Jewish Film Archive Online
Our Main Page is www.Jewishfilm.com



THE GATE OF THE SUN

TITLE: THE GATE OF THE SUN
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Yousry Nasrallah
COUNTRY: France/Egypt
LANGUAGE: Arabic w/ English ST
TIME: 278 minutes, almost 5 hours
SOURCE: seen at the NY Film Fest filmlinc.org October 16, 2004
TEXT: A couple makes love in the early hours of the morning. The woman rises from bed, gets dressed, goes into the street, and calls out to a neighbor - whom she then assassinates. Thus begins Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah's (El Medina, ND/NF 2000) powerful adaptation of Lebanese writer Elias Khoury's epic novel of fifty years of Palestinian dispossession, exile, and resistance. The film follows the flight of Younes, his wife Nahila, and those around them from their village in northern Palestine to a refugee camp in Lebanon. Some vow to continue the struggle, most simply struggle to survive. Nasrallah, who co-wrote the screenplay with Khoury and Mohamed Soueid, unsparingly details the impact of the nakhba (disaster) on Palestinian life and society, while showing the refugees' often-contentious relationship with their reluctant Lebanese hosts. Spanning generations, mixing personal stories with historical events, The Gate of the Sun will surely provoke intense discussion and controversy.

OR (My Treasure)

TITLE: OR (My Treasure)
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Keren Yedaya
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 100 minutes
SOURCE: seen at the NY Film Fest, October 5, 2004
TEXT: NOTE: sex and nudity.
Winner of 2004's Camera d'or at Cannes for best first feature, Keren Yedaya's riveting psychological study focuses on an aging Tel Aviv prostitute and her eighteen-year-old daughter, Or (treasure), who fights to keep her mother off the streets, even to the point of locking her mother indoors. Immensely winning if perhaps overly confident, Or is convinced that she has all the right answers and that she can redirect this helpless woman into a new occupation. The girl is not without her own sexual desires, which complicates her role as puritanical overseer. Grounded in a rich specificity of detail about daily life in working-class Tel Aviv, favoring moral doubt over pat judgments, Or avoids clichés, evades political speechmaking, and unfolds with a simple, direct visual style unerringly suited to its material. This remarkably self-assured debut offers us glimpses of a substratum of Israeli society rarely seen onscreen.
I saw it at the NY Film Fest.. it was quite depressing. Film programmers should have a speaker after this film... someone familiar with adolescent acting out and prostitution. Dana Ivgy (who plays OR) told us that the role was difficult and it took three months of discussions and rehearsals to prepare for it. Ms. Keren Yehaya was drawn to the subject matter after working for many years with dozens upon dozens of Israeli prostitutes. She debated whether to put the love interest for Ruthie into the film, or keep him absent. The framing is unique. She purposely kept Ruthie at the edges of the picture frames, stuck inside, never in the middle, always on the periphery. Many times u don't see heads.. only bodies. Ruthie is blind to the effect her actions have on those around her. These women may look happy, but they are essentially sad, and the audience will be sad.

Longtime Companion

TITLE: Longtime Companion
YEAR: 1990
DIR/PROD: Norman Rene
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000542CQ/sefersafarianonl
TEXT: The late director Norman Rene and writer Craig Lucas made a pretty fine creative team on the stage and in the movies, and this 1990 drama about the evolving impact of AIDS on gay New Yorkers is their best cinematic achievement. The ensemble story follows the lives of nine or so characters as word of the so-called "gay cancer" eventually becomes a real force, killing several of them as the years go by. The film works well on a number of levels, not least of which is the enviable closeness of the characters, the script's wit, the bittersweet experience of loss, and a celebratory attitude at the end mixing wisdom with defiance. Campbell Scott plays Willy Wolf, a linchpin upon which the other characters revolve.

Unlikely Heroes

TITLE: Unlikely Heroes
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Richard Trank
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English and Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 120 minutes
SOURCE: 7thart.com Seventh Art Releasing
TEXT: Anita Gates, writing in the NYT, wrote, "There was Pinchas Rosenbaum, a Hungarian rabbi's son who disguised himself as a Nazi officer and managed to save a thousand Jews; Anna Heilman, the only survivor of the successful plot to blow up Crematorium No. 4 at Birkenau; and Willy Perl, an Austrian man who persuaded leaders in Berlin to let him "deport" Jews, making it possible for thousands to escape safely to Palestine. The title characters of "Unlikely Heroes," ..., were ordinary people who, during World War II, resisted and defied the Nazis in remarkable ways. They also include Recha Sternbuch, who, over time, hid 30 people in her home in neutral Switzerland; Leon Kahn, a young Lithuanian who fought with the partisans there and in Russia and Poland; and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a Bauhaus artist who taught children in the Theresienstadt concentration camp to deal with their pain through art before she (and many of her young students) were put to death in Auschwitz. There is even a familiar face among these heroes. Robert Max Weiderman, a French singer who took a grave risk in secretly entertaining his fellow camp inmates on a regular basis ("Bei Mir Bist du Schön" was a favorite song), changed his name to Robert Clary after the war. In one of those odd life-and-art parallels, Mr. Clary, who is now retired, became a cast member of the 1960's-into-70's sitcom "Hogan's Heroes," set in a German prisoner-of-war camp. He played the lovable Cpl. Louis LeBeau. Much of the time, unfortunately, the responsible, institutional filmmaking of "Unlikely Heroes," from Moriah Films, an arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, does not do full justice to these stories. It is difficult for moviegoers to make a full emotional connection with the seven men and women, partly because of what seems to be a thin supply of photographs of them. Still, Richard Trank's direction and screenplay; his co-writer, Rabbi Marvin Hier; the historians who contributed expertise and reflections; and of course the subjects themselves should be commended. Every one of these people deserves a stirring film of his or her own, and if there is any moral justice, those films will be made someday. It is easy to imagine Julianne Moore as Anna Heilman.

Campfire / Madurat Ha Shevet

TITLE: Campfire / Madurat Ha Shevet
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Joseph Cedar
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 95 minutes
SOURCE: Cinema Post Productions - 18, Ben-Avigdor street - 61572 Tel-Aviv - Israël - Tél : 972 3 561 70 40 extention 4 - Fax : 972 3 561 70 92 - e-mail : cfactory@zahav.net.il
TEXT: The Israeli submission to the 2004 Oscar nominations process. CAMPFIRE stars Michaela Eshet, Hani Furstenberg, Moshe Ivgy, Assi Dayan, Maya Maron, Yehoram Gaon, Idit Teperson, Oshri Cohen, and Yehuda Levy. Written and directed by Joseph Cedar. 95 minutes. Hebrew title: Madurat Ha Shevet. In 2000, Joseph Cedar burst onto the Israeli film scene with Ha Hesder (Time of Favor), a compelling drama about a religious soldier whose rabbi and friends plot to bomb the Temple Mount. Now, with his second film, Campfire, Cedar more than delivers on the promise that was evident in Ha Hesder. A brilliant mixture of drama and gentle humor, Campfire brings an insider's knowing and affectionate but not uncritical perspective on the religious Right to the screen again. The drama and social critique in the film are interwoven seamlessly; and Cedar has succeeded, as few directors before him have, in putting the political dimension of Israeli life into human terms. Set in Jerusalem in 1981, Campfire focuses on the Gerlick family - Rachel (Michaela Eshet) and her two teenage daughters, Esti (Maya Maron) and Tami (Hani Furstenberg). Rachel is a widow whose husband died a year ago. Her dream is to join a new settlement in Shomron, and her challenge is to convince the organizer of this settlement, Motke (Assi Dayan), that she will fit in, even though she is single. Unlike the other hopefuls, Rachel is passionately ideological. While it might seem that this would make her a better candidate, Motke seems to find her threatening. Partly out of goodwill and partly to make Rachel a more suitable candidate for the settlement, Motke's wife Shula (Idit Teperson) fixes her up with two men, Yossi (Moshe Ivgy, in possibly the best performance of his long career), a mini-van driver, and Moshe (Yehoram Gaon), a pompous businessman and cantor. As composed and in control as Rachel may seem in public, at home she is struggling with her daughters. Esti, who is doing her national service, is openly rebellious and tries to steal away with her soldier boyfriend (Yehuda Levy, who played Jagger in Yossi & Jagger) every chance she gets. Tami is more obedient but is in the midst of her own sensual awakening. She has a crush on Rafi (Oshri Cohen) and is drawn away from the comfort and boredom of the crowd she has grown up with in the B'nei Akiva youth movement to a bunch of outsiders who are exciting and threatening at the same time. An incident in which she is molested at a bonfire with these boys on Lag Ba'omer creates a crisis for all the characters, particularly for Tami and her mother, both of whom lose a certain innocence. One is not sure how to react to the boys, in the way Cedar has depicted them. The plot summary for this movie may make it sound like a soap opera, but it is far more complex than that. The story unfolds with a subtlety and authenticity that create a moving drama. At the heart of it all is Rachel, a woman who, at 42, realizes she has never done anything for herself. In so many American movies on similar themes, a man appears who is too good to be true; but in this film, Rachel's suitors are all too real. The friendship that develops between her and Yossi is an extraordinarily touching depiction of middle-aged romance. Assi Dayan is dead-on as the pompous Motke, just as he was in a similar role as the charismatic rabbi in Ha Hesder

