Wayans) as they cruise Central Park in his stretch SUV. "Oh, yeah," he snickers. "It's good." Sigh. For every black comic, a miscegenation tale brimming with electrifyin' mojo seems a frustratingly cruel rite of passage... First test-screened in 2001, Marci X sports woefully outmoded cultural punchlines from Burberry to "Bye Bye Bye." Based on the Ice-T/Time Warner controversy, this demeaning slapstick (penned by In & Out's Paul Rudnick) finds chatterbox Kudrow aiming to clean up Dr. S's act to save her dim father's distribution company. The unfathomably popular Dr. S is a botched jumble of clichés-a gangster rapper from Harlem who dresses like a Milwaukee pimp, performs with an MC Hammer-esque stage troupe, and talks like Harvey Fierstein. At a charity auction, he scoffs, "Who wants to win dinner with Donald Trump?" Hey, silly-as a rapper preoccupied with the bottom line, you do... Moving beyond stultifying to stupefying. After defending his free speech, Dr. S tells a congressional hearing that his song title "In the Butt" actually means "with love and respect" to black people.... In an ending to do Bulworth proud, anti-obscenity crusader Senator Spinkle (Christine Baranski) is outed as a Dr. S fetishist, which allows him to happily continue promulgating negative stereotypes of African Americans.

The Human Stain

TITLE: The Human Stain
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Robert Benton / Lakeshore International and Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Scott Steindorff
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Miramax Home Video
TEXT: Coleman Silk is a distinguished professor at New England College; his professional life is destroyed following accusations of racism and his personal life enters into crisis inconsequence to a lie that he has lived with for fifty years. Career and reputation ruined, Silk only begins to come back to life when he meets a young female writer by the name of Nathan Zackerman who is fascinated by his story, and with whom he starts a relationship. Whilst reconstructing the professors story, Zuckerman comes across the secret that he had managed to hide even from his wife and children and she begins to understand. Script by Nicholas Meyer taken from the short story by Philippe Roth. Music by Rachel Portman. Stars Anthony Hopkins Nicole Kidman Ed Harris Garry Sinise Anna Dea Vere Smith Wentworth Miller Jacinda Barret.

Shattered Glass

TITLE: Shattered Glass
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Billy Ray
TIME: 90
TEXT: An ambitious young Jewish journalist, Stephen Glass, fabricated many of his stories that he wrote for The New York Times and TNR The New Republic. This is the dramatized version of his lying sick life. Stars Hank Azaria, Chloe Sevigny, and Hayden Christensen

My Architect

TITLE: My Architect
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Nathaniel Kahn
TIME: 90
TEXT: Nathaniel Kahn's documentary about his father, the famed architect, Louis I. Kahn, and his extremely mysterious life and gruesome death.

Monsieur Ibrahim

TITLE: Monsieur Ibrahim / Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: François Dupeyron / Michèle et Laurent Petin
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 106 in 35mm
SOURCE: ARP 75, Avenue des Champs Elysées 75008 Paris France 0033 1 56 69 26 00 0033 1 45 63 83 37
TEXT: After "The Officer's Ward", I needed to go towards a story that would do me good. "Monsieurs Ibrahim and the Flowers of Coran" is such a story. It's a story about a smile. A young and lonely 13-year-old Jewish boy meets an old Arab running a grocery store, who becomes his friend, his mentor, his family. From the novel by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Stars Omar Sharif, Pierre Boulanger, Gilbert Melki, Isabelle Renauld, Isabelle Adjani, Lola Naymark. Seen at Venice. Opens December 5 2003 in USA
On note on Sharif...Sharif grew up in a devout Catholic family (as Michael Shalhoub), but convertered to Islam as an adult to marry Faten Hamama. His son has married three times, once to an Orthodox Jewess, once to a Catholic and once to a Muslim. His grandson lives in Canada and is Jewish (Omar paid for the bar mitzvah) Writing for JTA, Tom Tugend wrote: ...LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 (JTA) - ....Sharif is promoting "Monsieur Ibrahim," the latest of his more than 70 movies and a love story of a different kind - between an elderly Muslim and an abandoned Jewish boy. Sharif´s title character is the owner of a small food market on a seedy Paris street, where Orthodox Jews do their best to ignore the parade of prostitutes and their customers. In a small apartment above the street lives 16-year old Moise, nicknamed "Momo." Abandoned by his mother, Momo lives with his morose father, cooking his meals and driving him crazy with ear-splitting rock music on a transistor radio. Momo also does the shopping for the truncated family at Ibrahim´s market and rationalizes his petty thievery there because he believes it´s all right to steal from an Arab. Ibrahim is actually not an Arab, but a Turkish Muslim who imparts philosophical musings from his personalized interpretation of the Koran to the boy. Momo is Jewish, but he links the faith of his ancestors mainly to his father´s depression. When the father walks out on the boy to find a job, Momo´s only friend - outside of the hookers whom he has started to patronize - is Ibrahim.
Despite moving performances by Sharif and by Pierre Boulanger as Momo, and director Francois Dupeyron´s description of the picture as "a hymn to tolerance, a cry for hope," the French film suffers from excessive sentimentality. Jewish viewers may also feel uneasy by the contrast between Ibrahim´s strong Muslim faith and the way Momo views his Judaism as meaningless. Sharif seemed taken aback by the last observation. "The only objections I heard from French Jews was that no Jewish mother would ever abandon her child," he said. ...
[monsieur ibraham]

[monsieur ibrahim]

The Statement

TITLE: The Statement
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Norman Jewison (not a Jew hehe)
TEXT: Written by Ronald Harwood (The Pianist). Stars Michael Caine. Caine plays an aging elderly Frenchman who, as a Nazi Sympathizer during WWII, denounced 14 Jews. He is uncovered by an investigator played by Tilda Swinson.


YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Amos Gitai / Agav Hafakot and Amos Gitai
COUNTRY: France/Israel
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 120
SOURCE: Producer 37 Rachi Street 63265 Tel Aviv Israel 00972 3 5255 971 00972 3 4834 8673
TEXT: Gitai writes: "I wanted to emphasize the feeling of an almost incestuous promiscuity. In Israel, communities rub shoulders, side by side, each trying to make their own little space. At the same time, reality, news, neighbours and gossip incessantly invade people's private lives. There's a constant penetration of intimate space. Everyone knows one another... It's important for cinema to speak plainly, refusing to demonize, refusing the vocabulary of hate. Over-simplified and exotic imagery should be over. Maybe it's also this physical sense which helps people in Tel-Aviv not to become authoritarian. This disorder, this chaos creates the human side in the city." Synopsis: In a building on the boundary between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Until now, Aviram, his dog, and his neighbour, the old Schwartz, have led a quiet life. But everything seems to have changed recently.
Co-Producer M.P. Productions 22, galerie Saint-Marc 75002 Paris Francia 0033 1 40 39 05 71 0033 1 40 39 98 65 International Distributor Celluloid Dreams 2 rue Turgot 75009 Paris Francia 0033 1 49 70 03 70 0033 1 49 70 03 71

Le cerf-volant

TITLE: Le cerf-volant
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Randa Chahal Sabbag / Humbert Balsan
COUNTRY: France/Lebanon
LANGUAGE: Arabic w/ English ST
TIME: 80
SOURCE: Ognon Pictures Humbert Balsan 14, rue Montmartre 75001 Paris France 0033 1 40 26 56 08 0033 1 40 26 02 09
TEXT: Synopsis On the day of her wedding, sixteen year old Lamia, must cross the barbed wire barrier that separates her Lebanese village from that of her cousin, which has been annexed by Israel. Between the villages, the frontier is heavily patrolled. A checkpoint, controlled by both sectors, permits wedded couples and dying persons to return to their own village. Lamia reaches the family of her fiancé, abbandoning her younger brother, school, kite, her mother, the past, refusing her husband. Little by little she falls in love with a soldier who has watched her since the first day he saw her. The film is based on the separation of villages in Syria's Golan region, which began during the war with Israel in June 1967. It could easily be situated along the Greek-Turkish frontier, where 180 kilometres of barbed wire are called the "Attila Line", in Korea, Palestine or... wherever borders transform the Other into a stranger, an enemy. Child of a Lebanese mother and Iraqi father, a life-long victim of conflict, never free from the feeling of permanent danger. I wanted to deal with war without being hostile. It was necessary to reconcile shadow and mobility, reject Faith, plunge into doubt and express it visually. A film about love on the frontier was needed, without shooting, no talk of peace. The Kite is first and foremost a love story, of desire and disaster. International Distributor: F.P.I 5, rue du Chevalier de Saint Geoges 75008 Paris France 0033 1 42960220 0033 1 40200551


TITLE: Rosenstrasse
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Margarethe von Trotta / Richard Schöps
COUNTRY: Germany/ The Netherlands
LANGUAGE: German w/ English ST
TIME: 136
SOURCE: RJ Millard Samuel Goldwyn Films 1133 Broadway Ste. 926 New York, NY 10010 Phone: 212.367.9435 x 14 Fax: 212.367.0853 Email:
Studio Hamburg Letterbox Jenfelder Allee, 80 D-20095 Hamburg Germany 0049 40 6688 22 40 / 66885449 0049 40 6688 22 66 / 66885522
TEXT: Ruth Weinstein, a New York woman, has just buried her husband. In her grief she ponders her orthodox Jewish religion and arranges a 30-day mourning period for the whole family. She disapproves the marriage of her daughter, Hannah, to the South American Luis. In order to find out why her mother is behaving so strangely, Hannah goes to Berlin to look for clues. She mets Lena Fischer: she met her mother as she was a little girl in a street called Rosenstrasse where, in 1943, hundreds of women had gathered to demonstrate against the deportation of their Jewish husbands. The director writes: One of the reasons why I wanted to make the film is Memory. I've always been very curious as to how it works: And here I am able to demonstrate that there are two different types of memory. There is Ruth, who had spent a lifetime succesfully suppressing it. For her, memory is linked to a deep wound. And there is Lena, whom memory is one of a victory, and therefore she does not need to suppress what she experienced. Stars: Katjia Riemann and Maria Schrader and Jürgen Vogel International Distributor: Studio Canal 5 13, Boulevard de la République F-92100 Boulogne-Billancourt France 0033 1 71758500 0033 1 71758973

Blessings: Roommates in Jerusalem

TITLE: Blessings: Roommates in Jerusalem
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Paula Weiman-Kelman
LANGUAGE: English, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 45 beta
SOURCE: Paula Weiman-Kelman Israel Fax/ 972 2 6716537
TEXT: Five years of shooting bring us an intimate picture of a decades-long relationship between two remarkable women: Shulamit Cohen, 74, and Ilana Blumenfeld, 66. They are developmentally challenged roommates at Magen, an assisted-living facility in Jerusalem. Paula Weiman-Kelman's film opens a unique window into the lives of people who are typically removed from the mainstream. As they rise to the ordinary challenges of daily life, we come to understand something of their spiritual depth as human beings. A particularly interesting element of this story is the special relationship between the Magen community and Kol Haneshema, a progressive synagogue in the neighborhood led by the filmmaker's husband, Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman.


YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Maurice Dores
LANGUAGE: English, French, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 85 beta
SOURCE: Maurice Dores Les Films Esdes 256 Blvd Voltaire Paris, 75011 France Tel/ 33 43713167 Fax/ 33 1 43713167
TEXT: An African guest worker who plays in an all-French soccer league in Tel Aviv; a religious student in Jerusalem who traces his heritage to a Hebraic tribe in Nigeria; a Togolese ambassador; and a community of African-Americans who run Israel's first tofu factory are among the people we meet in this unique documentary exploring the intersection of blacks and Jews in Israel and beyond. The film introduces us to the Hebrew Israelite community of Dimona, where a group of African-Americans who fled urban slums in the 1960s have formed an independent community in the Negev desert; an Ethiopian Jewish congregation in Harlem preparing for a marriage; an African man learning Yiddish in Paris; and Rebecca Walker, the biracial daughter of civil rights activist Alice Walker. A Harlem rabbi reveals his thoughts on the spread of Judaism in sub-Saharan Africa, while black Jews ponder the shared and disparate histories of racial and religious persecution between black and Jewish people. We also hear from black people who have converted to Judaism from various backgrounds, addressing the negative and positive ways in which people are affected by their heritage, and the steps they're willing to take to live the lives they desire. This engaging film is a vibrant portrait of pluralistic 21st-century Jewish identities across the globe.


YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Royston Tan
TIME: 93
TEXT: The adventure of five fifteen year old boys in Singapore: estranged to every social reference, except for that of appearance and close friendships, they live their lives distant from their families and school, passing their days in a complete state of indolence in the search of experiences, at times even physically painful (tattoos, piercing, wounds). Their imaginary is completely colonized by Mtv, cartoons, electronic jingles, publicity and comics as every moment of their existence depicts a audiovisual performance or label. Stars: Shaun Tan, Melvin Chen, Vynn Soh, Erick Chun, and Melvin Lee. Tan writes: Interpreted by street-kids that belong to the group they represent, this audacious and disturbing first work by the twenty-six year old Royston Tan explores an adolescent world, dramatically marked by the conflictual under-culture and complete addiction to video clip and videogame aesthetics. The existential suburban hardship, compared to the bright "western" and "English speaking" metropolis, is consumed through moving and desperate dialogues inscribed in a progression of disturbing sequences, similar to short sketches that slowly reconstruct the relational, psychological and family dynamics of the five boys. A sincere and lyrical film but at the same time irreverent, scandalous and extreme, an expression of Singapore cinema, unknown and emerging.



My Four Children

TITLE: My Four Children
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Nitza Gonen
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 54 beta
SOURCE: sfjff
TEXT: Nitza Gonen's film introduces us to Nelly Portuges, a mother who has suffered the loss of two of her four children. Her daughter Irit was killed in a terrorist attack on a bus, and her son Don was lost in a traffic accident. Sunken into despair, Nelly found the resolution to pull herself out by reaching out to children with Down's syndrome. Before long, she had four new children, all with the extra gene that leads to Down's. Her former husband and two natural daughters aren't sure how to take this new turn in Nelly's life, but her indomitable force buoys the entire family. Shown at sFjff in 2003


YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: November Wanderin
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: English, German, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 29 beta
SOURCE: Diaspora Media Productions
November Wanderin Goltzstr. 13A, 10781 Berlin Mobile: (+49) 160 957 97 324 Fax/Tel.: (+49 30) 978 88 372
TEXT: BERLIN BESHERT is a hilarious look at the misadventures of two German-Jewish sisters searching for soul mates in modern day Berlin. Shown at sFjff in 2003

Burial Society

TITLE: Burial Society
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Nicholas Racz
TIME: 100 in 35mm
SOURCE: Richard Baumgartel The Big Little Picture Company Ltd. 1664 - 144th Street Surrey, BC V4A 4K9 Canada Tel/ 604-542-2733 Fax/ 604-542-2744
TEXT: The Chevrah Kadisha (a traditional Jewish burial society, in which elders prepare bodies for interment as a sacred duty to their community) is not your average backdrop for a seriocomic caper movie, but it imbues this offbeat Jewish noir with a unique gravity. It's a bit unusual that Sheldon (Rob LaBelle), a thirty-something schlemiel of an accountant, wants to join a Chevrah Kadisha, but the tough old foxes of the group (Jan Rubes, Allan Rich, and Bill Meilen) decide to give him a chance. Then, two million bucks turn up missing from Sheldon's former employer. Where's the money? Why were two thugs dangling him off a bridge? What does this have to do with a traditional Jewish spiritual practice? Why was the Mafia kingpin (Seymour Cassel) so unhappy to meet Sheldon? And why is Sherman's brother the only person he can trust? Canadian director Nicholas Racz has taken the little-seen world of the Jewish burial society and plunked a quirky, well-woven murder mystery - complete with Jewish Mafia thugs, devious detectives, and nervous breakdowns - right in the middle of it. It's a treat. Beautifully shot, tightly edited and darkly funny. Shown at sFjff in 2003

Caravan 841

TITLE: Caravan 841
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Zion Rubin
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 52 beta
SOURCE: Ruth Diskin Films 8, Tervaya Street Jerusalem, 94543 Israel Tel/ 972 2-622 2086 Fax/ 972 2-625 6047
TEXT: In this emotionally powerful drama, we see a compelling vision of contemporary immigrant life in Israel. Moshe, an Ethiopian immigrant boy, lives in a temporary refugee camp where he anxiously waits to be reunited with his mother, who has been left behind in Addis Ababa. While he waits for news of her situation, his refugee camp is slated for closure and his fate falls into the hands of insensitive government bureaucrats. As a vulnerable young person on the edge of society, he is torn between the adults in his life-Aharon, the strict but caring Orthodox teacher who tells him to trust in God, and his new friend Walter, an African American saxophone player who teaches him to trust in himself. Beautiful, bittersweet, and hopeful, CARAVAN 841 reveals the reality of Ethiopian immigrant life. With music by Billie Holiday and Bob Marley. Winner, Best Script, Jerusalem Film Festival 2001. Shown at sFjff in 2003

Pepe's Watch

TITLE: Pepe's Watch
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michael Peretz
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Eng ST
TIME: 19 min in 16mm
SOURCE: Tal Shanny Sam Spiegel Film & TV School P.O. Box 10636 - 4 Yad Harutzim Street Jerusalem, 91103 Israel Tel/ 972 2 673 19 50 x42 Fax/ 972 2 673 19 49
TEXT: Dudu doesn't want to wear his fancy birthday suit, or listen to his mother. When he and his mother fight after he loses a watch that belonged to his father, they soon come to understand that a watch is not all they stand to lose. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Cherries in the Snow

