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Burning Annie

TITLE: Burning Annie
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Van Flesher / Randy Mack
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 95
SOURCE: Burningannie.com
TEXT: Max is a neurotic college student obsessed with Woody Allen's ANNIE HALL. He views his own life through the lens of that film. It is a bittersweet ode to the anxieties of dating and a tribute to Allen's classic film. Shown at the Hamptons Fest. Filmed on location at Marshall University, "Burning Annie" is a humorous slice of college life, featuring a handful of love life rejects, including a couple whose relationship is being held together solely by their common love for "The X Files" and another guy whose relationships are hitting the shitter due to his obsession for "Annie Hall." "Burning Annie" stars Gary Lundy (Donnie Darko), Sara Downing ("Hard Cash," "Dead Last,"), Kim Murphy ("24"), Brian Klugman ("Can't Hardly Wait"), Jay Paulson ("Go"), Todd Duffey (Office Space) and Rini Bell (Ghost World). Having taught film at USC and the L.A. Film School, this is Van Flesher's feature directorial debut. Gary Lundy plays Max, a college nerd who has trouble relating to women, but not his muse, Annie Hall, the character from the Woody Allen movie of the same name. The film asks the question "Is a 20-year-old movie about failed relationships causing a 20 year old's relationships to fail? Max and his buddies alternately stumble, bumble, and occasional score in the slice of dormitory life. It's at once touching and funny, but never cloying or cute. Credit the deft writing touch of Ordynans and the relaxed yet crystal clear camera work of Stephen Schultze. Brian Klugman, as Max's best friend, Sara Downing as Julie, the blonde Max yearns for ("I got over her, the restraining order helped"), and Kim Murphy Zandell as Beth, all exhibit a presence that suggests each will be seen again on the big screen soon. Throw in an excellent score and this little film comes up big.

JAMES' JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM / MASSA'OT JAMES BE'ERETZ HAKODESH

TITLE: JAMES' JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM / MASSA'OT JAMES BE'ERETZ HAKODESH
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz / Amir Harel
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Zulu, English with English subtitles
TIME: 88 color 35mm
SOURCE: Emily Woodburne Zeitgeist Films, Ltd. 247 Centre Street 2nd Floor New York, NY 10013 Phone: 212.274.1989 Fax: 212.274.1644 Email: mail@zeitgeistfilms.com Web Site: www.zeitgeistfilms.com
TEXT: Music by Ehud Banai, Gil Smetana, and Noam Halevi.
Stars Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe (from South Africa), Arie Elias, Salim Daw, Sandra Schonwald, Hugh Masebenza (from South Africa), Florence Bloch, Ya'akov Ronen Morad.
Documentarian Ra'aann Alexandrowicz (THE INNER TOUR) utilizes irreverence, wit and insight to craft an intense, often humorous and extremely adept exploration of the age old journey to that most holy of places, Jerusalem. In the imaginary African village of Entshongweni, young James is chosen to undertake a mission - a pilgrimage to holy Jerusalem. But Israel is no longer the Holy Land that James and his people imagined. At the airport, James is suspected of trying to infiltrate the country to work illegally. He is jailed and destined for deportation. As James prays to God to help him complete his pilgrimage, a miracle occurs - a mysterious stranger posts bail for him. But James' freedom has come at a price. His savior is a manpower agent, who rescues illegal migrant workers to employ them for hard labor jobs. He places them in a run down Tel Aviv apartment, managed by an evil tyrant, who keeps the races segregated, and charges the Africans if they want to watch the television.
Using a light touch to tell a deep story, Alexandrowicz' film is a poetic and often humorous homage that refuses to romanticize its characters, including the City of Jerusalem. It's such a joy to follow the exceptionally entertaining leading man, Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe, on his unforgettable journey to the holy land. Theatrical distrib in USA begins in March 2004
SPOILERS... SPOILERS.. SPOILERS... One of the best Israeli films in many years, the film starts off seeming more anti Semitic than Mel Gibson's Passion, but after 25 minutes, the film coalesces into a proper satire of Israeli life, and its primary driving force of not being seen as a 'friar.' James, after being bailed out of prison, is put to work at menial tasks. He gets about 20% of what his taskmaster, Shimi, earns from him. Israelis hire James and the other illegal workers to do the dirty work, like cleaning market stalls and cleaning apartments. Shimi and his materialistic wife are trying to get Shimi's father, Sallah, to sign over his plot of land and corrugated shack, in exchange for $1 million. But Sallah is no friar. He knows that if he signs over the papers, his son will have no more use of him, stop visiting, and put him in an old age home. Shimi also does not want to be a friar. He wants the $1 million. Shimi gives his father, Sallah, James, to act as a cleaner and companion. James has a winning gift at backgammon, which Sallah becomes enamoured of. Sallah trains James how not to be a friar, and James quickly forgets his religious mission to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, turns in his dashiki for nice Western clothes, buys a cell phone, and becomes a budding capitalist. Even his church preys upon his new wealth. A bittersweet comedy, this film is an excellent insight into Israel, with fantastic music.
On a deeper level, Sallah represents Epharim Kishon's Sallah Shabati, 50 years after he was absorbed. The Mizrahi's are no longer on the bottom rung, but they are taking advantage of the newest Russian and African and Thai workers.
Note to file.. when the actors came from South Africa to perform in the film, one was arrested and held at the Ben Gurion airport, assumed to be not a tourist but an illegal worker. He had to be bailed out.

FIRE WITHIN

TITLE: FIRE WITHIN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Richard Berman / Gary Jacobs, Lon Bender, Richard Berman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 87 min, Color, Digibeta
SOURCE: Richard Berman Mopane Inc. 229 San Vicente Blvd., Unit R Santa Monica, CA 90402 Phone: 310.451.2330 Email: richard@fire-within.org Web Site: http://www.fire-within.org
TEXT: FEATURING 10 Israeli Bedouins from Segev Shalom, 10 Israeli Jews from Sha'ar HaNegev, 10 American Jews from San Diego. This film is the product of the annual international exchange program of the Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute (JITLI), which chooses 10 Israeli Jewish, 10 Israeli Bedouin and 10 American Jewish teenagers to interact together in Spain and Israel for two weeks. We follow the project as the teens and their chaperones meet in Madrid and become acquainted through seminars, rap sessions, cultural exchange "show and tell" meetings, leisure activities and trips to famous sites in the southern region of Spain and throughout Israel. This is an earnest look at real teens from three interrelated cultures who are encouraged to interact on their own terms in a supportive environment. The kids are allowed plenty of space and time to open up on-camera, permitting a fascinating glimpse into the various cultures involved. The viewer is given an unusual opportunity to hear youth from Israel speaking honestly about the situation in their homeland and about relations between Jewish and Arab communities in the region.

THE OLIVE HARVEST

TITLE: THE OLIVE HARVEST
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Hanna Elias / Kamran Elahian
COUNTRY: Palestinian Territories
LANGUAGE: Arabic w/ English ST
TIME: 92 min in 35mm color
SOURCE: Hanna Elias Jarmaq Films 11144 Balboa Ave. #137 Granada Hills, CA 91344 Phone: 310.712.1600 Email: hannalatif@hotmail.com Web Site: http://www.theoliveharvest.com
TEXT: Cast: Raeda Adon, Mazen Saade, Taher Najeeb, Muhamad Bacri, Arren Umari, Samiah Kazmouz. Writer/director Hanna Elias eschews convention in this heartfelt drama set in a small Palestinian village. By avoiding the calcified rhetoric of extremists on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflictchoosing instead to explore a painful love triangle the film smartly emphasizes the universality of the human condition. Younger brother Taher greets Mazen upon his release from prison, and then drives his older brother home to a rousing welcome from his Palestinian village. En route, Taher explains that Israeli settlements have edged closer to their olive groves, which sets up the discomfort felt during the daily encounters at security checkpoints. Attempting to re-integrate, Mazen struggles to find his place after his incarceration. He also begins to fall for the beautiful Raeda, unaware that Taher has had his eye on her for some time. This central conflict between the two brothers plays out in a touching, yet realistic fashion. The strength of Elias' storytelling lies in the decision to place the well-knownyet frequently oversimplifiedpolitical conflict in the background, in order to focus on the ongoing human experience in the village. Stripped of the expected scapegoating and stereotypes, the film quietly reveals three-dimensional characters struggling with the same issues affecting families of all religions and ethnicities, all over the world.

TRUST ME

TITLE: TRUST ME
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD:Rob Fruchtman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: Hidden Treasures Productions. 1180 Avenue of the Americas, 14th Floor New York, NY 10036
TEXT: On September 11, 2001, Rev. Peter Parish (who is the Camp Director at Elk Shoals United Methodist Camp) was listening to the radio, as the national tragedy unfolded. A thought came to him: a lot of children are probably going to suffer because of this "madness." Wouldn't it be great if we could bring children of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths together up to this Camp....to learn about each other's religions, while interacting and having fun! This thought stayed with him, and the idea of an Interfaith Camp started evolving. Via Peter talking to a friend (who was a writer for a newspaper in Charlotte, NC).... who talked with another friend (who was a writer for the "Wall Street Journal")...an article ran in the "Journal" on April 5, 2002, in which the Interfaith Camp at Elk Shoals was mentioned. The producers of "Trust me" (who both live in New York City) read this article, thought it might possibly be the basis of a good documentary film, and thus called Peter (to see if he had any interest in allowing such a thing to take place). To then make a long story short: The Elk Shoals Interfaith Camp was held from July 28 - August 4, 2002...at which 32 boys (aged 10-13) of Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths came together for a week of fun....and interaction.....and education....and prayer. The Jewish kids came from Temple Israel in Charlotte, NC (where Rabbi Murray Ezring presides). The Islamic kids came from the Islamic Center of Greensboro, NC (where Shaffiq Mohammed is the President), and the Christian kids came from northwest North Carolina. "Trust Me" had its world premiere showing at The River Run Film Festival (in Winston-Salem, NC) on April 26, 2003. Shown at Hamptons Fest.