TARNATION

TITLE: TARNATION
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Jonathan Caouette / Stephen Winter / Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 88 minutes
SOURCE: Wellspring.com Dgoldberg @ wellspring . com
TEXT: Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. With Cast (in alphabetical order) Jonathan Caouette .... Michael Cox Adolph Davis Rosemary Davis Renee Leblanc and David Sanin Paz. A whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family travesty. The story begins in 2003, when Jonathan learns that his schizophrenic or manic or just electro shocked and damaged mother, Renee, has overdosed on her lithium medication. He is catapulted back into his real and horrifying family legacy of rape, abandonment, promiscuity, drug addiction, child abuse, suicide attempts, more suicide attempts, cries for attention, glam, cheese enchiladas, chris makepeace obsessions, homosexuality, neurosis and psychosis. The film begins with the early history of Caouette's family. His grandparents, Adolph and Rosemary, were married in 1951 and experienced a middle-class life in a Houston suburb. But their idyllic early years quickly disintegrate after they opt to incarcerate their beauty-queen daughter Renee, who undergoes shock therapy after a suspected mental condition is diagnosed. Renee¹s personality is severely compromised after two years of treatment, resulting in a tortured life of mental illness, physical abuse, and a seemingly endless series of hospitalizations. Her saving grace arrives in the form of her son, Jonathan, born in 1972. As he grows up on camera, he finds the escapist balm of musical theater and B horror flicks. His acting as a preteen is magnificent and believable. Then a look into the future shows Jonathan as he confronts the symbiotic and almost unbearable love he shares with his beautiful and tragically damaged mother. So what is Jewish about this film? In addition to his mother singing Ayn Kelohaynu, we learn that Jonathan's mother is Jewish and the grandparents who raise him are Jewish. Also included is the Jewish story of the indentation on your upper lip. If only it could erase memories.
At the age of eleven, TARNATION director Jonathan Caouette borrowed a neighbor¹s video camera and began documenting his daily life, interrogating his family members and making short films to escape the drama of his everyday existence. Caouette utilized six different cameras over the years, including Super-8, Betamax, VHS, Hi-8 and Mini-DV, with which he shot the bulk of the footage that appears in TARNATION. In addition, he compiled still photographs, archived answering machine messages and audiocassette diaries - all of which documented the details of his tumultuous life. As a self-proclaimed pack rat, Caouette saved what turned out to be 160 hours of personal recorded materials in a wide range of different video and audio formats, spanning over twenty years. When considered as a whole, these materials offer a devastating, yet mesmerizing portrait of a troubled American family. The footage includes unsettling domestic situations, unique dramatic performances (by a pre-teen Caouette and his mother) and unexpected demonstrations of compassion and love that could only be called unconditional
While crafting these initial montages, Caouette had no intention of making a feature documentary about his life and family. But excited by the possibilities of iMovie and driven by a powerful, almost insatiable need to tell his life story, Caouette began loosely compiling and editing his archived audio and video material as a separate experiment. In early 2003, Caouette auditioned for a part in HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH director John Cameron Mitchell's new film SHORTBUS. For his audition tape, Caouette included excerpts from his work-in-progress. Impressed with the unfinished work, Mitchell encouraged Jonathan to finish his film. Soon after, Caouette learned Renee had suffered brain damage from a lithium overdose. After returning to Houston for five months with the intention of perhaps bringing his mother back to live with him in New York, Caouette turned to his camera and his home editing suite to help fully confront the legacy of his past. Returning to New York, Caouette discovered that the deadline for the MIX Film Festival was in less than four weeks, so he feverishly reworked his materials, increasing the scope of his project, to include more recent footage and a substantial narrative overhaul of the existing material.

Blues By the Beach

TITLE: Blues By the Beach
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Pavla Fleischer, Joshua Faudem, Jack Baxter
COUNTRY: Israel/USA
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and English
TIME: 62 minutes
SOURCE: gavin@gavinmgross.com http://www.mikesplacebars.com/lifeafterterror/
TEXT: What is it like living in a state of perpetual war and terror? Israel is a paradise of sun and beach, of splendour and history. Is it crazy to live in a country where any day may bring death? Where 18-year-old boys and girls are required to enlist in the army? Where the mobile phone system collapses weekly under the pressure of worried Israelis checking-up on their loved ones? Israel is a place where daily life is both glory and affliction. Mike's Place is a popular live music bar on the Tel Aviv beachfront. It could be any rock and blues bar in any city, anywhere in the world. Three filmmakers chose Mike's Place to show the bloodshed and fear on news broadcasts is not the whole story concerning Israel. People there still laugh, dance and listen to music despite the seemingly endless warfare and terrorism. The bartenders and waitresses and their regulars are the film's subjects and serve as guides to an Israeli Experience. They are young, come from all over the world, and live in this land because they choose to. The ever-present danger does not stop them, if anything, it intensifies their desire to live life to the fullest. Tragedy put in its appearance at Mike's Place after midnight on Wednesday, April 30th, 2003. Death and injury came in the twinkling of an eye, intruding on the idyll the filmmakers had begun to capture: a suicide bomber exploded himself on Jam Night. Yanai Weiss and Ran Baron, two musicians, and Dominique Hass, a waitress who had emigrated from France, were killed. Among the dozens injured in the powerful blast are: Avi Tabib, the security guard, who heroically saved everyone inside the bar by pushing the bomber out the doorway; and one of the three filmmakers - Jack Baxter, an American documentary producer and investigative journalist, who came to Tel Aviv and found a story to tell about present day Israel at Mike's Place. As word of the "piguah" (terrorist bombing) is broadcast everywhere in real time, footage taken from this film hit the television airways and front pages of newspapers worldwide. The footage aired across Europe, America, Israel, and the Arab world. While Jack lay in hospital recovering from serious wounds, the two other filmmakers, Pavla Fleischer, a writer/director from the Czech Republic, and her boyfriend, co-director Joshua Faudem, an American-born Israeli, were suddenly brought from behind the camera and into the spotlight. Pavla and Joshua continued to film, showing it all from the eye of the hurricane. They attended the daily Mike's Place "family" gatherings till the early mornings, visited the injured in hospital, recorded the vibrant original live blues of Mike's Place, and followed preparations for the memorial service that marked the reopening of the bar. Blues By The Beach not only has footage of a suicide bombing; the film shows the effects of terror, the aftermath and moving on. Pavla and Joshua see a real-life dramatic script writing itself before their camera and understand that the emotional upheaval in their personal relationship is an integral part of the Israeli Experience and the story of the Mike's Place bombing.
Received at the Hamptons Film Fest in October 2004, The Dan & Ewa Abraham and Tammy Abraham Films of Conflict and Resolution Award, with a prize of $10,000 in cash, was presented by Sarah Hanssen to Joshua Fauden and Pavla Fleischer's BLUES BY THE BEACH.

Promised Land

TITLE: Promised Land / K'shee Haayara Tiv'ar
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Avi Herny
COUNTRY: Israel / Germany
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 52 minutes
SOURCE: Seen at Hampton Film Fest 2004
TEXT: In director/screenwriter Avi Herny's PROMISED LAND K'shee Haayara Tiv'ar (Israel, US Premiere) we follow three Israelis of European descent who are at this junction. Because of their heritage they are offered the chance to reclaim their German citizenship and pursue a life within the European Union that promises to be safer and more secure than the ones they face in Israel. However, their grandparents and parents who survived the Holocaust are troubled by this pursuit; could Germany, the source of their suffering, really hold the best future for their children

Seeds

TITLE: Seeds
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE: Marj Safinia and Joseph Boyle Tel: +1 323.653.5922 Tel: +1 323.653.9515 Fax: +1 323.679.1999 Web: www.mergemedia.tv Email: info@mergemedia.tv 422 North Laurel Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
TEXT: Seeds is a full-length documentary film based on the Seeds of Peace camp in Maine. The film is an intimate and candid document of the incredible stories and experiences at the heart of Seeds of Peace and it shows exactly how it feels to come from a war zone surrounded by hatred and violence and learn to coexist with "The Enemy." It is a fascinating first-person testament that reveals how, with effort and determination, a peaceful future may be achieved. Principal photography occurred during sessions held in the summer of 2002 and editing commenced in April of 2003.
The film opens as the buses roll into camp, bringing kids from around the world together for an unimaginable experience. For the first time, Israelis shake hands with Palestinians, Indians sit next to Pakistanis and Afghans are greeted by Americans. The tension and trepidation is palpable. As the bell rings at 7 AM on a clear and unfamiliar morning, the camp gathers around the fire pit for the first morning line-up with Tim, the camp director. Tim tells it like it is. They are here to get to know each other, talk to each other, listen to each other and respect each other-to use this unique opportunity to open their minds and build the future they want to live. Bit by bit, it begins to happen: a shared interest in cricket, or a common displeasure for camp food. Slowly, a smile creeps across the face of someone who is supposed to hate and the process has begun. Coexistence is tough. Trust is built, then broken. Listening to the pain of the other side is hard-trusting enough to share your own fear, harder. Disillusion and despair one day, joy and hope the next. These kids are working hard to push out their boundaries and open themselves to this opportunity. With conflicts back home more heightened than ever, it's proving difficult for the kids to really come together. As camp approaches the end of the second week, they just aren't going as deep as they are supposed to. Tensions boil over and the camp feels distanced. Something is missing. Perhaps when John Wallach, the founder of Seeds of Peace, feels well enough to visit camp, things will fall into place. Finally it is Color Games, each team a carefully chosen cross section of delegates. This is everyone's favorite part of camp. However, at the end of the first day, the unthinkable happens. John Wallach, the visionary behind the camp, has passed away. Fighting back his own tears, Tim gathers the new campers and tells them the news. This could de-rail everything. John was Seeds of Peace.
In the silence of shock, a quiet young girl walks to the front of the fire pit. Fighting back tears for someone she never knew, she urges her peers to come together and break down the barriers that still keep them apart. The rest of the camp gathers at the fire pit to see what is happening. The first year campers are leading the call to make this session count, and they want to do it in the memory of John. Suddenly, everything feels different. They will not let him down.
The Production budget of $70,991 was raised during May of 2002 and was used in its entirety in the shooting of the film. The Post-Production budget of $75,000 was raised in 2003. Editing commenced on April 14th in Los Angeles, in collaboration with Yana Gorskaya (editor of the 2003 Oscar(r) nominated film, Spellbound). Currently merge:media is seeking completion funds of $60,000. To date, the largest funder has been a charitable trust based in London, the Al-Madad Foundation. They continue to support the project and are commited to helping raise more funds. All other funders have been private individuals, including luminaries such as CNN's Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.