TITLE: Cherries in the Snow
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Melissa Levin
TIME: 5 minute video
SOURCE: Jeff Crawford Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Center 37 Hanna Avenue, Suite #220 Toronto, ON M6K 1W9 Canada Tel/ 416-588-0725 Fax/ 416-588-7956
TEXT: An Ode to Joan Nestle, features women in red lipstick and lingerie, hanging their lovely undergarments on laundry lines. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


TITLE: Detained
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Anat Even, Ada Ushpiz
LANGUAGE: Arabic, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 73 beta
SOURCE: Ruth Diskin Films 8, Tervaya Street Jerusalem, 94543 Israel Tel/ 972 2-622 2086 Fax/ 972 2-625 6047
TEXT: Najwa, Nawal, and Siham, three Palestinian widows, live with their 11 children in a house on Shudada Street in Hebron. Their home is caught between two cultures; the facade is under Israeli occupation and the Palestinian Authority controls the back. At the entrance is an Israeli military post, and on the roof the Israelis have a machine-gun look out. While Israeli soldiers take up their daily post on the roof, the women hang their laundry, gossip, and clean up the soldiers' litter. The absurdity of their situation is almost unfathomable. This bold and well-crafted documentary by two Israeli women provides a unique window into the lives of Palestinian women living under occupation. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


TITLE: Settlers
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ruth Walk
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 58 beta
SOURCE: Amy Adrion First Run Features 153 Waverly Place New York, NY 10014 United States Tel/ 212-243-0600 Fax/ 212-989-7649
TEXT: Director Ruth Walk gains unprecedented access to the orthodox Jewish women settlers of Tel Romeida, a community of seven families and 43 children in the West Bank city of Hebron. These earnest Israeli housewives seem oblivious to the all Arab world surrounding them. Stalwart in their belief in the Jews' divine right to this land, they pay little heed to the fact that they are living in a state of siege, made possible only by the Israeli army. During Jewish holidays, the Arab residents of Hebron (who form the majority) must stay indoors under a curfew. The settlers' denial of their impact on their neighbors' existence is disturbingly surreal. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Embrace Me

TITLE: Embrace Me
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Michal Avraham, Shaul Meislish
LANGUAGE: Arabic, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 48 beta
SOURCE: Donna Gobi Israel Film Service Hakiriya, Romema POB 13240 Jerusalem, 91130 Israel Tel/ 972 2-652 2174 Fax/ 972 2-652 6818
TEXT: Jo Amar is a liturgical poet, singer and composer whose voice embodies the longing and beautiful rhythmic dissonance of Mizrahi music. A Moroccan Jew who came to Israel in the 1950s, Amar's rich history includes stints as a liturgical poet in the towns of Meknes, Fez, and Casablanca. The film explores the capricious waves of popularity and anonymity that have buffeted Amar's music in Israel, and follows Amar on a trip back to Morocco, delving into the roots of Mizrahi music. Featuring exquisite music and unique archival footage from Amar's performances, EMBRACE ME is a celluloid feast for the eyes and ears. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Udi Aloni
LANGUAGE: Arabic, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 70 beta
SOURCE: Neil Friedman Menemsha Entertainment 1157 S. Beverly Drive, 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel/ 0 310-712-3720 Fax/ 0 310-277-6602
TEXT: Janis Plotkin, former ED of the writes: "Opening with the loud crescendo of a fiery drum beat New York-based Israeli artist Udi Aloni takes us on a personal odyssey of discovery of the root causes and present contradictions of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Part intellectual pilgrimage, part surreal work of art in which poetry, music and images are intertwined. The heart of the film is Udi's effort to understand the theological-political background he inherited from his mother, Shulamit Aloni, co-founder of the Israeli Civil Rights Movement, Education Minister in Yitzhak Rabin's government and a leading peace activist. In January 2002 she and her son go to visit an old friend of hers, Palestinian human rights lawyer Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, who puts them in touch with Yassir Arafat. Udi interviews Arafat, his mother and other leading Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals on the subject of the religious and political dimensions of the conflict. The film is inter-cut with the works of artists; Israeli singer David Daor, the dancer Dikla and Palestinian rapper DAM, who perform bilingually in Arabic and Hebrew. The writings and ideas of Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin suffuse the piece wrapping it with a contemplative veil of "Angelus Novus" or the 'Angel of History'" Shown at the sfjff in 2003. Shown at Hampton Fest 2003


TITLE: Tikkun
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Taliya Finkel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 51 min. beta
SOURCE: Taliya Finkel 4 Daniel Freesh St #6 Tel Aviv, 64871 Israel Tel/ 972 51 929309
TEXT: This film provides a rare glimpse into the lives of ultra-orthodox women who are often reluctant to be filmed. With unselfconscious ease, the relationship of the filmmaker and central character shapes an intimate, personal work. Rabbanit (Rebbitzen) Leah Kook was an Orthodox mother and homemaker living a quiet family life when she suddenly felt called to pray and teach among women. Now her home in Tiberias is perpetually open to seekers and she travels constantly to meet followers in other parts of Israel. Her personal spiritual practice centers on reading the entire Book of Psalms (Tehillim) daily, and in their ecstatic spirit, to ceaselessly bless and give thanks. As her son says, it's as if she were "on Ecstasy" all the time. Rabbanit Kook's children speak frankly of their admiration and ambivalence concerning their mother's special mission, sharing their aspirations and insecurities. The film offers a vivid picture of the routines and customs of life in an ultra-orthodox household. Its surprising conclusion comments freshly on the mores of the media age. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Foolish Me

TITLE: Foolish Me
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Gabriel Bibliowicz
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Polish, w/Eng. subtitles, Yiddish
TIME: 45 beta
SOURCE: Gabriel Bibliowicz Buzz TV & Fnook Ltd. 16 Mivtsa Uvda St. Modi'in, 71700 Israel Tel/ 972 89721797
In 1944, two Polish Holocaust survivors find respite at a cafe in Palestine. Andrej vacillates between silence and erratic boisterousness, while Yankel can barely persuade himself to come inside. An enormous chasm yawns between them and the non-survivor patrons of the cafe. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