Various Positions

TITLE: various Positions
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ori Kowarsky
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://www.variouspositions.net/
Various Producers Ltd. Box 12102 Suite 407 -- 808 Nelson Street Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6Z 2H2 tel. (604) 683-6875 fax. (604) 683-2737
TEXT: In this briskly-paced romantic drama, college student Josh is on track for law school and a place at his father's firm. As his Orthodox Jewish family prepares for their traditional Passover celebrations, Josh hits a brick wall in the form of the alluring and troubled - and not quite Jewish - Cheryth. As things heat up at the dorm and at home, Josh is suddenly questioning his faith, his father and his future. Even worse, Josh is caught in the middle as his father moves to cover up a scandal involving the Jewish cemetery, forcing Josh to take a stand for what he believes is right. Passion and new love collide with family values and the demands of tradition as Josh, Cheryth, and Josh's family find themselves questioning their lives. Love and loyalty look a lot different when examined from various positions. Josh's roller-coaster relationship with Cheryth mirrors the vertigo he experiences as his father crosses a moral line. As we unsentimentally explore a world of faith and duty we follow Josh's life as it suddenly fills with ecstatic highs and crushing lows. In the end, Josh has followed a road of his own choosing and it leads to a future of his own making. VARIOUS POSITIONS explores stresses and conflicts that are both unique to one family and universal to everyone who has ever had to struggle with questions of identity.

Live Nude Girls, Unite

TITLE: Live Nude Girls, Unite
YEAR: 2000
DIR/PROD: Julia Query / GINI RETICKER
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: www.LiveNudeGirlsUnite.com JuliaQuery@yahoo.com A First Run Features (NYC) release
TEXT: A story of Jewish stripping and mother (Dr. Joyce Wallace) - daughter (Julia Query) relations. Oy Oy Oy... the mother daughter exchange is AMAZING. A film about strippers... Jewish? OF COURSE! This is about workers rights, feminism, and union organizing in the sex industry among strippers. One of the main stars is not only a stripper, and a lesbian, but Jewish. A cute sequence occurs when her mother comes to visit the Bay Area, and the woman must clean her house (like on Passover) and get rid of the stripper items (as if it is bread). This first person documentary follows Julia Query, lesbian/stand-up comedian/peepshow-stripper, and daughter of a feminist activist, on her raucous journey to help organize the only union of strippers in the United States. Shot on a variety of formats, Live Nude Girls Unite! weaves backstage and dancing footage with labor organizing, street protests, stand-up comedy and comic-book style "animation" making an intelligent and dramatic cutting-edge film. Needing a job to support her comedy habit, Julia finds that the most lucrative work available to her is as an exotic dancer at San Francisco's notorious Lusty Lady Theater. Never shy about her body, she decides to give it a go. She finds a world full of tough, iconoclastic, independent and joyful women whom she quickly comes to love. But Julia learns that these powerful women are outraged at being exploited by club owners. The women complain of newly instituted stage fees which make dancers pay to work; of being asked to "date" the owners' friends, and of work that is becoming less like performing and more like prostitution every year. When dancers discover that they are being covertly videotaped for amateur porn, they decide that enough is enough. Julia and her colleagues head for the Service Employees International Union. Management responds by hiring a notorious anti-union law firm. So begins a battle that rocks the sex industry with street protests, lock-outs, and confrontations. Then Julia gets a call from the producers of the First International Conference on Prostitution inviting her to both present about the union and perform her comedy routine. After accepting the invitation, Julia discovers that her mother, Dr. Joyce Wallace, well-known for her pioneering work with prostitutes and AIDS, is also scheduled to present at the conference. In an amazing and painful "coming out" sequence, Julia reveals to her mother that she is a sex-worker fighting to help sex workers, similar to her mother's efforts to save street-working prostitutes. But Julia's mother sees them as on the opposite sides of the sex war debates that have rocked the feminist movement for decades. While Dr. Wallace ardently speaks about the victimization of the women she helps, an equally impassioned Julia jokes that as a professional dominatrix she is working for social justice. But Julia's joking around barely covers up the cracks occurring in the world around her. The union drive is far more difficult and complicated than imagined, spirits are low, and her mother, furious at Julia not only for being a stripper, but also for tainting her professional reputation with the stigma of a sex-worker daughter, is not speaking to her. Live Nude Girls UNITE! brings the parallel stories of unionizing and Julia's relationship with her mother through to their poignant resolution. For information on Yenta the Domintrix... contact the director

ALONG CAME POLLY

TITLE: ALONG CAME POLLY
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: John Hamburg / Jersey Films
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: Universal Pictures video
TEXT: A man who's afraid of risk (Stiller), but makes a living analyzing risk ends up getting involved in a risky romance (Aniston) after his new wife (Messing) cheats on him, which turns his stable life upside-down. Sense a theme? (Hoffman plays Stiller's best friend; Baldwin plays his boss; Brown plays a sky-diving, bungee-jumping "adrenaline junkie" seeking a life insurance policy; Silpa plays the director of a play who comes into conflict with Hoffman's character; Azaria plays a French scuba instructor who flirts with Messing's character while she and Stiller's character are on their honeymoon; Michele Lee plays Stiller's mother and Dishy plays her husband.) Includes Jewish wedding scene.
[alongcamepolly]
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THE SINGING FOREST

TITLE: THE SINGING FOREST
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jorge Ameer / Jorge Ameer
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Hollywood Independents
TEXT: Starring Jorge Ameer, Erik Morris, Craig Pinkston, Shelley Price, and Jon Sherrin. Two lovers, killed during the Holocaust, are reincarnated. The first soul to return now has a twenty two year old daughter who is now in love with her father's past life lover. The NY Post wrote, "THE majority of this amateurish, irritatingly gabby indie consists of a recent widower named Christopher (Jon Sherrin) prattling on to his daughter Destiny's new fiancé about reincarnation. The fiancé, Jo (Erik Morris), is understandably freaked out by his prospective father-in-law's beliefs, particularly as they involve a conviction that, in a past life, the two of them were lovers, persecuted and killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Any salient points the self-indulgent writer-director-producer Jorge Ameer intends to make about fate and faith are buried under uniformly wooden performances and affected, sledgehammer dialogue epitomized by Christopher's opening remark to Jo: "So, how long have you known my Destiny?"" THE NYT wrote, "To describe this supernatural soap opera as inept and mawkish doesn't really begin to evoke the awfulness of "The Singing Forest," which opens today in New York. Exploitative, amateurish, prurient and pretentious are other adjectives that could also be applied to this film, which is swamped in badly used classical music and burdened by purple hand-wringing dialogue and crude black-and-white flashbacks. "The Singing Forest" was written and directed by Jorge Ameer, whose film "Strippers" opened three years ago and remained the single worst movie I had ever reviewed - until now." Written, produced and directed by Jorge Ameer; director of photography, Gary Tachell.

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod

TITLE: Gloomy Sunday - A Story of Life and Death
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Rolf Schubel / Richard Schops
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: German w English ST
TIME: 114
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 neilF@menemshafilms.com
TEXT: Set in pre-World War II Budapest, GLOOMY SUNDAY is a romantic melodrama that evokes the haunting melody of the same name, fabled to have caused over one hundred suicides in the 1930s. Before the dark days of the war, Laszlo (Joachim Krol), a Jewish restaurant owner, enjoys a successful business while happily living with his lover and the restaurant's sultry hostess, Ilona (Erika Marozsan). When they decide to hire a restaurant pianist they meet Andras (Stefano Dionisi), a brooding composer who quickly captures the heart of Ilona. However, her love for Andras does not diminish her feelings for Laszlo and the trio embark on an agreed-upon ménage-à-trois that seems to be successful, at least on the surface. Andras's passionate love for Ilona inspires him to write "Gloomy Sunday" which becomes an overnight sensation and the restaurant's signature song. Ilona's beauty captures the heart of a third suitor, Hans Wieck (Ben Becker), a German customer who becomes a corrupt SS officer after the Nazi occupation of Hungary. Hans' friendship is a strategic necessity as the trio struggles to keep the restaurant open and Laszlo free from persecution while the threat of war looms
The NYT wrote... You've probably heard the legendary title song of Rolf Schübel's contorted period melodrama, ''Gloomy Sunday,'' in Billie Holiday's slow-burning jazz rendition. According to legend, the melancholy spell cast by this morbid art song, written in the early 1930's by two Hungarians, Rezso Seress (music) and Laszlo Javor (lyrics), lured hundreds to commit suicide. The stilted English-language lyric, which describes a grieving lover's fantasy of joining a dead beloved in the hereafter, rhymes slumberless with numberless and speaks of ''little white flowers'' and a ''black coach of sorrow.'' Not even that arch-masochist Holiday could disentangle the essence of the song from such tortured locutions. The movie, adapted from a book by Nick Barkow, builds a creaky Holocaust drama around the song and the terrible curse it supposedly carried. Laszlo Szabo (Joachim Krol), the most noble character, runs a restaurant in Budapest that's famous for its beef rolls. He is living happily with Ilona Varnai (Erika Marozsan), a beautiful waitress in his establishment, when Andras Aradi (Stefano Dionisi), a brooding young composer, arrives as the new house pianist. Andras and Ilona fall in love at first sight. And after some tricky negotiating, the three establish a reasonably stable ménage à trois. Meanwhile, Andras composes ''Gloomy Sunday,'' the chanson fatale that becomes the musical specialty of the house. Ilona fends off another avid suitor, Hans Wieck (Ben Becker), a visiting German who adores Laszlo's beef rolls almost as much as he loves Ilona. On the night they meet, Hans vows to build Germany's largest import-export business if she will marry him. When she says no, he leaps into the Danube but is saved from drowning by Laszlo. Years later, Hans reappears as the corrupt German SS officer in charge of the Final Solution in Hungary. Will Hans, who craves Ilona as much as ever, save the life of Laszlo, who is Jewish? Building a drama around the mystique of a song is the sort of thing that Hollywood used to do in the 1930's and 40's (and seldom very well), but it seems more than a little silly today, especially given that the melody in question is touted as the Song That Kills. The notion is better suited to a horror film, preferably a comedy. If ''Gloomy Sunday'' were better written and acted, it might have transcended its own pretensions and cast a clammy spell. But the emotional turbulence of the ménage à trois is so underplayed that the characters' feelings never come into focus. As the besotted Nazi fiend, Mr. Becker is the most comfortable in his stock role. But the story is so schematically histrionic that the bringing in of the Holocaust late in the day feels exploitative and unearned. ''Gloomy Sunday,'' which opens today in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, is an oddity that takes itself much too seriously. STEPHEN HOLDEN