Hostages of Hatred

TITLE: Hostages of Hatred
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Pierre Rehov
COUNTRY: France / Israel
LANGUAGE: French and English English
TIME: 52 minutes
SOURCE: www.pierreRehov.com Pierre Rehov's PR, Liz Jolles, (33) 6 14 53 84 22
TEXT: After having shown the plight of the million Jews who, from the mid-1940s, had to flee the countries they and their forefathers had lived in for centuries, those most discreet refugees whose story had never been told this way, Pierre Rehov has filmed the other side of a same coin : the fate of the Palestinians refugees that everyone has heard about. Refugees that are shown on the world's television screens practically day in day out and whose plight is supposedly so well-known. But refugees whose fate we, in fact, know so little about. In his latest film, "The Hostages of Hatred" Pierre Rehov sets out to tell us the real story of those men, women and children, who have been shamefully used as mere pawns for over 50 years, by Arab leaders at first, by Palestinian leaders later on and until this very day but also by the United Nations' body that was specially created to supposedly take care of them : the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNWRA. To tell the real story of these people Pierre Rehov has sent teams to film actual refugees in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and he has shot footage himself in the West Bank. As in all his films, he exposes thus nuggets of truth hidden among the well-rehearsed propaganda speeches. We see the poverty the refugees are deliberately kept in, we see the pain, we see the nurtured hatred, we see the false hopes those people are raised on. But we also see the same hatred combined with a wealth you would not expect.
And, as usual too, Pierre Rehov mixes these first-hand testimonies with the counterpoint of extremely well-researched and enlightening documents, in-depth analyses from historians and politicians like Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Foreign Minister, or the Congressman Eric Cantor. And also a Palestinian Oslo negotiator, an advisor to Arab leaders or a Palestinian Human Rights Activist. As for the carefully chosen music, it enhances further the dramatic quality of the film.

Praying With Lior

TITLE: PRAYING WITH LIOR
YEAR: 2005 in development. Please visit the website to donate funds for the editing of the footage
DIR/PROD: Ilana Trachtman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: www.prayingwithlior.com Ruby Pictures 646 WEA #4a NYC NY 10025
TEXT: Ilana is a documentary filmmaker for pbs, who once attended Elat Chayim, a Jewish renewal retreat center in the Catskills of New York, with her mother. There she saw a boy with Down Syndrome in several prayer services. His voice and praying brought her to a greater sense of kavanah. She was intrigued by his effect on her; she was obsessed. But she found out that many others, many many others, were effected by 12 year old Lior. He is a spiritual savant. Three minyans in Philadelphia host him. His mother was a Reconstructionist rabbi who passed away from breast cancer, his father is a popular rabbi with the RRC (Mordechai Liebling). Ilana approached Lior's father and step-mother, and viola, the idea for a film about his upcoming bar mitzvah was created.
Praying with Lior is a one-hour documentary film that challenges our beliefs about who speaks to God. The film follows Lior Liebling, a thirteen-year-old Philadelphia boy with Down syndrome (or is it Up Syndrome) and a mind-blowing spirituality, in the four months leading up to his Bar Mitzvah. Lior Liebling is a local celebrity. Some call him "the little rebbe." He has, according to his teachers, a very special neshama, a very special soul. Perhaps it is because he has been raised in a diverse and vibrant Jewish environment; perhaps it is because his parents are accomplished Jewish leaders; perhaps it is because, as some religions believe, the mentally handicapped are closer to God; but Lior has a gift for prayer that is legendary in his community. People come to synagogue, in part, to be inspired by Lior's unabashed love of davening (praying). Lior's upcoming Bar Mitzvah - the Jewish coming of age ceremony - has been anticipated for years, ever since he was a small child in a prayer shawl, bowing and swaying like an old, impassioned Hasid. The Bar Mitzvah comes six years after his mother, a beloved rabbi, died of breast cancer, leaving four children between the ages of four and twelve. Lior's Bar Mitzvah will be the frame through which this cinema verité film illuminates Lior's spirituality, his role in the community, and his family's journey toward healing.

Meet the fockers

TITLE: Meet the fockers
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Jay Roach
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE: Universal Pictures. www.MeetTheFockers.com
TEXT: Sequel to MEET THE PARENTS (2000). In this film Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman play Ben Stiller's Jewish parents. Stars: Robert De Niro Ben Stiller Dustin Hoffman Blythe Danner Barbra Streisand Teri Polo Alanna Ubach and Ray Santiago. Now that Greg Focker (Stiller) is "in" with his soon-to-be in-laws, Jack (De Niro) and Dina (Danner) Byrnes, it looks like smooth sailing for him and his fiancée, Pam (Polo). But that's before Pam's parents meet Greg's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Hoffman and Streisand). The hyper-relaxed Fockers and the tightly-wound Byrneses are woefully mismatched from the start, and no matter how hard Greg and Pam try, there is just no bringing their families together-which all adds up to a disastrously funny time of "getting to know you."

The Merchant of Venice

TITLE: The Merchant of Venice
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Michael Radford
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 131 minutes
SOURCE: SonyClassics.com 550 Madison Ave, New York NY
TEXT: Stars Al Pacino, Joseph Fiennes, Jeremy Irons, and Lynn Collins. Adapation of the play by William Shakespeare about the Jewish moneylender in Venice.

Walkonwater

TITLE: Walkonwater LaLehet Al HaMayim
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Eytan Fox
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and German and English w/ English subtitles
TIME: 104 minutes
SOURCE: Samuel Goldwyn in the USA http://www.walkonwater.com International Sales from Celluloid Dreams 2 rue Turgot 75009 Paris Tel +33-1-4970-0370 Fax +33-1-4970-0371 Tel (Berlin) +49-30-200-57-360 Fax (Berlin) +49-30-200-57-359 www.celluloid-dreams.com
TEXT: Eyal, a son of holocaust survivors, is a Mossad Agent, an old fashioned macho. Pia and Axel, a German brother and sister, are the grandchildren of a famous Nazi. Pia fell in love with an Israeli guy and moved to a Kibbutz. Axel lives in Berlin as an open minded and happy gay man. Axel's visit in Israel opens this dramatic thriller which centers on the Mossad's attempts to discover whether the old Nazi grandfather is still alive. Eyal befriends the criminal's gay grandson and worries that he might not be able to complete the mission. This is a colorful and very contemporary road movie that takes his characters around Israel and later to Berlin. The movie is a non-traditional attempt to understand the role of the past in the lives of young Israeli and German people.
Two years after "Yossi and Jagger", American born, Israeli director Eytan Fox returns with "Walk on Water", a colorful and very contemporary road movie that takes its characters around Israel and later to Berlin. This unique movie, is a non traditional attempt to understand the role that is still played by the past in the lives of Israeli and German young people. Israel's top film star Lior Ashkenzai ("Late Marriage") is the center of an international cast that includes German acclaimed actors Carola Ranier and Hans Tischler, Israeli Gideon Shemer and Palestinian Yousuf (Jo) Swaid, complete the international cast. Israeli Pop star Ivri Lider wrote the vibrant soundtrack that also contains a variety of songs by artists such as Esther Ofarim, Bruce Springsteen, Telepopmusic and Gigliola Cinquetti. World premiere: Opening film Panorama, Berlinale 2004 Official selection: Toronto international film festival 2004
For the Maariv review, see http://www.walkonwatermovie.com/review02.html

Letters from Rishikesh

TITLE: Letters from Rishikesh
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Daniel Wachsmann
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: Canaan Galilee Films
TEXT: Stars: Vladimir Freyedman, Lucy Dubinchik, Adi Shmueli, Yonatan Rozen. Alex Weisman is a 45 year old widow who goes to New Delhi, India, to meet his daughter. When she doesn't show up to the expected meeting, he goes looking for her at first on his own, and later with Roni - an Israeli journalist. During his search, Alex is exposed to his daughter's world and her relationship with Mosh, an Israeli she meets during her travel. His search leads to a number of meetings and encounters which further unravels his daughter's world and eventually leads to a closeness which never existed between them. EIlat FIlm FestIval 2004

The Long Journey

TITLE: The Long Journey
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Eran Kolirin / JCS Productions
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 82 minutes
SOURCE: eilatfilmfest.com
TEXT: Stars Yossi Pollak, Leora Rivlin, Alon Pdut, Shiri Golan, Nir Keinberger, Oded Katash. 24 hours in the life of one family. One day, five people, existing on parallel spheres, frozen, stuck, wanting to talk, needing to say something, yet silent- because no words can explain . Four mature figures trapped in a predictable life course, and one boy who still thinks differently, who believes that you can take a ball, create a diversion, penetrate the lines and come out victorious, at least for a few moments

MAKTUB

TITLE: MAKTUB
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Avi Mussel
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Arabic w/ English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: Paralite Productions, Israel
TEXT: Stars: Yuosef Sweid, Ayelt Zorer, Dani Shteg, Salwa Hadad Nakra, Rauda Suliman. Ataf, a Druze police officer is assigned to investigate a murder case. During the investigation, he experiences strange flashes, which danger his life and his relationship with Michal, youth police officer. These flashes lead him to meaningful understanding of one of the Druze community beliefs - Reincarnation

WATERMARKS HAKOAH LISCHOT

TITLE: WATERMARKS
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: YARON ZILBERMAN
COUNTRY: Israel/F/USA
LANGUAGE: English/Hebrew/German w/subtitles
TIME: 80 minutes 35 mm/1:1,85/Colour/SW
SOURCE: CinephilPhilippa Kowarsky18 Levontin StreetTel Aviv 65112, Israel T 3 566 41 29 info@cinephil.co.il OR in the USA Jessica Rosner Kino International 333 West 39th Street, Suite 503 New York, NY 10018 USA Phone: 212-629-6880 Fax: 212-714-0871 jrosner@kino.com http://www.kino.com/
TEXT: Watermarks is the intriguing story of the legendary Jewish Sport Club, Hakoah Vienna, formed in 1909 and destroyed by the Nazis in March, 1938. Director Yaron Zilberman tells the story through the eyes of seven women, aged 81-85, all former champion swimmers at the club, who tell their individual stories from their current home environments, located across three continents; then, they return, as a group, to Vienna, the City of Dreams they were once forced to flee. In this journey they evoke and relive their youth, early femininity, lost memories, and lifelong bonds. Seen at Viennale, Boston Jewish Film Festival