For my children

TITLE: For my children
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michal Aviad
LANGUAGE: English, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 65 beta
SOURCE: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, Suite 500 New York, NY 10013 United States Tel/ 212-925-0606 x320 or x360 Fax/ 212-925-2052
TEXT: Since her first film ACTING OUR AGE arrived on the scene at the Sundance Film Festival in 1987, Tel Aviv University film professor and filmmaker Michal Aviad has been known for amazing documentaries that break down the boundaries between personal stories and public histories. Her award-winning works include: THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, filmed during the first Palestinian Intifada; JENNY AND JENNY, following Mizrahi teenagers coming of age in a working-class town; and RAMLEH, about four women in a Jewish-Arab community. In October 2000, as the second Palestinian Intifada erupts, Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad begins a video exploration about both the moral and mundane dilemmas she faces every day in Tel Aviv. What begins with deceptive simplicity-a tender scene of sending the children off to school-quickly becomes a profound study of vulnerability and anxiety. Small acts like crossing the street are charged with inescapable fear. As the nightmare of violence escalates over the coming months, Michal and her husband Shimshon ask the quintessential Diaspora Jewish question, "When is it time to go?" The question reverberates through a stream of images-public and private, home video and historic archival footage-as her parents and extended family recount their own journeys to Israel from Europe, escaping death and the Holocaust, and from America, out of ideological commitment to Israel. Their stories are told with vivid, beautiful detail-at a bucolic family picnic, during a vacation on the California coast-and with a degree of candor and intimacy rarely seen in Israeli cinema. "I don't want to be an immigrant," says Shimshon, a political activist whose profound feelings about displacement and exile are interwoven with TV images of war, children asleep in their beds, grandma making pasta and the sounds of sirens. Tanks roll over the hills as tea is being made in the kitchen in a cosmic seesaw between blissful domesticity and the nightmare of public life, in this deeply moving and riveting video essay. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Asher de Bentolila Tlalim
COUNTRY: Germany/Israel/United Kingdom
LANGUAGE: Arabic, English, Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: Beta SP color 158 min.
SOURCE: Tlalim Film 20 Tavistock Court, Tavistock Square London, WC1H 9HE England Tel/ 44 207 387 4509
TEXT: A fascinating film essay by Asher de Bentolila Tlalim, an Israeli filmmaker now living in London, GALOOT (Exile) is an extended meditation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of those living at a distance. Through international visits (London, Israel, Morocco and Poland) and dialogue-with Palestinian refugees, the new immigrants to Israel who now occupy their homes, the current occupants of his family's former house in Tangiers, the residents of the former village of his wife's family in Lisensk, a scientist, a jazz musician, and others-the filmmaker explores the position of exile, with its unique pain and perspective on what others may be too close to perceive. By layering rich and fascinating stories, the film allows viewers to experience the complexity of the situation in Israel and the dilemmas faced by Jews who allow themselves to feel and understand this. At the Berlin Film Festival, the filmmaker declared "It is the role of artists-filmmakers-to open a channel that politicians are trying to close." Speaking of his film, he said, "Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa intifada, the lack of mutual understanding on both sides and the blindness to the other side's suffering has only been growing." GALOOT speaks simultaneously to the mind and the heart, transcending the limitations of ordinary political discourse, time and indifference. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Igal Bursztyn
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. Subtitles
TIME: 35mm color 86 min.
SOURCE: Tlalim Film 20 Tavistock Court, Tavistock Square London, WC1H 9HE England Tel/ 44 207 387 4509
TEXT: In a film that Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times describes as "atmospheric and ambitious," middle-aged former general Uri (veteran Israeli actor Asi Dayan) and his pretty, young girlfriend Mona (Tinkerbell) leave the bustle of the city to enjoy a quiet weekend visiting Uri's old friends Motti and Bracha. When their cell phones go dead and the radio emits eerie sounds, Uri is annoyed by this glitch in his usual mastery of technology, but Mona senses that something unusual is happening. As unexplained events multiply-including an elusive glowing light-only Mona sees two black-robed men with shaved heads, who may or may not be aliens. She is on a quest for meaning in her life and for a greater understanding of love. Could her reading of Maimonides have anything to do with her unique experience of this day? Cultural conflict surfaces when secular Uri and Motti cross paths with Motti's orthodox Sephardic neighbors. But these differences fall to the wayside when the area comes under a security alert. Uri organizes a patrol group to chase the unseen transgressors, who are assumed to be Arab. No one is caught, but in their pursuit of the elusive glow, the group almost shoots two young Thai men who work for Motti. This magical-realist/sci-fi story offers a tense look at Israeli xenophobia and society, where men move stealthily with guns in the night, and only a young woman steeped in the works of an ancient scholar can hear sounds of the intangible. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Good Uplift

TITLE: Good Uplift
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Cheryl Furjanic, Faye Lederman, Eve Lederman
TIME: 13 beta sp
SOURCE: Faye Lederman www.squeezethestone.ORG
TEXT: This lighthearted look into a very special Lower East Side lingerie shop takes us into the haimishe world of Magda, the shop's proprietor. Magda can size up a woman's breasts in mere moments, and always finds the right fit for her diverse clientele. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Great Yiddish Love

TITLE: Great Yiddish Love
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Diane Nerwen
LANGUAGE: w/Eng. subtitles, Yiddish
TIME: 15min 16mm b/w
TEXT: Set in Berlin and the Lower East Side, THE GREAT YIDDISH LOVE is a brilliant pastiche of archival film and sound. This subversive tale of seduction and love stars Marlene Dietrich and her Nazi-endorsed replacement Zarah Leander, with voiceovers by Yiddish vaudeville star Molly Picon. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Hand On the Pulse