Ticket to Jerusalem

TITLE: Ticket to Jerusalem
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Rashid Masharawi
COUNTRY: Palestinian Authority
LANGUAGE: Arabic w/ English ST
TIME: 85
SOURCE: Global Film Initiative
TEXT: Starring Ghassan Abbas, Areen Omary. Jaber (Ghassan Abbas) is a Palestinian projectionist who loves to screen movies for kids in the refugee camps near Ramallah. With the growing threat of military occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, many people consider him foolish to cross so many checkpoints for such a frivolous reason. Even his wife, Sanah (Areen Omary), a paramedic, wonders if Jaber's in his right mind when he arranges a screening in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians are forbidden to enter. Though overly modest in scale, Rashid Masharawi's "fiction documentary" is still appealing for the stoic yet humane manner in which it portrays life for Palestinians in Israel. NYT writes: Jabber (Ghassas Abbas) is a glum, heavy-set man who makes a precarious living showing films to children in the towns and refugee camps of the West Bank. He is continually asked why he is so preoccupied with taking cinema to places that lack adequate food, jobs and basic amenities, and of course he has no good answer. But by chronicling Jabber's efforts to organize a screening in Jerusalem's Old City, ''Ticket to Jerusalem,'' Rashid Masharawi's modest, scruffy new film, defends the honor and necessity of moviegoing in times of political emergency. Like other recent Palestinian films, ''Ticket to Jerusalem,'' ..., does not fully confront the volatility and the violence of the Middle East conflict. Rather, it focuses on the petty indignities and absurdities of life under occupation, especially the transportation difficulties posed by Israeli security checkpoints and border closings. It has an air of melancholy humor as its characters fumble toward normalcy -- drinking coffee, fixing cars, engaging in marital bickering and friendly banter -- in circumstances that would seem to rule it out entirely. Jabber's single-minded devotion to his increasingly marginal job is his way of engaging the complexities of the Palestinian predicament, but it is also a way of avoiding them. He exists in a melancholy state somewhere between resistance and resignation, going about his daily routine out of force of habit and as a way of warding off despair. Like his best friends, a mechanic and a cafe owner, Jabber loses himself in a series of logistical problems involving his equipment and his schedule... Mr. Masharawi's film seems aware, in its quiet, sad resilience, that its very existence is something of an achievement.

Forget Baghdad

TITLE: Forget Baghdad
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Samir
COUNTRY: Germany Switzerland
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 110, 35mm
SOURCE: www.forgetbaghdad.com
TEXT: After the proclamation of the Jewish State in 1948, more than half a million Jews migrated to Israel from all over the world. Nearly a quarter of them came from Iraq, the so-called Mizrahim, Oriental Jews who had been at home there for three thousand years. Many of them did not leave home for Zionist purposes, but as a result of pogroms and biased legislation. Samir, a son of Iraqi immigrants in Switzerland, visited a number of Iraqi Jews in Israel. His starting point was the Iraqi communist party - the strongest communist party in the Middle East - that his father used to be a member of in Iraq. The four men Samir meets explain how they grew up as Jews in Baghdad, where they lived in harmony next to Christians and Moslems until the government was overthrown by radical Moslems. In their new fatherland, they are not exactly welcomed with open arms, as 'Arabs' and communists. About this emigration period, Ben Gurion even lamented once: 'We kicked out good Arabs and brought in bad Jews.' In the interviews, the four men and sociologist and film historian Ella Shohat talk with the necessary sense of humour and perspective about issues like alienation and creating a new identity. 'We had the wrong identity everywhere.' On the other half of the split screen, their words are immediately sustained visually by photographs, archive footage and light-hearted fragments from one hundred years of cinema, including stereotypical Jews and Arabs.

The Village Voice write (12/2003): Samir, the Swiss son of an Iraqi Arab Communist, travels to Tel Aviv to talk to older Iraqi Jews, his father's comrades, about "what it's like to become the enemy of your own past." Grainy video and gimmicky editing give this documentary an amateurish feel, but Samir's charming, rueful interlocutors shine through. Secular intellectuals, they praise the vanished cosmopolitan Iraq of their youth and bite the Zionist hand that brought them "from a palace to a tent," as Moshe Houri, a former kiosk owner, says. Their experience of anti-Mizrachi (Middle Eastern Jew) discrimination, and their leftist rejection of Zionism, place them outside Israel's heroic national story, shown through chipper British newsreels and popular Israeli films. All four speak Arabic, underscoring the tricky negotiations of identity that have marked their lives, while a fifth interviewee, Mizrachi activist and New York cultural-studies professor Ella Shohat, gives her angrier, younger, more academic perspective in English."


The Statement

TITLE: The Statement
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Norman Jewison / Robert Lantos
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: Sony Picture Classics video
TEXT: Stars Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Northam, Charlotte Rampling, and Alan Bates. The film opens in Dombey, France, 1944 - In line with Nazi commands, PIERRE BROSSARD (Michael Caine), a young officer in the Vichy Milice, gives the order for the execution of 7 Jews. The film conitnues in France, Present Day - DAVID MANDELBAUM (Matt Craven), 42, has been hired to kill a man he can identify only through an old photograph to be PIERRE BROSSARD. He is to leave a statement on the body citing this act as justice for the Jews of Dombey. He waits at a bar in the cote d'Azur, knowing that BROSSARD is due to arrive to pick-up a letter. Recognizing BROSSARD, he follows him out of the bar and then by car into the deserted hillside. When DAVID attempts to ambush him on the road to the Abbey de St Cros, the wily and quick BROSSARD manages to turn the tables and instead kills DAVID, disposing of the body by rolling the car over a cliff into a ravine. Shaken by the encounter, BROSSARD realizes that he must find new shelter immediately. Aside from being protected by elements within the church, Brossard has also been helped by a group of former Vichy colleagues. He turns to his Vichy contact, COMMISSAIRE VIONNET (Frank Finlay), for guidance. Meanwhile, in the Palais de Justice in Paris, JUDGE ANNE MARIE LIVI (Tilda Swinton) opens her investigation of BROSSARD who has now been charged with crimes against humanity. ANNE MARIE explains to COLONEL ROUX (Jeremy Northam), whom she has enlisted to assist her, that they must be wary of everyone until they discover who has been sheltering BROSSARD for all these years. She also adds that she is determined to expose the church as an accomplice for providing BROSSARD with a safe haven. Unbeknownst to ANNE MARIE, DAVID's failure means that another hit man - MICHAEL LEAVY (Noam Jenkins) - has been placed on BROSSARD's trail. MICHAEL's sole contact with his employers is through a man named POCHON (Ciaran Hinds) who gives him instructions. Through various intercepts, ANNE MARIE and ROUX advance their investigation to the point where they now believe that BROSSARD has been hidden by a secret group within the church called the Chevaliers and that a vigilante Jewish organization is trying to assassinate BROSSARD. ANNE MARIE's diligence catches the attention of high government officials and she is called in to see MINISTER BERTIER (Alan Bates), an old family friend who nevertheless warns her against pursuing this matter. He threatens her with dire consequences. But ANNE MARIE LIVI is not so easily deterred. Okay.. I wont give anymore away...


Based on the novel, The Statement, by Moore. A thriller. The Statement was inspired by the case of Paul Touvier, a Vichy functionary guilty of wartime crimes, including the murder of seven Jews. Sentenced to death in absentia after the war, Touvier-thanks to a network of sympathizers in the Church, and with the complicity of high-placed government officials-eluded capture until 1989. Although the press kit does not mention it, an excellent book on the events that served as the basis for Moore's novel was published in 1996: Memory, the Holocaust, and French Justice: The Bousquet and Touvier Affairs, edited by Richard J. Golsan (University Press of New England). The novel is set in the south of France in the summer of 1989, The Statement traces the fate of the war criminal and fugitive Pierre Brossard (closely modeled on Touvier). The aging Brossard has established a cautious routine, staying a couple of weeks in an abbey here, a couple of weeks in a monastery there, sheltered from the public eye. Now, however, feeling the heat of increased scrutiny of his case, he senses that someone is tailing him. Thus begins a classic story of pursuit in which the protagonist is the quarry of rival hunters: the gendarmerie, whose Colonel Roux seeks to bring Brossard to justice at last; and a shadowy group calling itself the "Committee for Justice for the Jewish Victims of Dombey" (where, in 1944, Brossard directed and took part in the murder of fourteen Jews), seeking to assassinate him. At the same time, the Cardinal of Lyons, who has commissioned an independent investigation of Brossard's case, has ordered that the Church no longer give sanctuary to the fugitive. A few dissidents, followers of Archbishop Lefebvre, will ignore the Cardinal's order, but the vise is tightening.

Full Court Miracle

TITLE: Full Court Miracle
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Stuart Gillard
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Disney Channel
TEXT: Full Court Miracle" (Disney Channel): Hold on to your yarmulkes: An African-American coach takes over a distinctly unathletic Jewish high school's basketball team in this gefilte-fish-out-of-water drama, and everyone learns a valuable life lesson. Oy. Of course, when did Disney screen this tv drama? On a Friday night. Hehe. Based on a true story. Stars: Alex D. Linz - Alex; Jason Blicker - Marshall Schlotsky; Linda Kash - Cynthia Schlotsky; Sean Marquette; Sheila McCarthy - Mrs.Klein; David Sazant - Joker Levy; R.H. Thomson - Rabbi Lewis; Richard T. Jones - Lamont Carr; Cassie Steele - Julie; Jase Blankfort - Stick Goldstein; Jerome Williams - Himself The film tells a true to life tale of Lamont Carr, a member of the ACC basketball champion Virgina University Cavaliers in 1976. He is convinced by a group of Jewish schoolboys to coach their winless basketball team. The movie is set in Philadelphia. NBA star Jerome Williams (Toronto Raptors) has a cameo role.