Backseat Bingo

TITLE: Backseat Bingo
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Liz Blazer
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 5 minutes Video
SOURCE: Liz Blazer 1511 E. Windsor Road Glendale, CA 91205 T 323 697 8828 lizblazer@hotmail.com
TEXT: Sexy Senior Seeks Same. Backseat Bingo is a humorous animated interfaith documentary about the romantic lives of six spirited senior citizens. Backseat Bingo is a funny and poignant animated documentary about senior citizens and romance. These seniors talk frankly about dating, companionship and sexual desire. Some of the qualities they are looking for: "sexy senior seeks same," "good looking," "no Republicans please," and "someone who can dance." Seattle International, IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, World Festival of Animated Film (Zagreb), Moondance,Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Antelope Valley Independent, Tel Aviv International Student, Humboldt International Short, San Francisco Jewish, The Newport Beach, Los Angeles Jewish, First look, Director's Guild of America, Clermont-Ferrand. Ms. Blazer is a graduate of USC Class of 2003

Getting Through to the President

TITLE: Getting Through to the President
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Sarah and Emily Kunstler
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 7 minutes video
SOURCE: Emily and Sarah Kunstler 92 Gates Avenue, #3F Brooklyn, NY 11238 T 646 337 4885 F 718 636 0939 haskell@cruslimfox.org
TEXT: If you could leave a message for the president, what would you say? Armed with a phone number and quarters, the filmmakers offered people on the streets of New York the opportunity to call the president and speak their minds, with complex and hilarious results.

Gray Matter

TITLE: Gray Matter
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Joe Berlinger / Sidney Beaumont, Rachel Dawson, and Mike Bonfiglio
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 59 minutes video
SOURCE: Gray Matter Joe Berlinger Third Eye Motion Picture Co., Inc. c/o Radical Media 435 Hudson Street, 6th floor New York, NY 10014 T 212 462 1590 F 212 462 1600 berlinger@radicalmedia.com
TEXT: Acclaimed documentarian Joe Berlinger (Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Brother's Keeper) searches for Heinrich Gross, a leading Austrian forensic psychiatrist who allegedly murdered hundreds of children during the Holocaust and then used their brains for experiments decades after World War II ended. Questions of guilt, conspiracy, and redemption arise from the basement of the Spiegelgrund hospital in Vienna, where hundreds of children considered mentally or physically disabled, or simply "socially unfit," were mistreated and killed in the name of Nazism and eugenics.

It's Like That
Sophie Raymond. 2003. 7 min. Video. (Australia)
Based on telephone interviews with children seeking asylum in a detention center on the Australian coast, this heart-wrenching film was animated by the Southern Ladies Animation Group.
Southern Ladies Animation Group P.O. Box 2103 Brighton 3186 Australia T +61 0 408 282377 F +61 0 394 813632
slag_contact@hotmail.com



Today You Are a Fountain Pen

TITLE: Today You Are a Fountain Pen
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Dan Katzir
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 10 minutes Beta
SOURCE: ? check with sdjff or the sidewalk film fest
TEXT: Starring Len Lesser (Uncle Leo from the hit TV series Seinfeld), this film is a touching story about a unique relationship between a grandfather and his grandson before the boy's Bar Mitzvah. Set in 1989, during the historical week in which the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. The film is a poignant story about a unique relationship between a grandfather and his grandson before the boys Bar Mitzvah. The grandfather teaches the boy a small lesson about growing up, while the boy helps the grandfather, a holocaust survivor, open up and tell his story, for the first time.

The Wax and the Wicks

TITLE: The Wax and the Wicks
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Rabbi David Floyd Nesenoff
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 13 minutes BETA
SOURCE: Rabbi David Floyd Nesenoff TRY Films PO Box 16 East Northport, NY 11731 tel/ 631-754-3388 email/ dfnes@earthlink.net
TEXT: This humorous yet moving visit to a Long Island beauty parlor allows us to eavesdrop on patrons and staff as they give their views on hairstyles, religion, recipes and reactions to 9/11.

Kosher Cop

TITLE: Kosher Cop
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Leah Wolchock
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 3 minutes video
SOURCE: Leah Wolchock 1021 Castro St. San Francisco, CA 94114 USA Phone: 415-637-7390 lwolchok@stanford.edu
TEXT: Kosher Cop portrays the hectic life of a disabled Berkeley rabbi who koshers restaurants and production plants throughout Northern California, revealing how one man fuses tradition and technology in his holy career. Viewers will marvel at all that director Leah Wolchok accomplishes in three minutes.

Shabbos Goy

TITLE: Shabbos Goy
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Rachel Pearl / Rachel Ann Pearl, Samantha Davidson Green
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 27 minutes
SOURCE: Rachel Pearl 323-610-7815 Monsey Made Movies 3314 Keystone Ave #3 LA CA 90034 Rpearl@ucla.edu
TEXT: Stars: Michael Orenstein, Shauna Bloom, Richard Clarke-Larsen. Received the UCLA Best Script Award, UCLA Best Director Award in 2004. When Lubavicher Chasid Avram Leibleson learns of his own infertility, he may think his decision to become celibate pleases God but it certainly doesn't please his wife Shoshanna. For doesn't it say that he should not use his seed or lack of seed in vain? But what gets me is why he doesn't consult his rebbe. A true Hasid would, or at least his wife should talk to the rabbi's wife. Shoshanna tells Avram to see the rebbe. She also suggests that they hire a "Shabbos Goy" to do the "job" for them. Avram thinks, Avram prays. I mean, wasn't Isaac and Rivka barren for decades? And didn't Isaac pray and pray in a beseeching tone? Anyway, the hiring of the Shabbos Goy teaches them both something about sex, love, and the power of persuasion. And maybe something about faith. Film fest programmers note that the film opens with a discreet sex scene.

BONJOUR MONSIEUR SHLOMI

TITLE: BONJOUR MONSIEUR SHLOMI
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Shemi Zarhin
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 96 minutes
SOURCE: Véronique Courtois Strand Releasing 6140 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 USA Phone: 310-836-7500 Fax: 310-836-7510 veronique@strandreleasing.com http://www.strandreleasing.com/
TEXT: 16-year-old Shlomi is the caretaker and mediator of his dysfunctional family. His schoolwork is suffering from his responsibilities at home. He baths and feeds his ailing grandfather, tolerates his over sexed macho older brother, cooks and cleans for his family and tries to make peace with his estranged father and angry mother. His life changes when a new math teacher and principal discover his genius and he discovers an attractive girl next door. A well-written comedic drama that makes you laugh and cry. Winner Best Film and Direction at the Moscow International Film Festival for Young People. Boston Jewish Film Festival.





COLUMBIAN LOVE

TITLE: COLUMBIAN LOVE
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Shay Kanot
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 96 minutes
SOURCE: Israelfilmfestival.com
TEXT: The story of three friends trying to bridge the gap between lust, love and marriage. Omer is finding it difficult to follow his wife's plans to have a baby. She's his first love... but is she his true love? Meanwhile, sentimental Ori can't break away from his domineering father until his new wife sets an ultimatum. Then, there's the free-spirited Zydan, who sets out on a journey to find true love. A compelling and clever look into the different faces of the Israeli male, as he struggles with love and relationships.

HENRY'S DREAM

TITLE: HENRY'S DREAM
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Eitan Green
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 106 minutes
SOURCE: Israelfilmfestival.com
TEXT: Henry works at a film school in the equipment room. He used to work in movie production and always dreamed of making his own film. Inspired by a student's dark personal script and encouraged by his family and other students, he decides to direct a film and casts his son as the lead actor. The filmmaking process becomes very difficult and when it seems almost impossible to overcome the problems, Henry wanting to give up is encouraged to finish the film by his son. Father and son become closer through the experience which turns out to be therapeutic. A compelling film sensitively directed, with wonderful characters.

LIFE IS LIFE

TITLE: LIFE IS LIFE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Michal Bat-Adam
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 87 minutes
SOURCE: Israelfilmfestival.com
TEXT: An ironic, sweet story about lust, longing for true love and the nature of the creative process. Moshe Ivgi plays a professor and a writer who is having an affair with an emotionally unstable woman who is in the midst of separation. He has writer's block and chronically seeks inspiration to write from women he has affairs with. Out of frustration he finally finds inspiration from someone who has stood by him and finds a way to re-enter his life. A sometimes sad but mostly joyful journey into the intimate thoughts and insecurities of love. Received the Jack Naylor Award for Photography in a Feature Film at the Haifa International Film Festival 2003 Length: 87 Min

Miss entebbe

TITLE: Miss Entebbe
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Omri Levy
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 80 minutes
SOURCE: Israelfilmfestival.com
TEXT: Jerusalem the summer of 1976. The lives of Noa, a 12-year-old girl and her friends change when the mother of Danny, a neighbor, is a passenger on the plane hijacked to Entebbe. Noa's plan is to kidnap an innocent Arab boy as a negotiating card for the release of Danny's mother. Once done, her plan becomes increasingly complicated as the youngsters discover the Arab boy is flesh and blood with feelings like them. This film examines the relationship of what happens at home and the violent reality of the world in which we live. This is a compelling drama that lances your heart as you feel the children's deep emotion, desperation and struggle for justice.