TITLE: Hand On the Pulse
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Joyce Warshow
TIME: 52 beta sp
SOURCE: Frameline Distribution 145 Ninth St, Suite 300 San Francisco, CA 94103 Tel/ 415-703-8650 Fax/ 415-861-1404
TEXT: HAND ON THE PULSE is the inspiring story of Joan Nestle, co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York, political and sexual renegade, teacher and activist. The film follows Nestle's development from 1950s Bronx girl to Greenwich Village pleasure seeker and critical thinker. Nestle, whose trademark black slip accentuates her luscious, zaftig body, helped to forge a new lesbian and gay consciousness. Her groundbreaking collection of essays, A Restricted Country, excavated and resurrected butch/femme roles from the obscurity to which they had been relegated by the mainstream lesbian feminist movement. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Matzo Maidels

TITLE: Matzo Maidels
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Julie Dorf, Monica Nolan, Jenni Olson
TIME: 5 min b/w
SOURCE: Jenni Olson 2978 Folsom Street San Francicso, CA 94110 United States Tel/ 415-285-2950 Fax/ 415-282-1879
TEXT: San Francisco artist Dori Midnight (aka Brooklyn Bloomberg) and friends do some steamy kibbutzing in this fascinating piece of Yiddishkeit, circa 1923. Rare 16mm archival porn footage is overlaid with a hilarious voiceover, sprinkled with colloquial Yiddishisms. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Intersex Exposition: Full Monty

TITLE: Intersex Exposition: Full Monty
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Shorona Mbessakwini
COUNTRY: Australia
TIME: 7 min beta sp
TEXT: A Jewish Australian who performs at a lesbian strip club in Sydney comes out as intersex during her performance in INTERSEX EXPOSITION: FULL MONTY. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Have You Heard About The Panthers?

TITLE: Have You Heard About The Panthers?
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Nissim Mossek
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 109 min beta sp color and b/w
SOURCE: Sharon Schaveet Biblical & Blue Rose Productions Ben Mimon St, POB 4694 Jerusalem, Israel Tel/ 972 2-5667785 Fax/ 972 2-5667786
TEXT: In the 1970s, a new protest movement burst into Israeli politics. Calling themselves the Black Panthers, this group of rebellious young Mizrahi men was intensely critical of racism and class bias within the Israeli establishment. They embraced Robin Hood-like campaigns such as "Operation Milk," which stole food from rich areas in Jerusalem and distributed it to impoverished immigrants. Their bold moves captured the attention of the young and disenfranchised while earning the animosity of others (Golda Meir called them barbarians). Thirty years ago, as a novice filmmaker, Nissim Mossek set out to document the Panthers' burgeoning movement, following their demonstrations and ferocious confrontations with police. He and the Panthers had no compunctions about waking up families in the middle of the night to ask them to "present their poverty" to the camera, hoping to inform the public about the struggle for equality within Israeli society and incite others to action. Mossek's 1970s protest film vanished suspiciously just after completion; for years it was believed to be lost. The recent discovery of a copy in the Jerusalem Cinematheque prompted the filmmaker to investigate the demise of the Panthers. He tracked down surviving members to examine their sometimes surprising trajectories and their deeply conflicted relationships to their shared radical past. Intercutting footage from his early film with his modern-day research, the diverse, volatile and charismatic subjects (including Panthers Charlie Bitton and Sa'adia Marciano) cast light onto a lesser-known chapter in the struggle for equality and justice of Mizrahi Jews, and illuminate issues of disunity that continue to reveal themselves in today's Israel. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust

TITLE: Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Menachem Daum, Oren Rudavsky
LANGUAGE: English, Polish, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 86 beta
SOURCE: 820 West End Avenue #14F New York, NY 10025 United States Tel/ 212-579-4294 Fax/ 212-579-4295
TEXT: HIDING AND SEEKING is a profound and deeply personal post-Holocaust story of broken promises and an attempt to heal the wounds of the past. Daum and his wife Rivka undertake a journey to Poland with their sons, both of whom are married orthodox yeshiva students living in Jerusalem. The Daums are seeking traces of their family's history, including the Polish family who hid Rivka's father during WWII. Daum is proud of the religious traditions that his grandchildren are inheriting, but is also disturbed by the insularity of his sons' religious practice. Directors Daum and Rudavsky, who made the critically acclaimed A LIFE APART: HASIDISM IN AMERICA, remarked, "A LIFE APART was our attempt to humanize Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) for outsiders. HIDING AND SEEKING is our attempt to humanize outsiders to the Haredim." At the beginning of this film, Daum challenges his sons to reconsider their limited world view, which has no place for outsiders who do not share their beliefs. Daum wants them to use Torah study as a means of connecting to all people. When he asks his sons Tzvi Dovid and Akiva to accompany him to Poland, they are skeptical about going on Dad's roots tour. Throughout the trip, Daum and his sons spar good-naturedly about Daum's homegrown humanism and even about the purpose of the film. But when they meet the Mucha family (who hid Rivka's father), the sons' view of non-Jews shifts from disinterest to acknowledgement of the humanity and courage of the Muchas. This astute and masterful documentary explores post-Holocaust questions of faith and a father's hope for a more tolerant world. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

It Is No Dream

TITLE: It Is No Dream
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Benny Brunner, Joseph Rochlitz
COUNTRY: Netherlands/United States
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 53 min beta sp
SOURCE: Benny Brunner Freshly Baked Films Weteringschans 40/I Amsterdam, 1017 SH Netherlands Tel/ 31 206 277 859 Fax/ 31 84 2213416
TEXT: IT IS NO DREAM documents the will for peace and justice within modern Israel. Often in the United States, the Israeli "position" on relations with Palestine is perceived as unified, but this film, packed with the testimonies of Israeli activists and commentators, portrays a vibrant, diverse dialogue rather than a simple monologue. Interviewees include writers Meir Shalev, Yehudit Katzir and Yitzhak La'or; Ha'aretz columnist, Gideon Levy; Jessica Montell, executive director of B'Tselem: the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; and Noa Levy, a leader of the high school students' refusal-to-serve movement. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Johnny & Jones