Berga. Soldiers of Another War

TITLE: Berga. Soldiers of Another War
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Charles Guggenheim
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: Pbs home video on pbs.org or warner video
TEXT: Charles Guggenheim was drafted into the U.S. Army in May of 1943. He ended up with 106th Division, 424th Infantry Regiment. Company E, Second Battalion Company. Shipped overseas, he had a foot infection and was hospitalized with blood poisoning. His unit members were killed or taken prisoners; some were sent to slave labor by the Nazis. But he kept running into articles, little ones in small newspapers, Arizona or Florida someplace. There would be a paragraph about some veteran digging tunnels for the Germans in a slave labor camp, or something like that. Finally he decided to look it up and go further into it. In the National Archives war crimes file, he found evidence. There was a war crimes trial because an American prisoner had been shot trying to escape. He had obviously been recaptured and shot, and that violated the Geneva Convention. The majority were not Jewish. 80 out of 350 were Jewish. The Germans figured if his name is Rigerio or Zaccaria ... they said, That's a strange name -- it must be a Jew, you know. He decided to make a film about the troops who were sent to slave labor camps.
The Battle of the Bulge began on December 16, 1944. It was the largest and most costly American battle of WWII. Within days, the American 106th Infantry Division had been, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. Other divisions were badly mauled. Thousands of Americans were taken prisoner. The Germans marched them east into Germany and transported them in boxcars, without food or water to Stalag 9B, a prisoner of war camp north of Frankfurt. Soon after their arrival, the order came down to identify all the Jewish prisoners. The American leaders refused. Threatened with punishment and death, the vast majority of Jews stepped forward. Unhappy with the numbers, the Germans went through the ranks and selected those Americans who "looked" Jewish, had Jewish sounding names, or were generally considered "undesirables." Shortly afterwards, the selected 350 men were marched to the boxcars. Five days later they arrived at Berga, a German town housing a satellite camp of Buchenwald. There, side by side with Jewish concentration camp inmates, the Americans became slave laborers, digging tunnels into the rock cliffs along the Elster River. Living under inhuman conditions, the Americans were overworked, abused, beaten and starved. Within a few weeks, many died of injuries, malnutrition and disease. Some went mad. In April 1945, the Germans, fearing retribution from the advancing Allied armies, emptied the camp at Berga and forced the surviving prisoners on the road. With the soldiers physically depleted and receiving little food or water, the march became a death march. Americans who died along the way were ordered buried by their comrades in shallow graves beside the road or in Christian graveyards. Concentration camp laborers who were unable to keep up were similarly shot and left by the roadside. On April 23, 1945, advance units of the American 11th Armored Division discovered the Americans. The German guards fled. The GIs ran and crawled toward their liberators. Treated in a local field hospital, the Americans were later sent to France and England for prolonged hospitalization. Until now, the story of Berga: Soldiers of Another War has remained untold, lost in the trauma of the war. Shown on TV and at the TJFF.COM Toronto Jewish FF May 2004

The Life of Frank Iny: A Granddaughter's Journey

TITLE: The Life of Frank Iny: A Granddaughter's Journey
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Carole Basri, Adriana Davis, Bryan Durr
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 35
SOURCE: Contact D-Squared Media, solutions@dsquaredmedia.com, 212-478-1005
TEXT: Documentary. The Life of Frank Iny tells the story of a man whose search for religious freedom took him from Baghdad to India, Belgium, Berlin, Israel and New York. His name was Frank Iny and this film is a tribute from his granddaughter, Carole Basri, an attorney living in New York City. Frank Iny was a highly respected Iraqi-Jewish businessman, philanthropist and leader. He established a very successful school for the children of his community, in 1941, when Jews were no longer welcome in the state run schools. In addition to speaking eleven languages, Mr. Iny believed that good education, good health and peace should be the cornerstones of Jewish life. Throughout his 81 years, he endeavored to live true to each of those values and inspired them in others. In Israel, at a recent reunion for graduates of Frank Iny's school, over 600 former students traveled from all over the world to celebrate their Iraqi-Jewish heritage and the man, who made their education possible. This documentary sets Mr. Iny's life against the history of the Iraqi-Jews during some of its most turbulent times. From the oppression of the Ottomans to the anti-Semitism of the 1940's and the escape of the 1950's this film illustrates how the spirit of the Iraqi-Jews survives today

Searching For Baghdad: A Daughter's Journey

TITLE: Searching For Baghdad: A Daughter's Journey
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Carole Basri, Adriana Davis, Bryan Durr
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English with some English subtitles
TIME: 48
SOURCE: D-Squared Media, solutions@dsquaredmedia.com, 212-478-1005
TEXT: Documentary. Searching For Baghdad: A Daughter's Journey documents Carole Basri's travels to find the remnants of her heritage, outside of Iraq. With an eye toward history, her 21st century search leads her to the Iraqi-Jewish outposts established in the 19th century in the Far East. As she visits India, Hong Kong, Singapore and even Myanmar she seeks out the people, culture and contributions left by those Iraqi Jews who ventured out of Baghdad looking for a better life. What she finds is more than just the history of her people. She also finds her own family, in unexpected places, playing important roles within the legacy of the Iraqi-Jewish communities established beyond Baghdad. This film offers rare images of synagogues, built by Iraqi-Jews in the 19th century, throughout Asia that are still in use today

The Last Jews of Baghdad: End of an Exile, Beginning of a Journey

TITLE: The Last Jews of Baghdad: End of an Exile, Beginning of a Journey
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Carole Basri, Adriana Davis, Bryan Durr
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English with some English Subtitles
TIME: 75
SOURCE: D-Squared Media, solutions@dsquaredmedia.com, 212-478-1005
TEXT: Documentary. The Last Jews of Baghdad take an historical and personal look at the persecution, torture, escape and exodus of nearly all Iraq's Jewish community from the 1940's until 2003. Today, only 27 Jews remain from a population of nearly 200,000. The film asks the question, "Why did the Iraqi Jews leave?" The answer is found in the discriminatory laws and policies enacted by Iraq's government and leaders against these important members of Iraqi society, who trace their existence there to 586 BCE. Through the words of those who survived discrimination, persecution and even hangings we are painted a picture of what it meant to be a Jew in Iraq - from the good times to the unbearable terror their lives became. Meet the survivors of the bloody 1941 Nazi inspired pogrom against the Jews called the Fahrud. Hear the palpable fear that permeated the community after the unjust hanging of Iraq's most influential Jewish businessman, Shafiq Adas. Experience the lives of those who struggled to survive under restrictions that permitted them no jobs, education or even a telephone. Marvel at the way 150,000 Iraqi-Jews emigrated to Israel in one year and then lifted themselves from the dismal Ma'abarot camps to create new lives. Witness the nightmare of Saddam's torture, imprisonment, humiliation and murder of those Jews who stayed in their beloved, ancestral homes and became...The Last Jews of Baghdad.

SECRET PASSAGE

TITLE: SECRET PASSAGE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ademir Kenovic
COUNTRY: Luxemburg
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 94
SOURCE: IAC Holdings England email: claudette@iacholdings.co.uk
TEXT: In this striking period drama set in 1492, two sisters are forced to flee from Spain to Holland, after becoming conversos-Jews who converted to Christianity but kept their Jewish faith. Once in Holland, they're forced to flee again-this time to Venice, where Isabel, the older sister, negoitates their final escape to Turkey in return for obtaining the secret of Venetian glass-making and giving it to the Turks. Her plans are thwarted when her younger sister falls in love with a Christian nobleman. Starring the husband-wife team of John Turturro and Katherine Borowitz (The Man Who Wasn't There), this is a lavishly costumed and set-decorated old-fashioned historical drama.

My Bat Mitzvah Gift

TITLE: My Bat Mitzvah Gift
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shoshana Hoose
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 8
SOURCE: Shoshana Hoose Portland, Maine 04103 email: shoose@maine.rr.com
TEXT: A mother's year-long search for the "perfect" bat mitzvah gift! Must-see for parents and grandparents of bar/bat mitzvah-age children.

A BIRCH TREE MEADOW

TITLE: A BIRCH TREE MEADOW
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Marceline Loridan-Ivens
COUNTRY: France, Germany, Poland
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 91
SOURCE: Studio Canal Paris, France www.studiocanal.com
TEXT: French film star Anouk Aimee brings experience, skill, heart and soul to her role of Miriam, a Holocaust survivor who returns to Birkenau to confront her past. As a middle-aged woman, she meets a young German photographer who dogs her footsteps. Despite being the grandson of an SS colonial, Oskar and Miriam develop an unlikely friendship. A reflection on memory and forgetting, reconciliation, and hope, this film is based on the director's own life

WEST BANK BROOKLYN

TITLE: WEST BANK BROOKLYN
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ghazi Albuliwi
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 82
SOURCE: West Brooklyn Productions Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.westbankbrooklyn.com
TEXT: In Brooklyn, even a minor fender bender recalls international conflict when one driver is an Arab and the other is a Jew. Two Palestinian-American brothers and their neighborhood friends take different paths while struggling with their Muslim religion and American way of life. One brother takes a job as a personal aide to an elderly, wheelbound Jew; the other rebels against the arranged marriage his strict father has made for him. Touched by events in the Middle East, one friend delves deeper into his Islamic faith, while another renames himself Tito and tries to pass as Puerto Rican because he's tired of carrying the name Saddam. This sharp, funny film is both entertaining and socially relevant as it deals with issues reflected in the daily news.

ROSE'S SONG

TITLE: ROSE'S SONG
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Andor Szilagyi
COUNTRY: Hungary
LANGUAGE: Hungarian with English ST
TIME: 89
SOURCE: Filmunio Budapest, Hungary www.arozsaenekei.hu
TEXT: US premiere at the Palm Beach Jewish Film Fest in December 2003. Official selection, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, 2003. Autumn, 1944. Budapest's Jews are being sent to the ghetto but a few men and women find a secret refuge in the suburban villa of Imre Roza, a world famous opera singer who, despite being Jewish, is untouchable because of his social standing. Although they never meet him, his guests take courage in hearing his singing from the turret room of the villa and they believe that no harm will come to them as long as he remains in Budapest. Obliging caretaker, Géza, takes care of running the house and solving all crisises. The story, seen through the eyes of Géza's adolescent son, Tomi, was inspired by true life

BOYS OF BUCHENWALD

TITLE: BOYS OF BUCHENWALD
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Audrey Mehler
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: Paperny Films Vancouver, CA www.papernyfilms.com
TEXT: US Premiere at Palm Beach Jewish Film Fest, 2003. A sweeping story of destruction, rebirth and the power of friendship to renew the human spirit. In this heart-warming documentary, the "boys" of Buchenwald return to the homes in France that took them in after the war, and they reconnect with fellow survivors whose friendships helped to heal their devastating losses.