NO LONGER 17

TITLE: NO LONGER 17
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Isaac Zepel Yeshurun
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 96 minutes
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A kibbutz is in crisis and heavily in debt. The older "unproductive" founders are being ousted to make room for younger, more productive new members. The falling apart of the system mirrors the drama that surfaces when several inhabitants are no longer able to hide their secrets. When lies and affairs of the heart come to light it causes two families to face the past and what can never be undone. Against the background of a disintegrating society, the film resurrects the protagonists of the film "Noa at 17", at the time of a new, perhaps terminal, crisis of the Kibbutz. A touching drama about the fears of aging and life's choices.. Best Israeli Film Haifa International Film Festival 2003. Director: Isaac Zepel Yeshurun Length: 96 Min


ONE SMALL STEP

TITLE: ONE SMALL STEP
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shahar Segal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 95 minutes
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Sahar's dad works as a chief engineer in aviation. 14-year-old Sahar watches helplessly as his parents marriage crumbles. He documents his life through a story he is writing for a writing competition. He chooses to write about his family which is coming apart due to his mother's love affair and his fathers stilted dreams. Sahar and his friends are typical, they talk about girls and dream about sex. They are also concerned with their friend who is battling cancer and don't want him to die a virgin. A touching coming of age story with mature themes. Director: Shahar Segal Length: 95 Min




THE SYRIAN BRIDE

TITLE: THE SYRIAN BRIDE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Eran Riklis
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 97 minutes
SOURCE: TF1 International Immeuble Central Park, 9, rue Maurice Mallet, 921 30 Issy-les-Moulineaux France Tel: +33 1 414 117 63 Fax: +33 1 414 117 69 E-mail: sales@tf1.fr www: www.tf1international.com
TEXT: Mona's wedding day is the saddest day of her life. She knows that once she crosses the border between Israel and Syria to marry a Syrian TV star, she will never again be allowed back to her beloved family in Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967. Soon, the family will finds themselves facing an uncertain future, trapped in a no-man's land between Israel and Syria. Winner of the prestigious Grand Prix of the Americas Award at the 2004 Montreal World Film Festival and shot on location in the Golan Heights, The Syrian Bride is a story about physical and emotional borders, and the will it takes to cross them. Winner, Grand Prix of the Americas Award, 2004 Montreal World Film Festival




TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD

TITLE: TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Avi Nesher
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 108 minutes
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: In the late sixties, in a tiny Israeli village, isolated in the middle of nowhere, two immigrant families ­ one from Morocco and the other from India ­ become neighbors. They share nothing but a dream. And as they are forced to live together, the two communities, eying each other, attempt to build a sense of identity. In order to assert their imperial identity, the Indians from the village put together a rag tag cricket team. The Moroccans, who take the game as a ritualistic act of condensation, do their utmost to disrupt. Meanwhile, each family has a teenage daughter negotiating the landscapes of the sexual revolution. When the sultry Moroccan Nicol and the heady Indian Sara become friends, their youth and desire for freedom help them overcome prejudices. In this isolated place, the road to harmony twists joyfully with many surprises.

A LIFE'S WORK

TITLE: A LIFE'S WORK
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Gadi Nemet
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minute tv drama
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Jacob Binyamini, presently a successful businessman, returns to the kibbutz he left many years ago. Binyamini is interested in acquiring the bankrupting kibbutz' cosmetics factory. He meets with the kibbutz members who had not accepted him in the past, and woes we his ex-girl friend Dorit. Hilik, who considers the kibbutz factory as his life work, is forced into battle against all odds, regarding the disintegrating kibbutz society, his values and the heart of his wife Dorit. This Drama was filmed on the grounds of Kibbutz Gal-On located in the south of Israel as well as in Tel Aviv. It displays the collapse of the ideals that the kibbutz embodi

A SILENCE OF THE SIRENS

TITLE: A SILENCE OF THE SIRENS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ori Inbar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 69 minute tv drama
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: The days leading up to the 1973 Yom Kippur war were difficult for military intelligence who were having a hard time deciphering information they were receiving about troop movements in Egypt and Syria. False alarms were already handled badly and military officials conclude that there is a low probability of aggression. This film depicts the decisions that lead to the state of unprepared ness of IDF forces when the unsuspecting attack came. It is a suspenseful and intriguing story with fine acting and true to life accounts of what was happening in military intelligence prior to the break of the war.

CAFÉ TALES

TITLE: CAFÉ TALES
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Amit Leor
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 87 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Moshe Ivgy is Yutz, a frustrated poet past his prime, who with his aging bohemian friends frequent Café Braun run by Leah a sympathetic mother figure who has kept the place going for over 30 years. The café was once a home to artists and intellectuals, now it is a haven for oddballs and outcasts including: a violent Arab painter fresh out of an insane asylum, an alcoholic mama's boy who stutters, a macho heartbroken musician and an outcast Belgian immigrant photographer. The landlord puts the squeeze on Leah and threatens to demolish the building. Through a bizarre chain of events, Yutz and his friends band together to save the café and in turn save themselves. An off beat comedy about people struggling to maintain their sanity in an insane reality

HALLELUJAH

TITLE: HALLELUJAH
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Daniel Syrkin
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 52 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: It is 1979 and Shuki a reservist, is in love with the girl next door. He has plans to go home on leave and when Israel's entry "Hallelujah " wins the best song in Eurovision Contest held in Israel he will ask his girlfriend's tough scary Eurovision- loving father permission to marry. All is planned until his commander retracts his leave and he desperately tries to escape and get back home for the big event. The adventures and mishaps he has on his way involve an aging drug dealer, a beautiful Dutch girl and a strange German Dancer. A very funny period comedy. Best TV Drama Haifa International Film Festival 2003

INSIGHT

TITLE: INSIGHT
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: EYAL HALFON
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 77 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A month after traumatic battles in the Yom Kippur War, tank crews gather and struggle with their daily routine as they try to digest the tragic incidents that have formed indelible memories. A war historian and his assistant arrive to gather information and log stories from each man. They hear more than they bargained for as the men recount their experiences. We learn about the tragedy of war, loss of innocence and feel sorry for the men who each have difficult troubling stories to tell. Best TV Drama Jerusalem International Film Festival 2003.

JERUSALEM BREW

TITLE: JERUSALEM BREW
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jacob Goldwasser & Nir Bergman
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A middle class religious family struggles with modern day issues. Itzik the oldest son is a rock musician and finds it hard to be both religious and seek his musical destiny. A handicapped child becomes adopted and changes the family's dynamics. Profound moments and life's challenges pervade in this down to earth series of a family holding tightly onto tradition and faith. Best TV Drama Jerusalem International Film Festival 2003

PRETTY YARDENA

TITLE: PRETTY YARDENA
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yuval Granot
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: In this charming film a young woman (Ayelet Zurer) gets fired from her job and decides to take charge of her life after 10 unsuccessful years in the big city failing to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous dancer. Wanting a higher education in order to get a better job, she is forced to return temporarily to her small hometown and re-take an exam. When she arrives, she stumbles into old friends who resent her showing up on the wedding day of her ex-boyfriend Arik who is still in love with her. This is a comic love story with a little something extra that keep you laughing

Purim

TITLE: PURIM
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Lavi Ben Gal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 78 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A young Arab who doesn't want to die is sent to carry out a suicide bombing in the heart of Tel Aviv, but can't find the place where he is supposed to blow himself up. Against the background of preparations for the Purim carnival and the alert of possible terror attacks, several stories are Inter-woven into a human mosaic where we are introduced to a diverse group of people who are about to come together through the tragedy of a terrorist attack. The random and senseless atmosphere that binds the story reflects the victims who are chosen randomly to suffer. This is a well-produced drama with powerful acting and direction that examines how terror directly affects individuals and society


RINA AND ARIK FOREVER

TITLE: RINA AND ARIK FOREVER
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shay Capon
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 50 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Arik is a professional handyman, unsure of his place in the world, a world represented and fulfilled by his life partner Rina. His desire to hold on to the security provided to him by Rina's presence causes him to act out of his need to satisfy her. One day Rina is forced to leave home for a few days. Her absence releases a new Arik who is funnier, warmer, more lovable and independent as he obsessively analyzes all his thoughts and actions. This is a very funny film dominated by all of Arik's strengths, personality flaws, insecurities and fantasies. As you enter the mind of Arik he becomes a one of a kind protagonist who you will never forget


ROOTS OF RAGE

TITLE: ROOTS OF RAGE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Danny Raisfeld
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minute
SOURCE: RuthFilms.com Ruth Diskin Films in Israel
TEXT: A television drama inspired by the true story of the Israeli boxing world champion Nikolay Melandovich , who plays himself and won best actor award for his leading role at the Jerusalem International Film Festival 2003. Danny, a filmmaker, begins shooting a movie about his big brother Nikolay. Through the course of the shooting Danny discovers the struggle his family went through in Nazareth during the years of his absence .His mother remarried an Arab man who abused her and his brother Nikolay. This made Nikolay racist and violent, but it is this characteristic that turned him into a successful boxer

VALLEY OF DREAMS

TITLE: VALLEY OF DREAMS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Omri Givon
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 53 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: An IDF Unit in Lebanon (1998) are a week away from release. They are the subject of a documentary at the time and are informed that they must go on a dangerous mission into the "Valley of Dreams" an enemy area that is fabled to be very dangerous and bad luck. The story is shown in both flashback and from many perspectives that includes an inquiry into a tragic deadly incident. We learn about a rivalry in the unit that could be the cause of murder. Realistic and powerful this is a suspenseful story with many surprises.

COLUMBIA: THE TRAGIC LOSS

TITLE: COLUMBIA: THE TRAGIC LOSS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Naftaly Gliksberg
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minute
SOURCE: Ruthfilms.com Ruth Diskin Films
TEXT: Two months following the tragic loss of the Columbia, the personal diary of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon was found at one of the crash sites. The diary was sent to the Israeli police who, in cooperation with the Israel Museum, had managed to reconstruct the partly erased handwriting. After finding Ramon's diary, the filmmakers trace the journey of the first Israeli astronaut based on e-mails from space and correspondence with NASA during the 16 day mission. Exclusive footage is at the heart of this poignant documentary, depicting the charged moments of the exciting launch and, sadly, the heartbreaking disaster that followed.

GOOD VIBES

TITLE: GOOD VIBES
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Avner Benaim
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 50 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A touching documentary about a young man's struggle with cancer and his search for a donor. Itzik, a trance party organizer and hip optimist, felt strong stomach pains one day. After a routine CAT scan, doctors discovered a large, malign tumor in his liver. A stranger answers his call and commits to donating part of his liver. The only thing they had in common was the desire to save and to be saved. A real life tragedy with an uplifting message is captured sensitively in this human story.