TITLE: Johnny & Jones
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Hans Hylkema
COUNTRY: Netherlands
LANGUAGE: Dutch w/ English ST
TIME: 60 beta
SOURCE: Interakt Bakkerstraat 10 Amsterdam, 1017 CW Netherlands Tel/ 31 20-623-7982 Fax/ 31 20-623-0738
TEXT: Johnny & Jones (Max Kannewasser and Nol van Wesel) were a popular singing duo in Amsterdam in the 1940s. In September 1943 they were interned in Westerbork, yet in July 1944 they recorded several songs in Amsterdam. Whether their 1944 recordings were clandestine or made with the consent of the camp commander is unknown. They performed in the camps, and died in Bergen Belsen in 1945. This pitch-perfect documentary interweaves the story of the duo with the making of a modern opera based on their lives by Dutch composer Theo Loevendie. JOHNNY & JONES features rich archival footage and recordings of these pioneers of European swing. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Last Jewish Town

TITLE: Last Jewish Town
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Gil Lesnik
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Russian, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 38 beta
SOURCE: Matt Henderson Seventh Art Releasing 7551 Sunset Blvd. Suite 104 Los Angeles, CA 90046 United States Tel/ 323-845-1455 Fax/ 323-845-4717
TEXT: The remote "mountain Jews" of north Azerbaijan were granted their own land and community at the beginning of the 18th century and continue today to preserve their unique way of life-and excellent relations with local Muslim communities. The filmmaker's vision is uniquely poignant. As a former resident of the Jewish town of Kresnia Sloboda, she has a deep connection to the people and customs she depicts; yet she is also able to see it as an outsider, critically and clearly. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Last Letter

TITLE: Last Letter
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Frederick Wiseman
LANGUAGE: French, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 61 in 35mm b/w
SOURCE: Zipporah Films One Richdale Avenue #4 Cambridge, MA 02140 Tel/ 617-576-3603 Fax/ 617-864-8006
TEXT: Frederick Wiseman's considerable reputation as a filmmaker is grounded in decades of outstanding documentary work. We are proud this year to present his first narrative film-THE LAST LETTER (LA DERNIeRE LETTRE)-naturally based on a true story. In 1941, after the German invasion, a Russian Jewish woman is imprisoned in a camp and composes a farewell letter to her son before her life is taken. Wiseman's live-theater directorial debut was a production of this piece in Boston 15 years ago; it was based on a chapter of the novel Life and Fate by Vassili Grossman. In 2001, Wiseman directed a second, live theatrical version, at the Comedie-Francaise in Paris. The film centers on a riveting solo performance by Catherine Samie of the Comedie-Francaise. She brings the writer's words heartbreakingly to life, powerfully evoking her experience as the Nazis march the Jews in her town to their fate, and conveying her reflections on life and her love for her son as she contemplates her inevitable death. Wiseman's film is beautifully lit, with shifting shadows deepening the action on screen. This is a deeply moving, elegiac film, not to be missed. Shown at the sfjff in 2003


YEAR: 2003BR> DIR/PROD: Bobby Roth
TIME: 35mm color 82 min.
SOURCE: Tel/ 213.705.6130 Fax/ 323.930.0236
TEXT: Bobby Roth's ode to the male condition, MANHOOD, is a darkly funny, compelling family drama that probes the depths of masculinity, specifically Jewish masculinity, in America. A sequel to Roth's JACK THE DOG, the film asks: What does it mean to be a father? Jack (Nestor Carbonell) is a commercial photographer and reformed womanizer who is a single parent to his teenage son, Sam. When his sister Jill (Janeane Garafolo) turns up distraught, on the brink of separation from her schnorrer husband Eli (John Ritter), Jack agrees to take her son Charlie for a month. The formerly incorrigible Jack now must set a good example for two teenage boys. In accepting responsibility for his son and nephew, he discovers a depth of emotion that years of skirt chasing did not provide. The teenagers, Charlie and Sam, are initially wary of each other, but shared interest in convertibles, electric guitars and girls leads to a family bond. Jill, for the first time in years, is stepping out of her timid self, but soon to be ex-husband Eli is not willing to let go. This stylish black comedy peopled by oddball characters - a violent rug salesman, a dominatrix, and the flotsam and jetsam of Los Angeles posing for headshots - asks thorny questions. How do Jewish men rid themselves of the potent mixture of internalized anti-Semitism and patriarchal hegemony? How do Jewish boys develop a positive masculinity that is playful and not hurtful? How do Jewish men show love for their sons? MANHOOD is a brilliant look at the intersection of sex, love, and family, and how they shape a man's life. Please note: this film contains some violence and sexual situations. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Shalom Ireland

TITLE: Shalom Ireland
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Valerie Lapin Ganley
TIME: Beta SP color 57 min.
SOURCE: Share Productions 616 Manor Drive Pacifica, CA 94044 Tel/ 650-738-9495 Fax/ 650-738-9492
TEXT: This fascinating film highlights the problem of maintaining Jewish community in the Diaspora. The little-known history of Irish Jewry begins in the Middle Ages, but the modern Jewish community has its roots in the flight from pogroms in Eastern Europe around the turn of the century. Irish Jews ran guns for the IRA, two generations of Briscoes- featured characters-served as Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the renowned Talmudic scholar Rabbi Isaac Herzog was the first chief rabbi of Ireland, and later became the first chief rabbi of the state of Israel. His son Chaim, born in Ireland, became president of Israel. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Under Water

TITLE: Under Water
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Eitan Londner
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, w/Eng. subtitles
TIME: 35mm color 90 min.
SOURCE: Philippa Kowarsky Cinephil 18 Levontin St Tel Aviv, 65112 Israel Tel/ 972 3-566-4129 Fax/ 972 3-560-1436
TEXT: Michal, a 14-year-old competitive swimmer, is distracted by conflicts in her family. A decade earlier, her father left to become a ba'al t'shuvah, pursuing an ultra-orthodox life. Michal lives with her mother, a new-age, secular Jew who sells beads, tells fortunes, and enjoys the company of a younger man. The funeral of Michal's paternal grandmother brings the family into contact-and immediate conflict-spurring the girl to reconnect with her father, who was once a competitive swimmer like herself. Swimming through life-navigating her relationship with a popular girl Efrat, her main swimming competitor, and fending off the affections of Dror, her eager artist/boyfriend-Michal tries to find a place for herself amidst the conflicting pulls of her father's new orthodox family, the swim team, her mother's world and her own desires. Charismatic, fiercely independent and needy, Michal's character draws the viewer into a personal world that uses one girl's story to illuminate the cultural conflicts besetting Israel today. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Welcome to the Waks Family