CHANNELS OF RAGE arutzim shel za'am

TITLE: CHANNELS OF RAGE arutzim shel za'am
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Anat HaLachmi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour, video, 1 uur 12 min.
SOURCE: Channels of Rage Ruth Diskin Films Ltd. 13, Diskin Street, Suite 47 96440 Jerusalem Israel Phone: 972-2-5610094 Fax: 972-2-6256047 ruthdis@netvision.net.il http://www.ruthfilms.com/
TEXT: The Israeli rapper Subliminal (Kobi Shimoni) is described in the local rap scene as 'the one who rediscovered the Hebrew language'. He considers himself a proud, Zionist rapper. TN (Tamer Nafer) is a follower of Subliminal, but chooses to rap in Arabic. For three years, director Anat Halachmi followed these rising rap stars in the baffled country of Israel and distilled an apposite story about the untenable situation. The documentary starts in 2000: the rappers sit in a van like brothers, put their arms around each other and shout provocatively: 'Film the coexistence'. This sentence keeps echoing throughout the film, during performances in smoky basements and later in large auditoriums, when a spectator sheds tears after a suicide attack, in the tumult outside the courthouse and during interviews with the rappers themselves, who come face to face in increasingly livid words. Every sentence, in whatever language, is consistently translated for the spectator. The great merit of CHANNELS OF RAGE is that it does not take sides. The rappers struggle just as much with their country as with their identity and the strain of success. And the disconcerting feeling that at any moment their musical war might spark off a real war is omnipresent. Editing: Lavi Ben Gal Photography: Daniel Miran Production: Anat Halachmi Director: Anat Halachmi Screenplay: Anat Halachmi Sound: Alfred Tesler Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

GARDEN

TITLE: GARDEN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Adi Barash Ruthie Shatz
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour, video, 1 uur 30 min.
SOURCE: Fig Films 32 Namal Yaffo Tel Aviv 68003 ISRAEL p: (972 3) 681 0644 f: (972 3) 518 1676 e: info@figfilms.com w: www.figfilms.com
TEXT: 'The Garden', as a neighborhood in Tel Aviv is known, is the last place that looks like the Garden of Eden (Independence Garden north of the Hilton). Boys live in the street, making a living as prostitutes or by selling illicit drugs. This candid film focuses on the engaging 17-year-old Nino, an illegal Palestinian, and his 18-year-old friend and protector Dudo, an Arab Israeli. Both have had troubled childhoods and live from day to day in the street. They balance on the thin line between a stable life and drug addiction or crime, dreaming of a life outside the Garden. Adi Barash and Ruthie Shatz followed the two boys for a year, literally everywhere, even using microphones that are taken into customers' cars (just like Mary Ellen Mark's "Streetwise" on the streets of Portland Oregon) (Just like "Diary of a Male Whore by Abu Wa'el, based on the novel "For Bread Alone" by Mohamed Choukri). The unpolished and poignant portrait of the two mutually dependent friends is presented against the background of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the taboo on homosexuality and the tense relations between the streetwalkers and the authorities. Although the progress of their lives is no source for optimism, the boys' resilience and friendship leave light at the end of the tunnel. Editing: Janus Billeskov Jansen Music: Assaf Amdorsky Photography: Adi Barash Production: Adi Barash, Ruthie Shatz Director: Adi Barash, Ruthie Shatz Sound: Adi Barash / Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003. Selection at Sundance January 2004

CHECKPOINT machssomim

TITLE: CHECKPOINT machssomim
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yoav Shamir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour, video, 1 uur 18 min.
SOURCE: Amythos Films & Eden Productions POB 39157 Tel- Aviv 61391 Israel Tel : 972-9 - 9564518 Fax: 972-9 - 9566212 Email: info@amythosfilms.com http://www.amythosfilms.com/
TEXT: WINNER AT THE AMSTERDAM DOC FEST, NOVEMBER 2003. The West Bank and Gaza Strip have been under Israeli military authority since 1967. Over three million Palestinians live in a nation under Israeli occupation. When they want to move from one village or city to another, to visit relatives or doctors, or to go to work, they have to pass through Israeli checkpoints. After years of terrorist attacks, dozens of these heavily guarded checkpoints have been set up. From 2001 to 2003, director Yoav Shamir has filmed and created an incredibly honest and moving verité record of various occurrences at these checkpoints. This experiential film conveys a saddening series of encounters between the humiliated Palestinians and the heavily armed, often very young soldiers, who sometimes feel uneasy in their commanding roles. But these men are often self-assured, too, apparently taking pleasure in intimidating the Palestinians, having them wait for hours in the burning sun or pouring rain. The tension is palpable when a large group of Palestinian people ignores the order to return and collectively pass the roadblocks. The general impression is one of an endless situation, in which people on both sides are forced into positions that leave little room for human dignity. Editing: Era Lapid Photography: Yoav Shamir Production: Amit Breuer, Elinor Kowarsky, Edna Kowarsky Director: Yoav Shamir Sound: Yoav Shamir Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

IN SATMAR CUSTODY bechzkat satmar

TITLE: IN SATMAR CUSTODY bechzkat satmar
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Nitzan Gilady
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour, video, 1 uur 10 min.
SOURCE: Ruth Diskin Films in Israel. www.RuthFilms.com Google her
TEXT: It is a closed and almost unknown community. These ultra-orthodox Jews that call themselves 'Satmar' and live in America are barely noticed in their own country, but abroad they constitute an active anti-Zionist movement. In Yemen, poor Jewish families are persuaded not to emigrate to Israel, but to America, where the prospect of a warm welcome is held out to them. In practise, this turns out differently, as is demonstrated by the harrowing story of Yahia and Lauza Jaradi. These Yemenite Jews and their children were lured to America by the Satmar community in 1994. A few years later, things go terribly wrong: their little daughter Hadiyah lapses into a coma and dies, and Lauza is charged with murder. The reality turns out to be far shadier, director Nitzan Gilady reveals in IN SATMAR CUSTODY. The camera closely follows the family, especially the desperate Yahia. At other times it remains hidden in the bushes and behind walls, to spy on the meetings Yahia has with different advisors. The result is a thriller-like documentary that does not offer cut-and-dried answers. But, the film does make clear how negligence and fundamentalism can be so destructive for individual victims. Editing: Ron Goldman Music: Ophir Leibowitch Photography: Yaron Orbach Production: Nitzan Gilady Director: Nitzan Gilady Screenplay: Nitzan Gilady Sound: Paul Kim // Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

ALMOST THERE

TITLE: ALMOST THERE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Joelle Alexis and Sigal Yehuda
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90 ?
SOURCE: http://www.editnextdoor.com/ Edit Next Door - Vounakio - Panormos - 84600 Mykonos - Greece - T. + 30-2289-028584 - F. + 30-2289-028583 - M. +30-6945-194618 editnextdoor@yahoo.com
TEXT: The film "Almost There" is the story of a lesbian couple's move away from Israel and problems they wished to leave behind them. Joelle had lived in Tel-Aviv for eleven years but had tired of living in that violent world, while Sigal, hiding her true sexual identity from her family, felt she must distance herself to be able to live a more complete life with her partner. Together they travel through the Greek landscape in search of a new home. They film each other throughout their 'travel diary', each expressing her own feelings as she observes and discovers the other. Their unfurling journey pushes them to question the very heart of their search; essential dilemmas such as: "Where do I belong?", "What is home?" and "How can we be part of our families when the couple we are is different?" The film presents a couple that dares. Dares to change its life, dares to deal with personal fears, dares to search for happiness... and most of all dares to make a film whose lens explores with care both the beauty and difficulties of intimacy, sexual identity and the complexity of family relationships. Factors both difficult to perceive or examine, unless we turn the camera upon ourselves.

MY MOM THE GENERAL

TITLE: MY MOM THE GENERAL
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shevi Rosenfeld / Yaron Caftori
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 ?
SOURCE: ask me for her email address
TEXT: A documentary directed Shevi Rosenfeld. Israel 2002 .Intifada. Nava Rosenfeld, a 59 years old Architect from Tel-Aviv, a grandmother of six and the director's mother, decides, in light of current events and despite of protests by people around her, to stop staring at the news on TV and to volunteer to reserve service at the front line. With mixed emotions of love, concern and quite a bit of cynicism, the director-daughter follows her mom's new path, her ideology, her fears and the new friends of a woman whose desire to take part and make a difference is shuttered by the typical male arrogance, somewhere in the front line. Through the description of my mom's attempts to deal with the war, I am revealing a personal story about the generation gap between the indifferent young generation and the concerned and patriotic parents generation, about the dry male rationalism , about a woman among man and about after- mid-life crisis .... and especially about the relationships between a mother and her daughter, because during this period, in which I am trying to understand what my mother is going through, I am opening a door and an ear, maybe for the first time with such intensity and interest, to my mom's inner world. "My mom the General" is a family drama about a family during the Intifada and also a story of a women in her sixties' mature.

STRIKERS

TITLE: STRIKERS
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Pazeet Ben Hayl & Galit Shaked
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 ?
SOURCE:
TEXT: A documentary directed by Pazeet Ben Hayl & Galit Shaked. Produced by Amir Faingold. The Israeli women soccer league established 4 years ago, in order to make it possible for the men's league to participate in international matches. The film 'strikers' accompanies 3 women soccer players, playing for one squad: Sylvie jean, a 28 years old born in Netanya Israel, Salwa Amesis, an 19 years old Christian Arab from Ramle and Ina Didich, a 26 years old Christian from Ukraine, in their daily struggle to play soccer. The film will also introduce Gili Sela , an unusual 21 year old guy who has been the team's only devoted fan for two years now, and who is determined to fight for recognition of the female soccer league in Israel. In contradiction to the league's situation and the way it's being managed, those four characters live and breath soccer. This is not just a game for them but a real love and a childhood dream. It is a substitute for family, a way of confronting reality and an everyday struggle facing their femininity and their lives .

WISDOM OF THE PRETZEL

TITLE: WISDOM OF THE PRETZEL
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Ilan Heitner/Shay Werker
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 ?
SOURCE:
TEXT: Golan, an almost 30 year old guy from Tel-Aviv, was supposed to be a married CEO with birthday parties for friends with spinach cakes. Instead he resists growing up and falls in love with an unresistable and cheeky girl, who happens to be his best friend's sister. She's the first to show him what "real life" is all about. But it looks like sometimes living "life" is more difficult than giving them up. "The wisdom of the pretzel" is a sharp and lively cinematic adaptation to the successful best-seller book, which became the ultimate cult.