IN THE NAME OF GOD

TITLE: IN THE NAME OF GOD
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Dan Setton, Tor Ben-Mayor
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 67 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: documentary. In The Name of God reaches far to the realms of radical Islam to bring authentic voices on self sacrifice for God's will. The film features unique scenes such as Al-Queda supporters in Pakistan, women in religious schools there and inside their homes, or the startling and bloody images from the Ashura festival in South Lebanon. If the World Trade Center was the tip of the iceberg, this is its base. In the Name of God people would go all the way.

MY 100 CHILDREN

TITLE: MY 100 CHILDREN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Amalia Margolin & Oshra Schwartz
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 69 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: An impassioned documentary about orphaned children who found themselves in Krakow after World War II. These children were cared for by Lena Kuchler, who was forced to take the children on a perilous journey to France, and then to Israel. It is here where Lena completes her mission; she says good-bye to the children as they are accepted into the Schiller Kibbutz. Lena's daughter hosts this film and, through a trip back to Poland with many of the now-adult survivors, we hear about the experiences that brought them together and the long-overdue recognition of one woman's ultimate sacrifice. Winner, Jerusalem International Film Festival Jewish Experience Award

ORIENTAL

TITLE: ORIENTAL
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Avi Nesher
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 46 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: In the aftermath of the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations at Camp David in 2000, Oriental follows multiple firsthand accounts and gives the audience a rare inside look into what went wrong at the high-level talks. Weaving the story of story of Russian-Israeli belly dancer Elina Pechersky preparing for an ambitious performance with five Arab-Israeli musicians, renowned director Avi Nesher examines the way in which different cultures communicate with one another. Juxtaposing history and mythology -- and questioning the unbearable communication failures within both major and minor conflicts -- Oriental takes a subversive, unique and clever look at an ongoing conflict that continues to plague the Middle East.

THE RINGWORM CHILDREN

TITLE: THE RINGWORM CHILDREN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: David Belhassen & Asher Hemias
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 46 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Documentary. In the early years following Independence, approximately 100,000 immigrant children, primarily from North Africa, received X-ray radiation treatment for ringworm. At that time, the medical world perceived ringworm as a degenerative illness and a danger to humanity. It was discovered that these treatments caused high rates of infertility, cancer and mortality. This tragic affair was hidden from the public eye for decades... until now. Through exhaustive research and testimonies of survivors, this emotional documentary unearths a possible conspiracy between American and Israeli health officials. Best Documentary Haifa International Film Festival

DADDY

TITLE: DADDY
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yael Ingber
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 30 minute
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Documentary. STUDENT FiLM. A year ago my father, a former military officer in his late 50's, left Israel and his family and went to Vienna with nothing short of his own principles. He declared that he is fed up with the occupation of the Palestinian territories, that the Jewish people of Israel have disappointed him and that PM Sharon's policy is state-terrorism. I, his eldest daughter, fly to Vienna to understand why he left his five children and beloved country.

DOOR TO DOOR

TITLE: DOOR TO DOOR
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Shunit Aharoni
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: student short
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: A clock salesman, trapped in a life of routine and desperate existence, finds himself spending a night at a dark and isolated motel. At night, he suddenly notices strange sounds coming from the other side of the wall. He listens attentively and doesn't know that what he will discover beyond that wall will change his life and death forever.

POISONED

TITLE: POISONED
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Hila & Peretz Markish
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: student short
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Zvi a young officer in the Israeli defense Force (IDF) and his girlfriend Khen are on their way to a "rave" in the desert. While walking through the desert they meet Krishna a hippie guy, who is also on his way to the same party. The hallucinatory journey of these three characters brings out the stereotypes of young people in the current Israeli reality and deals with one of its most revered institution, the military service.

SABBATH ENTERTAINMENT

TITLE: SABBATH ENTERTAINMENT
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 21 minute student short
SOURCE: Ruth Diskin Films, Ruthfilms.com
TEXT: It's Sabbath eve. Rachel sneaks out of her religious parents' house to go out with her secular friends. On their way to the party, the worst of all happens- an accident on Sabbath.

THE ORTHODOX WAY

TITLE: THE ORTHODOX WAY
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ilan Eshkoli
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 25 minute student short
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: Eli, a single religious guy, is forced to go out on a blind date. He picks up the wrong girl, and the two of them spend a bizarre evening driving around the streets of Jerusalem. A romantic comedy about dating the orthodox way.

THE SILENCE

TITLE: THE SILENCE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Dana Yimharen
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 26 minute student search
SOURCE: IsraelFilmFestival.com
TEXT: The story takes place in village in Ethiopia. Almo, an eight years old boy of a rural family, returns home from the fields suffering of acute headaches. There is a controversy between the parents regarding the treatment of their son. While the father favors the traditional Ethiopian treatment - the mother tends to rely more on the western modern one. As a result the child looses his hearing and becomes totally deaf. His speech alters and his communication with the environment is limited, a situation which causes him to enclose in his silent world.

A Street for Sale

TITLE: A Street for Sale
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Iris Rubin / Sigal Landesburg
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minute
SOURCE: Haifa Film Festival , Israeli Film Service, Jerusalem
TEXT: Nearly 100 years have passed since the founding of the Nachlat Benyamin Society, which built the second neighborhood in Tel Aviv, bordering on "Achuzat Beit". The 40 founding members were for the most part craftsmen and shopkeepers. Over the years, Nachlat Benyamin grew neglected: out-dated goods fill its shops, historical buildings crumble apart, and the homeless roam its streets. But, twice a week the neighborhood comes alive with the colorful artists' market. A few years ago, Ruth Speizer came to visit the old neighborhood where she was born, to fulfill her own private vision: to transform the neighborhood into an elite French housing project. Her vision included the preservation of houses, the construction of luxury hotels, and shops filled with elite merchandise. She purchased one historical building after another, evicted the tenants, and with the agreement and encouragement of the city's engineer, began to plan the "Nachlat Benyamin Project". It was then that a great protest erupted. Local artists came out strongly against Speizer's and the city engineer's plans, claiming that this would result in the privatization of a public thoroughfare. Can public protest shape the face of a city? Does anyone listen? Iris Rubin made a number of documentaries, including "Hide and Seek", winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 1998 Jerusalem Festival. The film was screened in festivals around the world. Her documentary "Blessed He who made Me a Woman" was screened at the 2003 Haifa Festival. Selected filmography: "Hide and Seek" ('98), "Old Furniture" ('99), "Here Nor There" ('00).

ALIYA BATTALION

TITLE: ALIYA BATTALION
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Joshua Faudem / Yoram Globus, Hilik Michaeli, Yael Hadassi-Bachar, Eviatar Dotan
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Russian and Hebrew, Hebrew and Russian subtitles
TIME: 50 minute
SOURCE: Globus Group in Tel Aviv, Haifa Film Festival
TEXT: The long lasting Palestinian-Israeli conflict has created appalling phenomenons that have horrified the Israeli society. The "politically conscience - 'refusals'" or those individual soldiers refusing to fight in the occupied territories, are one of those phenomenons. In opposition to them stand a thousand immigrants from the former Soviet Union, ex-military men from the Red Army, who yearn to be recruited into the IDF and fight for Israel, but who are denied the right to serve in the army. Through the stories of Oleg and Alex, immigrants and the battalion's charismatic commanders, the story of the Aliya Battalion is told. It is a story of contrasts between the hardships of the daily struggles they face as new immigrants against the pride and the sense of belonging they find in the battalion. The Aliya Battalion is a film about a militaristic social bubble, in a country that is in constant war. Joshua Faudem studied at the FAMU Film and Television Academy in Prague. Faudem directed a number of short films and two documentaries. Selected filmography: "A Will to Dance" ('01), "Blues by the Beach" ('03).

Atash-Thirst

TITLE: Atash-Thirst
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Tawfik Abu Wael / Avi Kleinberger (Cherupe), Baher Agbaria
COUNTRY: Israel and Palestine Authority
LANGUAGE: Arabic, English subtitles
TIME: 115 minutes
SOURCE: Atash Partnership, Um Al-Fahem in Israel
TEXT: Cast: Hussein Yasin Mahajne, Amal Bweerat, Roba Blal, Gamila Abu Hussein, Ahmed Abed Algani, Mohamad Shafik Kahawish. A family of five, their two goats and donkey, live in the middle of nowhere, far from their village home. They earn a meager living by producing and selling charcoal, made from the surrounding trees. The father and son are the only ones who ever return to their native village. The mother and two daughters have not left this place since the day they abandoned their home, 10 years ago. One day the father decides to provide running water for the family by illegally diverting water into their land. The three women recoil from the idea but the teenage son obeys submissively, anything to be allowed to continue attending school. The water surging through the pipe parallels the surging resentment the family feels towards the father. He brought them to this place against their will and they know the reason they left their home is also the reason they can never return... But the water now free flowing on their land reawakens the instinctive desire for freedom they have been repressing all these years. Tawfik Abu Wael was born in Um Al-Fahem in 1976 and graduated from Tel Aviv University Film School. During his studies, he worked in the University Film Archive and coached drama at Hassan Arafe School in Jaffa. His previous films include "Yawmiat Ahir"- diary of a male whore (Drama, 16 min.) and "Nazereen Sallah el Din" (Documentary, 53 min.). Both films were screened at international film festivals (Jerusalem, Docaviv, Biennale des Cinemas Arabes, Doha Qatar and others). "Thirst," Tawfuk's feature debut, won the Volgin prize in Jerusalem Film Festival 2004, was an Official Selection at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and awarded the FIPRESCI Prize.