TITLE: Welcome to the Waks Family
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Barbara Chobodsky
TIME: 52 min beta
SOURCE: Brigid Phelan Film Australia 101 Eton Road Lindfield, NSW 2070 Australia Tel/ 61 2-9413-8777 Fax/ 61 2-9416-9401
TEXT: Meet Zephaniah and Hava Waks and their 17 children, one of the largest families in Australia. Everyday life in the orthodox Waks household is a logistical operation of monumental proportions. There are two minibuses, a kosher kitchen with five ovens and a bar mitzvah to cater every year. Born in Israel, Hava's childhood was steeped in conservative Judaism. Zephaniah grew up in a non-religious Jewish family in Sydney. His spiritual search led him to the Lubavitcher branch of Hasidism, based in New York, where his marriage was arranged through a matchmaker and friends. Together the couple has worked hard to raise their kids within the tenets of orthodoxy. Why have they made these life choices? How do the Waks cope with so many kids and the challenges and temptations of mainstream society? This engaging and boisterous documentary follows the family over five years, including the marriage of Zephaniah and Hava's eldest daughter, just months after the birth of their youngest daughter. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

Worst Jewish Football Team in the World

TITLE: Worst Jewish Football Team in the World
YEAR: 1999
DIR/PROD: Gary Ogin
TIME: 10 min. video
TEXT: A hilarious portrait of a boys' soccer team in Manchester, England. Broughton 'B' FC aren't just bad, they're awful. But, with supportive coaching, the boys are models of sportsmanship and determination and never let defeat get them down. Shown at the sfjff in 2003

No Safe Place: Six Lives Forever Changed

TITLE: No Safe Place: Six Lives Forever Changed
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jay Sanderson, Harvey Lehrer, Nimrod Shanit, Monika Koplow
TIME: 50
SOURCE: Jewish Television Network 13743 Ventura Blvd. Suite 200 Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 Tel. (818) 789-5891 Fax (818) 789-5892
TEXT: Monika Koplow writes: No Safe Place is a fast paced documentary that takes an in-depth look at innocent Israeli families whose lives have been forever changed by terrorism. The focus is not about politics but rather the human stories of individuals and families victimized by random acts of terror. Ultimately, it tells the story of death, loss, fear, transformation and renewal. No Safe Place examines six families whose lives were torn apart by terrorism. Narrated by Emmy Award winning actor Kelsey Grammer, this gripping documentary tells the powerful story of men, women and children who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. In Israel it's not a matter of if, but when another terrorist will strike. This omnipresent danger dictates every decision every Israeli makes every minute of each day. This is the reality that Israelis face as they go to work, send their children to school on buses or sit in a café and wonder if they are safe, if their life is in danger. email:

I Will Not Forget This, My Friend

TITLE: I Will Not Forget This, My Friend
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Menachem Shuval
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 42
SOURCE: in miniDV, S-VHS & VHS formats: (Voiceover & subtitles plus new prolog & epilog) Amnon Ben-Yehuda San Diego, Ca. Phone: 619-582-6127 E-mail:
TEXT: The producer of this film, the late Menachem Shuval, was a member of a Palmach unit in Israel's 1948 War Of Independence that suffered heavy casualties in a heroic battle for the Nebbi Yusha fortress in Upper Galilee. Of the twenty two men killed in that battle, twelve came from a single group of close life-long friends, living in kibbutz Daphna. Several of them died while trying to rescue their wounded friends, refusing to leave them behind. The dead soldiers were buried in a common grave by the fortress, that had become a national monument. It took Mr. Shuval forty years to overcome the emotional trauma of the battle before producing this moving retrospective documentary. The subject is universal, dealing with the pain and agony of war by those who survived it. The English version was produced and translated by Amnon Ben-Yehuda, now living in San Diego, California, who was a member of the same Palmach unit. He suffered a serious bullet head injury in that battle and was saved by his friends' bravery and tenacity. Amnon appears in the documentary and also composed the music theme for it. Mr. Shuval was one of Amnon's rescuers who carried him down the mountain.


YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Salome Arkatov
TIME: 55
SOURCE: Seventh Art Releasing 7551 Sunset Blvd., Suite 104 Los Angeles, CA 90046 TEL: (323) 845-1455 FAX: (323) 845-4717
TEXT: THE LEGACY OF ROSINA LHEVINNE offers an intimate and revealing portrait of the life and achievements of the legendary pianist, master/teacher Rosina Lhevinne: her years of study at the Moscow Conservatory and marriage to famous pianist Josef Lhevinne, her resiliency after Mr. Lhevinne's death, and her stunningly productive life from age 65 to 96. Through Mme. Lhevinne's teachings on film, we witness the energy, charisma, and contagious excitement that inspired her celebrated students, including John Browning, Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter, James Levine and John Williams, to develop their artistic individuality. Her impact is measurable with the realization that her 19th century musical tradition is very much alive in the contemporary world of music. 55 minutes.

Book of Danny

TITLE: Book of Danny
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Adam Yaffe
TIME: 53
SOURCE: Seventh Art Releasing 7551 Sunset Blvd., Suite 104 Los Angeles, CA 90046 TEL: (323) 845-1455 FAX: (323) 845-4717
TEXT: BOOK OF DANNY is the comic and often poignant story of teen stoner, Danny Dubnow, and his desperate attempts at forging a relationship with his deadbeat dad, Harry, who is otherwise preoccupied with entrepreneurial dreams of grandeur in the form of a leather manufacturing business. Set in Washington, D.C., the film reveals a side of life in the nation's capital which exists outside the familiar marble corridors of political power -- a world in which divorce, catering, lower-middle class Jews, Congressman, and imported leather all make uneasy bedfellows.

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