UKRANIAN BRIDES

TITLE: UKRANIAN BRIDES
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Nili Tal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 ?
SOURCE:
TEXT: Ukranian Brides is a documentary directed and produced by Nili Tal. "Israeli women are very difficult, they have many demands" Rami Yahav explains the succes of his international match-making company. The men are Israeli, the women are Ukrainian. In July 2000 Rami takes Ygal and Meir, both single at their forties, to find brides in the Ukraine. In the course of two days they meet quite a few women in search of the right 'click'. "No one is taken advantage of" says Avinoam who married in the Ukraine. "I provide her with a home, food, security. She gives me a family." "They're beautiful and know the meaning of respect" Ygal expounds. The film depicts the journey of match making right up to the wedding. .

Confrontation at Concordia

TITLE: Confrontation at Concordia
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Martin Himel
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: https://secure.encryptedtransactions.com/dfocus/cwful/details.cfm?s=CWF-9011
TEXT: Confrontation at Concordia examines the student confrontation at Montreal's Concordia University in September 2002, which forced the cancellation of a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is the subject of the one-hour special Confrontation at Concordia. On September 9, 2002, student union activists staged a protest to stop the former Israeli prime minister from addressing the Jewish student movement Hillel. Hillel is a major international Jewish student organization with branches in almost every university where Jews study. The protest forced the Concordia administration to call in the Montreal police and Netanyahu's speech was cancelled. Throughout the months that followed, the student union banned Hillel on campus, which provoked angry outcries of anti-Semitism. Confrontation at Concordia examines the contentious issues of intolerance and extremism on the Montreal campus and the long-standing conflicts in the Middle East. Confrontation at Concordia is produced, directed and written by Martin Himel. He is currently reporting on Mideast issues for Global National and was part of the national newscast's war coverage team during the recent Mideast crisis. A Canadian journalist, Himel has covered the Mideast for more than 20 years for CTV CBC, FOX and ABC. Himel is also the Executive Producer of Elsash Productions, the production company responsible for this project. Contact at martin@elsash-tv.com Ny independent international film and video festival

Night Watchers Shomrei Halaila

TITLE: Night Watchers
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: AMNON BINYAMIN & HANNA BEN-MOSHE
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 52
SOURCE: Hanna Ben-Moshe 972.352.77.204 972.566.50.664 benmosheh@yahoo.com
TEXT: The documentary Night Watchers exposes a hidden and ostensibly unreal urban reality of the metropolitan Tel-Aviv, which takes place at night about people who fall victim to drugs. These people find hope through two radio celebrities, Yuval and Eyal, whom help them pursue rehabilitation via their weekly radio program "Drugs Out. Starring Yuval, Eyal. Produced by Amnon Binyamin & Hanna Ben-Moshe. Screenplay (in Hebrew) Photography (Color) by Ronen Mayo Edited by Amnon Binyamin & Hanna Ben-Moshe. Ny independent international film and video festival

A journey of spirit

TITLE: A journey of spirit
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ann Coppel
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 75
SOURCE: http://www.ajourneyofspirit.com/ ANN COPPEL PRODUCTIONS • PO BOX 17144 • SEATTLE, WA 98107 • TEL 206.282.7720 • FAX 206.789.8822
TEXT: A Journey of Spirit is a documentary that tells the story of the remarkable singer, songwriter and guitarist Debbie Friedman. One of the preeminent women in contemporary Jewish culture, Debbie has integrated contemporary melody with Jewish liturgy to transform Jewish sacred music, making the text accessible to a large and diverse audience. A Journey of Spirit explores the tremendous power this artist and leader has to promote spirituality, healing, and community. This 75-minute documentary explores the transformation of liberal Jewish worship, the growth of the new profession of Jewish singer/songwriter, and humanity's need for healing. Viewers are treated to a lively and heartfelt exchange as A Journey of Spirit places the debate about contemporary versus traditional prayer music squarely on the table. .

The New Americans

TITLE: The New Americans
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Allen Blumberg
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 54
SOURCE:
TEXT: The New Americans : Allen Blumberg, dir. 54min. Drama/Comedy. Four yuppie immigrants pool their resources to form an investment office in New Jersey. They are a Palestinian, a Jew, a Hindu Indian and Chinese man. They are smart, aggressive and neurotic and usually in trouble with the new mafias and the landed aristocracy. They have a rich client who owns 1% of a small defense company. They sell the client's shares to a wealthy blueblood family for control of the company. Unfortunately, some very dangerous people don't want to lose control of the defense company. The 'guys' are soon running for their lives. Running and talking, because that is what they do best. They approach the rich waspy family, which turns out to be a nest of vipers. Needless to say, they get hung out to dry, wisecracking and complaining all the way. Ny independent international film and video festival

PURIM

TITLE: PURIM
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Lavi Ben Gal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 78
SOURCE: lavibg@netvision.net.il
TEXT: Purim : Lavi Ben Gal, dir. 78min. Drama. This film is a human mosaic about the meaning of life under terror. It takes place on the day of the PURIM Carnival in Israel while an Arab suicide bomber's attack brings together the fates of different characters. NYIIFVF AWARD WINNER. Ny independent international film and video festival. Winner.

Choco Banana in North Carolina

TITLE: Choco Banana in North Carolina
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Nisan Katz
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 56
SOURCE: nisansun@012.net.il
TEXT: Choco Banana in North Carolina : Nisan Katz, dir, 56min. Documentary. We follow several Israelis that work as ice-cream truck vendors throughout the neighborhoods of Charlotte, North Carolina, neighborhoods of blacks, Latino and white, and from their point of view we can see America in a very unique way.

One Small Step for Man

TITLE: One Small Step for Man
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shahar Segal / Rafi Bukai
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 95
SOURCE: Gilgamesh Productions Inc. with POV Productions Inc., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Music by Aviv Geffen and Daniel Solomon. Stars Avi Nesher, Chelli Goldenberg, Limor Goldstein, Robert Hoenig, Barak Greenberg, Adam Hirsth, Yoav Koresh, Yonatan Grober, Ada Ragimov. Sahar's dad works as a chief engineer on a prestigious project for the aviation industry. 14-year-old Sahar watches helplessly as his parents' marriage crumbles. He documents his life through a story that he is writing for a short story competition, where the prize is a ticket to Auschwitz with a student delegation. Sahar and his friends are your typical 14-year-olds - they talk about girls and dream about sex. But they are also concerned about a friend battling against cancer. They know they can't beat death, but they are determined that a 14-year-old boy will not die a virgin. Sahar's dad starts building a rocket in the back yard, his mother leaves home for another man, and Sahar writes a story that confuses reality and imagination, and learns that reality always invades fiction and that fiction has the power to change reality. Shahar Segal graduated from the Film Dept. at Beit Tzvi. Segal is considered one of the leading commercials directors in Israel and his work won many awards. He began his career as an actor in the film "Late Summer Blues" ('87). His directorial work in the theater includes "Temunot Mehayee Nisuin", winner of the Best Play Award at the 1991 Moscow Festival. Segal directed documentary films, including "A Prime Minister's Schedule" ('98), which documented the last week in the life of the late PM Itzhak Rabin, and won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary, and "Anshei Hademama". "One Small Step for Man" is his first feature film. Screened at Haifa Film Festival in November 2003.

THE YESHiVA

TITLE: The Yeshiva
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Noam Damski /Dana Eden
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 55
SOURCE: Dana Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Screened at Haifa Film Festival in November 2003. Music: Subliminal, Ran Harush. The Yeshiva is a classic docu-tale of ten episodes observing the senior class of the yeshiva high-school of Kfar Haroeh for a year. The series reveals, in a remarkable and unique fashion, the world of young men in a crucial crossroads of their lives, touching their spiritual experiences and their teenage mischief which, put together, mold their identity, and gives us a peek into the world of the "Crocheted Yarmulkes". The series revolves around eight characters - young and grownup, who share their major conflicts with us in real time (fathers and sons; boys and girls; faith, the Land of Israel, religious and secular sectors...) Noam Damski studied Communications and Film at Maaleh School in Jerusalem. Damski directed "Street Corners" and "Haredim Legoralam", which were screened on Channel 2. Selected filmography: "Uman - The Story of a Journey" (1988), "On the Fringe" (2000).

Rina and Eric Forever

TITLE: Rina and Eric Forever
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shay Capon
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 50
SOURCE: Cable - Channel 3, Ramat Gan
TEXT: Screened at Haifa Film Festival in November 2003. Produced by: Ofir Rabinovich. Music: Ofir Leibovich. Cast: Dror Keren, Rene Verbin, Lehe Green, Irit Shilo. "I'm so lucky to have Rina"! This allegedly naïve sentence begins the story of Arik, the protagonist of the film "Rina and Arik Forever" and the most charming, terrifying, attractive, repulsive, funny and fascinating character you'll meet this year. Arik (Dror Keren) is a professional handyman, unsure of his place in the world, a world represented by his life partner Rina. His fervent desire to hold on to the security provided to him by Rina's presence in his life, causes him to act out of the need to satisfy her and he meticulously analyzes all his actions in an obsessive and disturbing manner. Without noticing, his life with Rina has become a sea of disquiet. One day Rina is forced to leave home for a few days, leaving Arik on his own. All of a sudden, a new world opens up before him. Her absence releases a different Arik: a funnier, warmer, more loveable and independent one. In addition, his falling in love with his neighbor, 3 floors down, leads to spiritual uplifting and self-revelation: one moment away from happiness. But every celebration has its end and even Rina's absence is already no more than a pleasant memory... unless something were to happen to her. In an original, surprising and a unique cinematic way, the director/screenwriter (Shay Capon) invites us to enter the mind of a protagonist who only wants to be loved. Shay Capon worked as an actor on the Educational TV series "Matter of Time" and "Twenty Plus" and in the drama "Little Country Big Man" ('99). Capon developed a number of TV projects for Channel 8, Educational TV, Hop!, Telad and ICP.