BRAIN SURGEON

TITLE: BRAIN SURGEON
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Itzhak Rubin
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE: Teknew (Media) Ltd., Moshav Zrufa
TEXT: The drama of Israel's reality is reflected in terror inflicted head and brain traumas and the personal tragedies of those who wake up one day to find that something has happened to their human computer. These stories flow into the Brain Surgery Department at the Rambam Medical Center, headed by Dr. Menashe Zaaroor, a colorful, well-rooted, Tiberius born character, one of the top neurosurgeons in Israel and worldwide. A great human being, leading a staff which has saved thousands of head-wound patients since the war in Lebanon. For the first time, a camera crew is allowed to watch the neurosurgeons as they perform surgeries, following terror attacks and other traumatic episodes, culminating with the fight to save the life of five-year-old 'Hadar' who was injured during the terror attack at "Maxim" restaurant in Haifa. We follow these heart touching stories while reflecting on the mysteries of the human brain with the assistance of Dr. Zaaroor. Itzhak Rubin has made a number of documentary films, including "Being Here, Being There" ('98), which won a certificate of merit at INTERCOM Chicago International Film Festival, "Crispal's Daughter" ('00), "Udi Adib' Daud Turki" ('01) and "Between Two Women" ('02). His feature "A Group Portrait with a Woman" won the Script Award at the 1999 Haifa Festival and was screened at the 2002 Haifa Festival. Selected filmography: "White Lies" ('99), "A Group Portrait with a Woman" ('02).

Daddy Papa

TITLE: Daddy papa
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Vladimir Mashkov / Michael Zilberman
COUNTRY: RUSSIA
LANGUAGE: Russian w/ English ST
TIME: 95 minutes
SOURCE: NTV-Profit, Moscow
TEXT: Screenplay by Vladimir Mashkov, Ilya Rubinstein, based on the play by Alexander Galich. Cast: Vladimir Mashkov, Egor Beroev, Andrei Rozendent, Olga Krasyko. It is 1929. A Ukrainian town with a populous Jewish community. The poor widower Avram Svarc has decided that his son David will be a famous violinist. David begins to hate his father. It is 1939. Moscow. David soaks up the applause at his graduation concert; a career awaits him. Unexpectedly, and to David displeasure, Avram shows up. The son is embarrassed by his simple father, and is mortified that he thereby reveals his own class background and his Jewish roots. All around them there is a hunt for "enemies of the people" and the members of their families. David asks Avram to leave immediately, but accepts the money offered by him all the same. It is 1944. Hospital train. David is among the wounded; his arm may have to be amputated. Avram appears to him in his delirium... Vladimir Mashkov (1963, Novokuznetsk, USSR) was born into a theatrical family. After graduating in 1990 from the school of the Moscow Art Theatre, he worked in Oleg Tabakov's studio theatre. A well-known actor, both in Russia and abroad, Mashkov appeared in films ranging from "Behind Enemy Lines" to "Tycoon" (Haifa Festival 2002). Today, in addition to acting, he directs for both the screen and the stage. "Papa" won the Audience Award at the 2004 Moscow Festival. Selected filmography: "Sympathy Seeker" ('97).


Delusions

TITLE: Delusions
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Saar Lachmi, Nimrod Etsion
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: Donna Productions Ltd., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Cast: Osnat Hakim, Riki Blich, Dalia Shimko, Leon Rozenberg, Iris Abramovitch, Einat Waisman, Ohad Knoler, Itay Barnea. Tamy is a dreamy girl, who has "Poetic Schizophrenia," a rare personality disorder which makes her imagine that her life is a film plot and that she is the star. In real life, she is an ordinary girl, who lives with her cousin Ayala. They both fall in love with Johney Rocker, a hit rock star, who prefers Ayala, and Tamy finds it difficult to get over him. At some point, when Ayala makes Tamy very angry, the director of the film suddenly enters, fires Ayala and casts a new Ayala instead. The story continues as if nothing happened, but the crisis between the girls aggravates, and from time to time, when daily events are hard for Tamy to handle, she "stops the film" and enters her imaginary world in the shape of the director, the actors behind the characters, sound equipment etc. And so it seems that we are watching a film inside a film, but as the story continues we realize that what seems real, the backstage of the movie, is in fact the wild imagination and schizophrenic mind of Tamy. As Tamy's mental state continues to deteriorate, and she drifts further away from reality, she finds herself torn between the two worlds, and fights with her remaining wits against the "ending" of her "film." Nimrod Etsion studied film and literature at Tel Aviv University, Saar Lachmi studied medicine at the Haifa Technion. Together they've written and directed a short film, a video art, a pilot for a reality TV series and more.

Diana's Child

TITLE: Diana's Child
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Uri Barabash / Mirit Tuvi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 61 minutes
SOURCE: JCS Content, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Based on the book by Savion Librecht. Cast: Neta Moran, Shmil Ben Ari, Hila Feldman, Levana Finkelstein, Neta Garti. Shlomit and Danny lost their son Ethan. Danny makes an effort to deal with his grief and joins a support group for bereaved parents. Shlomit, on the other hand, shuts herself away from the world, staying at home, brooding, obsessively nurturing the flowers in her garden. Into the couple's lives comes Diana, a young volunteer from Ireland, carrying Ethan's child. Danny is thrilled. He hopes to have a chance to raise his grandchild. Shlomit resents Diana and envies the close warmth that develops between Danny and the young woman. Once the two women have a chance to get to know each other, hatred and suspicion make room for a friendship that will change them both. Uri Barabash graduated from the London Film School in 1973. Since then Barabash directed dozens of documentary films, TV dramas and feature film that have been screened around the world. His credits include: "Signed for Life" (winner of the Kinnor David Award), "Stigma," "Beyond the Law" (winner of 6 Israeli Academy Awards), "Sitton", "Line 300," "Tironut", "Hamachon" and "My First Sony." In 1990 Barabash was voted the "Director of the Decade in Israeli Cinema" by the Israeli Film Institute. Selected filmography: "Beyond the Walls" ('84), "One of Us" ('89), "Where Eagles Fly" ('90), "Real Time" ('91), "Beyond the Walls II" ('92), "Power of Attorney" ('94).

IDF-The Musical

TITLE: IDF-The Musical
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Erez Laufer / Edna Kowarsky, Elinor Kowarsky
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, English subtitles
TIME: 124 minutes
SOURCE: Eden Productions Ltd., Tel Aviv
TEXT: IDF-The Musical is a historical documentary series, which offers a critical look at the Israeli Defense Forces entertainment troupes. The third part of the series, "The Good Life", deals with the golden age of the military troupes beginning at the end of the Six Day War. Dozens of troupes were active at this time, praising the army's courage and pining for peace. At a slow and constant rate, dozens of soldiers fall during the War of Attrition at the front. The fourth part, "He, Who Laughs Last Laughs Best", deals with the fading of the military troupes along with the disintegration of the Israeli consensus. The Yom Kippur War (1973), the political change (1977) and the Lebanon War of 1982 end the era of military troupes. Other voices begin to be heard, among them the Mediterranean voice. Over twenty years later, as occupation and disengagement mingle - the military troupes return: new troupes are put together and the media is nostalgically celebrating the songs of yesteryear. Erez Laufer graduated from the Film and Television Dept. at Tel Aviv University. His film "Mike Brant-Laisse Moi t'Aimer" won the 2002 Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary, and had its international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2003. Laufer worked on numerous projects with renowned filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker. Selected filmography: "Don't cry for me Edinburgh"('96), "Zehava Ben-The Solitary Star" ('97), "Total Loss" ('00), "Mike Brant-Laisse moi t'aimer" ('02).

It's Probably Me

TITLE: It's Probably Me
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Roi Ben-Ami / Doron Suliman, Marek Rozenbaum
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, English subtitles
TIME: 60 minutes
SOURCE: Transfax Films Productions, Ltd., Tel Aviv.
TEXT: Inbar, a 32-year-old transsexual, looks like a woman, but lives her life "midway" in the journey from masculinity to femininity. It appears that she is struggling against everyone: her past, herself, society, the (almost) inevitable choice of becoming a prostitute and her family. The film shows an upfront and personal view of a transsexual person undergoing a journey in search of identity and the affect of it on herself and her family. The director explores his cousin Inbar's journey of self-definition. The close relationship between the director and the "subject", Inbar, allows a unique perspective. Inbar is an independent person, crude, outspoken, cynical, and self-aware who does not try to idealize her life, nor her personality. She acknowledges what she is, and what she does. She presents her life in a crude and straightforward manner: She is a transsexual - not a woman, and she is a prostitute. Through Inbar's story, the film examines the subjects of inner family relationships, search for sexual identity and self-definition. Beyond the definition of trans-sexuality, the film brings the story of a person, who is in the midst of a process of which we usually get to see only the results. Roi Ben-Ami graduated from the Film and Television Dept. of Hadassah College in Jerusalem. Ben-Ami directed three short documentaries and a video clip. He's written and edited a number of documentary films.

Kill them all! Tuez le tous!

TITLE: Kill them all! Tuez le tous!
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: David Hazan, Pierre Mezerette, Raphael Glucksmann
COUNTRY: FRANCE
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 100 minutes
SOURCE: Dum-Dum Films-La Classe Americaine, Paris
TEXT: Between April and July 1994, because they were born Tutsi, roughly one million people were killed in Rwanda, a tiny country in the heart of Africa. The last genocide of the 20th century had been perpetrated almost in front of the cameras of the entire world and met by general indifference. The three young directors of "Tuez le tous!" - perhaps because they are French and Jewish - have attempted to understand how, once again, such a massacre had been allowed to happen. Raphael Glucksmann, David Hazan and Pierre Mezerette were unsatisfied by the prevailing explanation suggested by historians, scholars of African studies and the journalists who covered the tragic events. All pointed to the outburst of tribal hatred between the two ethnic entities living in Rwanda, the Hutus and the Tutsis. The investigation by the three confronts the heart-breaking testimonies of the survivors as well as the perpetrators' harrowing confessions. It brings a wealth of interviews emanating from such different personalities as Botrus Botrus Rahli or Bill Clinton, from the Canadian general at the head of the UN corps in Rwanda, and from the French Minister of Foreign Affairs then in charge. If the reasons for the surprising passivity of the various foreign forces present in Rwanda at the time are clearly underlined, the less than ambiguous involvement of the French government is heavily demonstrated. This is the first feature-length documentary of the three directors. They have previously directed a short film about the plight of Rwanda.