The Chaplains

TITLE: The Chaplains
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Baracha Zisman-Cohen, Danny Barnea
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Russian, Hebrew and English subtitles
TIME: 67
SOURCE: Zisman Productions, Ramat Gan
TEXT: Screened at Haifa Film Festival in November 2003.
Lina and Slava Chaplin, a couple from the movies. "I make movies, so I won't have to go on a diet," Says Lina. "It's much more interesting." And she made 60 documentary films since she came with her husband from Russia to Israel, 27 years ago. Slava, a director of feature films, celebrated his 70th Birthday this year. "They are filming us because we are old, and still work. And that's a sort of a miracle." Two years ago, the Chaplins decided to join forces for the first time. Together they directed the film "A Trumpet in the Wadi", that won 1st prize in the 2001 Haifa Film Festival, and the Israel Academy Award. Immediately upon ending the production of "A Trumpet in the Wadi" the Chaplins were offered a new script: "Paper Snow", that brings the sensational story of the love affair between the actress Hana Rovina and the poet Alexander Penn. With this belated success, perhaps too late, our documentary "The Chaplins" begins. This documentary is about a couple full of contradictions: A couple, never recognized by the establishment - won the Israeli Academy Award; "Russians" - that create the most "Israeli" films; "old" - but with youthful energy; married for 46 years - but still in love. Baracha Zisman-Cohen, and editor and director, studied Film at Tel Aviv University and teaches at Hanegev College. Zisman-Cohen edited a number of feature films and dozens of documentaries. She directed and edited "Nahum Sharig = Palmach". Danny Barnea is a documentary photographer. Barnea works for Israeli Television and teaches photography.

JERUSALEM, MY LOVE jerusalem, min elskede

TITLE: JERUSALEM, MY LOVE jerusalem, min elskede
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jeppe Rønde
COUNTRY: DENMARK
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: colour / black and white, 35mm, 1 uur 13 min.
SOURCE:
TEXT: The leitmotif of this personal film is a recurring therapeutic session, in which filmmaker Jeppe Rønde analyses his feelings about the meaning of religion and faith in his life. He indicates that he thinks back longingly to the spiritual peace and unconditional confidence he had as a child. He believes that had to do everything with faith. Under hypnosis, Jeppe goes back to Jerusalem, the city where he claims he lost his faith, but with which he also feels a strong connection. In the film, his quest is visualised by dreamlike sequences, alternated with realistically depicted meetings with a number of contemporary prophets. There are a lot of them in Jerusalem, the city where three religions coexist under extremely tough circumstances. Jeppe speaks with Christian, Jewish and Islamic clergymen and priests. All people who, each from his own conviction and background, try to achieve something good amidst all the hatred and violence. The filmmaker puts his gravest doubts and questions to them; they advise him and try to win him over to their religion. One of the men even manages to persuade Jeppe to baptise him. Editing: Theis Schmidt Music: David Sebastian Buus Photography: Jeppe Rønde, Sebastian Winterø Production: Anne Diemer, Rasmus Thorsen Director: Jeppe Rønde Sound: Rune Palving // Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

The Main Suspect

TITLE: The Main Suspect hachshud haikari
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yaky Yosha
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 60
SOURCE:
TEXT: After Sharon has visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in September 2000, the so-called Al Aqsa Intifada breaks out, for which the Israeli Arabs side with the Palestinians. In fierce riots in Galilee, fourteen people are killed. The regional chief of police, major-general Alik Ron, is immediately branded public enemy number one. The government establishes a fact-finding committee, but filmmaker Yaky Yosha decides to start his own investigation. At times, his conversation partners' suspicious attitude makes this an arduous process, but gradually he manages to get through to them. It turns out that Alik Ron is not the warhorse that public opinion mistakes him for, but a friendly, open-minded man, who goes to Nazareth to drink tea with an Arab family that establishes that the appeal to go and kill each other is a dead-end street: 'In the end, we all deserve to live'. Eventually, Ron puts his head in the lion's mouth, getting round the table with a group of Israeli Arabs. If this meeting initially has the character of a people's tribunal, on parting some understanding seems to have budded, even if Ron thinks that you tame a swarm of aggressive bees with smoke, while his Arab table-companion prefers to patiently let them be. Music: Richard Berger Narration: Yaky Yosha Photography: Yoram Milo Production: Dorit Yosha Director: Yaky Yosha Screenplay: Yaky Yosha Sound: Tami Schneider // Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

MAP

TITLE: MAP
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Amit Goren
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour / black and white, video, 47 min.
SOURCE:
TEXT: MAP is a collage in six chapters, consisting of associative images around the themes war and migration, set against the filmmaker's personal living conditions. We see historical footage of long queues of refugees, seeking shelter with large packs of household goods on their backs. We see the harrowing contrast between impressions of cheerful amusement by the sea and newscast images after a bomb attack in Tel Aviv, the director's home base. An old Jewish woman tells how she and her family were driven from Egypt, and the Jewish Pesach festival, commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, is celebrated in the family circle. The director also makes trips to distant foreign countries, including the gorgeous, vast Mongolian tundra, where nomads roam around with their cattle. As a result of the way these images, which at first sight seem to be unrelated, are put opposite and alongside each other, a strong sense of alienation is evoked. On an almost subconscious level, the images take on a new coherence and together constitute an indictment of war and everything it entails. Music: Yoav Goren Photography: Amit Goren, Eytan Harris // Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003.

THIRST

TITLE: THIRST
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: TAWFIK ABU WA'EL / AVI KLEINBERGER
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Arabic with English ST
TIME: 90
SOURCE: ?
TEXT: Mr. Abu Wa'el is 27, and resides in Um Al FaHm, on the border of Israel and the West Bank, near Mi-ami. He calls himself a Palestinian, although Israel would term him an Israeli Arab. He was an Asst Director for Elia Suleiman's "Divine Intervention." THIRST looks at internal oppression. The cast features amateur Israeli Arab actors from Um al Fahm; the crew mostly consists of Israeli Jews. Story is about an Arab family, lorded over by its tyrannical father/patriarch. When their elder daughter has an illict relationship, the family must leave its native village. They take up residence in an abandoned Israeli military base.

PROJECT Y

TITLE: PROJECT Y
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Synergy
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew
TIME:
SOURCE: Synergy
TEXT: Project Y is an Israeli television talent search show from 2003. In November 2003, this "American Idol" reality tv show picked its winner: an Israeli Arab named Firas Khoury. 15 contestants were placed in a villa for 80 days. Voters voted each week for their favorite. Khoury, who received 25% of the votes, has become a celeb in Israel.

MONA LISA SMILE

TITLE: MONA LISA SMILE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Mike Newell / Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Deborah Shindler, Paul Schiff, etc.
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Sony Pictures
TEXT: Julia Roberts stars as Katherine, a new teacher at Wellesley College, an all girls school in post-War America of the early 1950's proto-feminism. It is inspired by the college days of Hilary Rodham Clinton. An art history teacher arrives on campus in 1953 from California, and preaches non conformity. Why should these smart ambitious women be wives and homemakers? Some students attempt to destroy her, other accept her. Katherine convinces one woman to apply to Yale Law School (Clinton?) Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Giselle, a token Jewish woman at this Waspy enclave, who with sassy intelligence, fights against conformity.

NINA'S TRAGEDIES

TITLE: NINA'S TRAGEDIES
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Savi Gavison
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 110 in 35 mm
SOURCE: David Mueller Wellspring Media, Inc. 419 Park Ave South New York, NY 10016 USA Phone: 212-686-6777 Fax: 212-545-9931 dmueller@wellspring.com http://www.wellspring.com/
Assoulin1@bezeqInt.net 972 3 510 1996 fax 972 3 510 7674 Lovesickk Ltd (lovesick on Nana Street) 36 Pines St Tel Aviv Israel 65148
TEXT: A bittersweet comedy. Winner of most of the Israel Awards (Oscars) in 2003 and Israel's entry to the US Academy Awards 2004. Shown at Sundance, January 2004. Nina's Tragedies is that rare film which achieves a lusciously paradoxical "happy-sad" state, making us laugh and cry at the same time. It is also that rare Israeli film that doesn't push too hard to get us there. Writer/director Savi Gabizon creates a melancholic romp through the range of human emotion and experience that effortlessly transports its eccentric characters from the most mundane to the most profound moments in a single scene, all the while juggling ideas of fate and randomness, gravitas and serendipity. Nina's Tragedies received eleven Israeli film prizes in 2003, and was Israel's submission to the 2004 Oscar's competition in the United States (it was not nominated). It made its North American premier at Sundance. A sad comedy, it is told from the point of view of Nadav, a 14 year old boy who is obsessed with his Aunt Nina, his mother's sister. The film, written and directed by Savi Gabizon, opens at the funeral of Nadav's father, where Gabizon finds the painful humor in the most mundane of objects. During the Israeli film, there are births, deaths, weddings, and funerals. Nadav's parents separate, his mother take many new lovers, his father becomes a Breslover hassid (na nah nahman), his Aunt Nina marries, her husband, an army officer, is killed, and many Israeli and Azerbaijani lives begin to intersect in coincidentally whimsical and comic ways.
DIRECTOR & WRITER: Savi Gavison. CAST: Ayelet Zourer, Yoram Hatav, Alon Aboutboul, Anat Waxman

PAPER CLIPS

TITLE: PAPER CLIPS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Elliot Berlin / Joe Fab, Ari Daniel Pinchot, and Robert M. Johnson.
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 52
SOURCE: Miramax
TEXT: Nestled near a spent coal mine in the Sequatchie River Valley of rural Tennessee, middle school students from the town of Whitwell are teaching the entire world a new lesson in compassion, tolerance and understanding. And they're spreading their message by collecting - of all things - paper clips, one paper clip for each of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Who are these people, why would they want to honor Holocaust victims, how did a small after school project become an international movement touching lives worldwide, and most intriguing, why paper clips? The answer to these questions and more is explored in a new documentary, Paper Clips, from The Johnson Group of McLean, Virginia. "There is no one associated with the making of this documentary who has not felt his own life altered by it in some way," said Joe Fab, vice president of The Johnson Group, and producer, writer, co-director of the film. "It is a compelling story, the kind every filmmaker hopes to find." The idea started in 1998 when assistant principal, history teacher and football coach David Smith, suggested to principal Linda Hooper that they use the Holocaust as the basis for a The Johnson Group: Bob Johnson, Julia Eddy, Joe Fab, Ari Pinchot and Eliot Berlin editing Paper Clips on the Avid. In this school of 425 students, there are no Jews, no Catholics, no Asians, just one Hispanic, and only six blacks. Not exactly the ethnic diversity upon which one would expect to build an understanding of the Holocaust. A voluntary after school course on tolerance was offered and on the first day, 25 students showed up. They listened as English teacher Sandra Roberts and Coach David Smith, handpicked for the assignment, recounted horrific events from the Holocaust. The students were captivated. The students found it nearly impossible to visualize the number six million. They talked among themselves about what they might gather to represent the six million lives lost. Their principal, aware that six million of anything would present a daunting task, advised the students to select something quite small. While conducting research on the Internet, the students discovered that citizens of Norway, where paper clips were invented, wore them on their lapels as a protest against Nazi occupation during World War II. The Tennessee students quickly seized on the idea of collecting six million paper clips, one for each of the Holocaust victims. Soon, they were collecting paper clips from everyone with whom they came in contact. But, by the end of the first school year, only 100,000 clips had been collected. As they looked for a way to accelerate the collecting, fate intervened. In Washington, D.C., 95-year-old Holocaust survivor Lena Gitter brought the students' project to the attention of two German journalists, Peter Schroeder and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, who by coincidence had already discovered the project while doing research at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ms. Gitter encouraged the journalists to visit the children and find some way to help them. The Schroeders' first visit to Whitwell convinced them the story must be told to a wider audience. The result was a book about the project and numerous newspaper stories back in their native Germany. The paper clips that had been arriving as a trickle soon became a torrent. The Schroeders themselves were hit with a blizzard of paper clips from Germany. On one trip to Whitwell, they delivered 46,000 paper clips. Two years after the project started, students were able to put faces and names with the statistics through first hand accounts from survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Holocaust survivors visited the school, met the students, and brought paper clips of their own to add to the collection. As they walked the halls, they saw barrels of paper clips throughout the school, displays of Holocaust photos covering the walls, including a drawing of the front gate of Auschwitz and of concentration camp inmates in striped uniforms. In the doc, Holocaust survivor Bernie Igielski of New York shares his story of survival. Bernie tells a rapt audience how he was saved from the gas chamber at Auschwitz by a doctor who, for unknown reasons, pulled him aside and authorized him to work. He spent time in Dachau and eight other concentration camps before being liberated by the Americans. Bernie breaks down in tears as he tells the students about his new life in America. He manages to explain that he has been so happy in America, and happiness makes him cry. The camera shows a sea of faces obviously moved by such stories. One who led the student body in the pledge of allegiance that morning tells the camera he will have much more respect for the pledge and the freedoms it represents. As of this writing, almost 30 million paper clips have been received. The project has generated paper clip contributions from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, as well as many citizens of Germany. Thousands of letters from 19 countries and 49 states have accompanied those clips. This film follows their adventure. Joe Fab, Ari Daniel Pinchot (associate producer for "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg"), and Robert M. Johnson. It was Pinchot who developed the documentary after reading news reports about the school project. Johnson's Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab are directing the project, which is also being written by Fab. Jessica Davenport is associate producer and Julia Dixon Eddy is the editor. Paul Christianson was recruited to score the project. The production was executive produced in association with Ergo Entertainment's Donny Epstein, Yeeshai Gross and Eli Landau. Budget = $500,000. In May 2002, Miramax Films acquired worldwide theatrical and home video rights to Paper Clips. The Johnson Group retains all broadcast rights.

No. 17 Number 17 HaHarug ha-17 Haharug 17

TITLE: No. 17
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: David Ofek
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: colour, video, 1 uur 16 min
SOURCE: Elinor Kowarsky Eden Production Ltd. 74 Arlozorov St. Tel Aviv 62646 USA Phone: 972-3-5273403 Fax: 972-3-5236076 eden_eli@netvision.net.il
Philipa Kowarsky Cinephil Levontin 18 Tel Aviv 65112, ISRAEL Phone: +972 3 5664129 Fax: +972 3 5601436 info@cinephil.co.il www.cinephil.co.il
TEXT: Seventeen people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a bus on the Megiddo intersection just outside Tel Aviv, Israel. One person, mangled beyond recognition, remained unidentified. Operating as a police inspector, filmmaker David Ofek tries to discover the identity of 'number 17'. Nobody seems to miss this man. Could he have been an illegal worker without any relatives? Through interviews with policemen, survivors and witnesses, we also see Ofek with his microphone, as he gathers more and more information. He posts notices at bus stops along the route. His only clue is that the man was carrying a tent. Ofek also identifies the interviewees through 'identity cards' that provide biographical information. As a result, we get to know the forensic expert and the piano teacher from Minsk, also on the bus, and we hear that the undertaker got injured in the Yom Kippur War. At a certain point, Ofek introduces a sketch artist from a newspaper and makes the rounds of talkshows to achieve his goal: to give number 17 a face.
NYT wrote: The weary acceptance of violence in an atmosphere of perpetual siege is the subject of the Israeli journalist David Ofek's small, chilly documentary ''No. 17.'' ....is a glum detective story in which the filmmaker methodically tracks down the name and hometown of the sole unidentified victim in the suicide bombing on June 5, 2002, at Meggido Junction, near Tel Aviv. After a car packed with explosives struck a bus, 16 of the 17 victims were accounted for. .... The director calmly pursues various leads, ranging from clues supplied by items of unclaimed luggage (including a tent), to vague eyewitness descriptions from several of the survivors. A sketch of the bus's seating is completed. A rough calculation is made of the age, height and weight of the victim, whose badly charred body is examined (but not shown). From the eyewitness accounts, a police sketch artist creates alternative pictures of the dead man, or No. 17, as he is called. The scenes of the artist plying his craft and coming up with what eventually turns out to be an uncanny likeness, are the most involving moments in a movie that's a critique of detachment. The film could be seen as Mr. Ofek's personal response to violence in a place where people, shellshocked by terrorism that has no end in sight, increasingly take the state of siege for granted. As the filmmaker points out sadly and without personal pride, other suicide bombings immediately turned the spotlight away from the Meggido Junction attack. Were it not for his quest, No. 17, who is finally identified, reclaimed and given a proper funeral (he is shown in a photograph), might have remained anonymous.
Co-director: Ron Rotem. Editing: Arik Lahav-Leibovitz Music: Ophir Leibovitch. Narration: David Ofek Narrator: David Ofek Photography: Ron Rotem Production: Elinor Kowarsky, Edna Kowarsky Director: David Ofek Screenplay: Elinor Kowarsky, David Ofek, Ron Rotem Sound: Ricardo Levy, Rami Rosenshtain, Ophir Rotem // Screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2003. And New Director/New Films NYC April 2004. And Bangkok Intnl Film Fest 2004

KEEP SHOOTING

TITLE: KEEP SHOOTING
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Baudouin Koenig
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 57 video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Life for Palestinians in and around the territories which Israel occupies, is no picnic. But if you want to shoot a feature film, without official permission, in locations like Jerusalem and Ramallah, you have to possess a large dose of optimism and perseverance. Director Rachid Masawari, assisted by a Palestinian-Israeli crew, is not daunted by any roadblock, bomb attack or setback in making this film about Palestinian-Israeli relations. KEEP SHOOTING is more than just 'a making of' film of a feature film. Every scene is superseded by reality. Masawari complains that he does not know what is tougher, 'the film we're doing or the film we're living'. The bizarre blending of fiction and reality is visualised in split-screen images, simultaneously showing images shot by the feature film camera and the documentary camera. The director also makes clever use of reality, when his leading character, by virtue of her 'normal' human life and as an actress, attends the real funeral of a victim of Israeli military violence. Editing: Danielle Gaynor Narrator: Boudouin Koenig Photography: Boudouin Koenig Production: Mahmoud Chokrollahi, Hind Saïh Shown at the Amsterdam Doc Fest, November 2003.


THE LAST WORDS OF DUTCH SCHULTZ
Gerrit van Dijk
In 1935, the last words of the dying gangster Arthur Flegenheimer, alias Dutch Schultz, were registered by an FBI shorthand writer, in the hope that Schultz would identify the person who killed him. These texts are the basis for this animated documentary. Dutch Schultz, whose words are spoken as an English voice-over by Rutger Hauer, talks about all sorts of things - evasive, fragmentary and sometimes seemingly raving - but Dutch refuses to rat on anyone. His wordstream is illustrated by animation made up of traced and treated film images. Scratchy, monochrome pencil drawings without unnecessary details or backgrounds. These images, which suggest a glimpse inside dying Dutch Schultz's head, comprise three categories: documentary images from Dutch Schultz's time (roughly from 1927 to 1935), scenes from feature films about the period that were made later, and all-time cinema icons - from famous dictators of the twentieth century to familiar war pictures. Through these latter associations, Dutch Schultz becomes the universal dying man, a man of all times. The flow of images is repeatedly interrupted by a live-action reconstruction of the killing of Dutch Schultz in a restaurant. Each time, the reconstruction is filmed from someone else's point-of-view, small differences emphasizing the subjectivity of observation and memory.
Nederland, 2003
colour, 35mm, 23 min.



ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL
Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan
ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS D'UN VOYAGE EN PALESTINE-ISRAEL offers an unusual vision of the inhabitants of Palestine-Israel, a common vision of a Palestinian and an Israeli. For more than a year, Eyal Khleifi and Michel Sivan have dedicated themselves to producing what they consider a cinematic act of faith: a film co-directed by a Palestinian and by an Israeli. In the summer of 2002, for two long months, they travelled together from the south to the north of their country of birth, traced their trajectory on a map and called it Route 181. This virtual line follows the borders outlined in Resolution 181, which was adopted by the United Nations on November 29th 1947 to partition Palestine into two states. As they travel along this route, they meet women and men, Israeli and Palestinian, young and old, civilians and soldiers, filming them in their everyday lives. Each of these characters has their own way of evoking the frontiers that separate them from their neighbours: concrete, barbed wire, cynicism, humour, indifference, suspicion, aggression. Frontiers have been built on the hills and in the plains, on mountains and in valleys but above all inside the minds and souls of these two peoples and in the collective unconscious of both societies. With ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS D'UN VOYAGE EN PALESTINE-ISRAEL, Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan take the viewer on a disorientating journey across this tiny territory with vast ramifications.
France
2003
colour, video, 4 uur 30 min.




ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL - 1ST PART THE SOUTH
ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL - 2ND PART THE CENTRE
ROUTE 181, FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL - 3RD PART THE NORTH




Little Odessa
Directed by James Gray
Drama / Thriller
Plot Summary: This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer...
Cast Tim Roth .... Joshua Shapira, Edward Furlong .... Reuben Shapira, Moira Kelly .... Alla Shustervich, Vanessa Redgrave .... Irina Shapira, Paul Guilfoyle .... Boris Volkoff, Natalya Andrejchenko .... Natasha, Maximilian Schell .... Arkady Shapira,
Runtime: 98 min
Country: USA
Language: English





ARMY OF ONE. DOCUMENTARy. SARAH GOODMAN
http://www.redstorm.ca/armyofone/synopsis.htm



TITLE:
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY:
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT:

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