I LIKE IT A LOT

TITLE: I LIKE IT A LOT
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Jay Rosenblatt
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 4 minutes video
SOURCE: www.jayrosenblattfilms.com
TEXT: A baby turns your life upside down, also filmmakers' lives. Even during his wife's pregnancy, American documentary veteran Jay Rosenblatt could no longer concentrate from behind his camera and decided to do something with his restlessness. This resulted in I USED TO BE A FILMMAKER, which captured the first eighteen months in the life of his daughter Ella. And now there is the four-minute film I LIKE IT A LOT, about a daughter, a chocolate ice cream and a white T-shirt. In what language do you communicate with your child, the director asks us and himself. This language not only consists of words, but also of gestures, strolls, teasing, jokes, jungle gyms, candy and places. Rosenblatt shows us one of these places in more detail. "Where are we going?," the tiny tot asks him like a grownup who has been wandering the globe for thirty years. "To the ice cream parlour," her father replies. This place is an icon in the relationship between father and daughter. Rosenblatt rarely appears on screen himself; the camera is always directed at Ella. When the chocolate ice cream is smeared all over her face and shirt and she drops the remainder on the floor, she asks for another one. "I like it a lot," she says. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

KEEP NOT SILENT
et sheava nafshi
[keep not silent] [keep not silent]
Director: ILIL ALEXANDER
2004, 52 minutes, video
Israel
Source: wmm.com
Can you live a normal life as a lesbian if deeply rooted in the orthodox or ultra-orthodox Jewish community? The answer is no. The Holy Scripture forbids homosexuality. Lesbianism is unacceptable, non-negotiable and its likely consequence is excommunication. This is the story of three women who are all considered "sinners" by their religion. One is single and fights openly while the two married women fight secretly for their right to love within the restraints of the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox communities. Unwilling to compromise themselves and unwilling to give up the wholeness of their sexual orientation, their religious convictions, or the warmth and support of their religious communities, the consequence of their choice ravages all three lives, daily. The film utilizes Internet web-cams, windows and curtains to document the individual path each woman has carved for herself, painfully caught between her love for her children, husband, community and God.







SENTENCED TO MARRIAGE
mekudeshet
[sentenced to marriage]
Director: Anat Zuria
2004, 60 minutes, video
Israel
Source: wmm.com
For two years, the director - who previously made the excellent film PURITY - has been following the struggle of Tamara, Michelle and Rachel, three young Israeli women doing everything humanly possible to obtain a divorce. With the help of a group of female orthodox rabbinical advocates, they fight the rigid laws of the Jewish community, according to which husbands who leave their wives and children to live with other women can still deny their legal wives divorce. In most cases they do not even pay child support. The absurdity is that these very modern, quite independent and well-educated women are in some cases forced to buy the divorce from their husbands for a lot of money. The drama in the film is presented with an excellently structured narrative that follows the different cases from one stage to the next. The anger of a young wife with four children who is denied a divorce for almost five years, and the calm and friendly preparations by the lawyers and wives, are powerfully interpolated with sound recordings of the amazingly Kafkaesque court sessions featuring the rabbinical judges, the husbands and their lawyers on one side, and the frustrated wives and their solicitors on the other. The wives are denied other relationships and are condemned to be chaste, because extramarital affairs are forbidden to women in Israel. They are trapped in religious courts for years and their destiny is out of their hands.



KEEP NOT SILENT / et sheava nafshi

TITLE: KEEP NOT SILENT / et sheava nafshi
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Ilil Alexander
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 52 minutes, video
SOURCE: www.filmstransit.com or www.WMM.com Women Make Movies
TEXT: Can you live a normal life as a lesbian if deeply rooted in the orthodox or ultra-orthodox Jewish community? The answer is no. The Holy Scripture forbids homosexuality. Lesbianism is unacceptable, non-negotiable and its likely consequence is excommunication. This is the story of three women who are all considered "sinners" by their religion. One is single and fights openly while the two married women fight secretly for their right to love within the restraints of the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox communities. Unwilling to compromise themselves and unwilling to give up the wholeness of their sexual orientation, their religious convictions, or the warmth and support of their religious communities, the consequence of their choice ravages all three lives, daily. The film utilizes Internet web-cams, windows and curtains to document the individual path each woman has carved for herself, painfully caught between her love for her children, husband, community and God. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

LITTLE PEACE OF MINE / shalom katan sheli

TITLE: LITTLE PEACE OF MINE / shalom katan sheli
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Eyal Avneri / Edna Kowarsky, Elinor Kowarsky
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 56 minutes, video
SOURCE: try eden productions at eden_edn@netvision.co.il or cinephil at www.cinephil.co.il
TEXT: After watching a bus full of school children explode before his eyes, the Israeli boy Nadav decides to found Peace for the Future, a left-wing opposition party for children. In this way, he hopes to bridge the gap between Israeli and Palestinian children. What grown-ups have failed to do in 52 years, the children should be able to accomplish: peace through a better understanding of the anger and frustration in both camps. In chronological order, we see how he and three other kids elaborate the idea, look for financiers and make appointments with other peace organisations. The first meeting with two Palestinian children ends in disappointment - they do not speak each other's language and there is no exchange of thoughts whatsoever. But Nadav perseveres. Through his voiceover, he shares his doubts and spirit with us. Particularly the discussions between the children bear a striking resemblance to the political machinations at higher levels: internal dissension about the course and strategy, mutinous members, and lofty ambitions in an inflexible reality. While the group disintegrates, Nadav intensifies his contact with a 14-year-old Arabic girl who takes him in tow around East-Jerusalem. There, he personally experiences the regulations at the notorious checkpoints. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

PATERNAL INSTINCT

TITLE: PATERNAL INSTINCT
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Murray Nossel / Craig Harwood, Murray Nossel
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 75 minutes video
SOURCE: contact Craig Harwood in Manhattan at Charwood@aol.com
TEXT: Software designer Mark and environmentalist Erik have been together for ten years and have decided that it is time to have children. They do not like the idea of adoption and put an ad on the Internet asking for a surrogate mother. They get a quick response from Wen, a married woman, mother of an adolescent son, and a practicing witch. Because Mark is wariest of the changes a child will bring about in their lives, the men decide that he will be the first to submit his sperm. After getting acquainted with the intended mother, a series of inseminations follows, and Wen becomes pregnant. The happiness is short-lived; Wen has a miscarriage and Mark and Erik are torn by doubt: perhaps this is a sign that they should forget about having children. But they persevere and eventually their patience is rewarded: a healthy daughter is born and the long-awaited fatherhood can finally commence. Paternal instinct closely follows the protagonists in this emotional process for two years, a period in which love and alienation, joy and grief constantly take turns for all people involved.
Like most little Jewish boys raised in South Africa during the early 1960s, Murray Nossel grew up privileged. His mother, busy with her career as a concert pianist, left part of Murray's upbringing to the black nannies and servants his family employed. While he attended King David High School, class bullies mercilessly beat Murray for being a weak sissy boy. Now, Murray Nossel Ph.D is a clinical psychologist. He immigrated to the United States in 1990. His foray into ethnographic filmmaking began with a two-year project (1994-96) documenting the stories of persons with AIDS in New York. Nossel is on the teaching faculty of the Columbia University School of Social Work. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

SENTENCED TO MARRIAGE / mekudeshet

TITLE: SENTENCED TO MARRIAGE / mekudeshet
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Anat Zuria / Amit Breuer
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: HEBREW w/ English ST
TIME: 60 minutes video
SOURCE: www.WMM.com women make movies in the USA... or in canada you can contact Amit Breuer at AmyThosFilms.com or Amit@amythosfilms.com, or in israel write to Haya Nastovici at nasto@netvision.co.il
TEXT: For two years, the director - who previously made the excellent film PURITY - has been following the struggle of Tamara, Michelle and Rachel, three young Israeli women doing everything humanly possible to obtain a divorce. With the help of a group of female orthodox rabbinical advocates, they fight the rigid laws of the Jewish community, according to which husbands who leave their wives and children to live with other women can still deny their legal wives divorce. In most cases they do not even pay child support. The absurdity is that these very modern, quite independent and well-educated women are in some cases forced to buy the divorce from their husbands for a lot of money. The drama in the film is presented with an excellently structured narrative that follows the different cases from one stage to the next. The anger of a young wife with four children who is denied a divorce for almost five years, and the calm and friendly preparations by the lawyers and wives, are powerfully interpolated with sound recordings of the amazingly Kafkaesque court sessions featuring the rabbinical judges, the husbands and their lawyers on one side, and the frustrated wives and their solicitors on the other. The wives are denied other relationships and are condemned to be chaste, because extramarital affairs are forbidden to women in Israel. They are trapped in religious courts for years and their destiny is out of their hands. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

SNOW WHITE AND THE AMBASSADOR - WHO IS AFRAID OF THE ARTS?

TITLE: SNOW WHITE AND THE AMBASSADOR - WHO IS AFRAID OF THE ARTS?
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Thomas Nordanstad / Erik Pauser
COUNTRY: SWEDEN
LANGUAGE: Swedish with English ST
TIME: 54 minutes
SOURCE: erik.pauser@TELIA.com Brandklipparen in Stockholm Sweden
TEXT: "If that is art, then what I did is diplomacy", said Zvi Mazel, ambassador for Israel in Sweden, on 16 January 2004 in the Historical Museum in Stockholm. He said this after damaging an art installation by Dror Freiler and his wife Gunilla Sköld Freiler at the opening of an exhibition that took place on the occasion of an international conference about the prevention of genocide. The art work: a pond with red-coloured water with a boat and the portrait of Hanadi Jaradat, who had blown herself up in a restaurant in Haifa in October 2003, along with 21 guests. The makers of the work "Snow White and the Madness of Truth" demanded that the ambassador would immediately be removed, which eventually happened, after due confusion and debate. The next day, the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon thanked Mazel for taking a stand against growing anti-Semitism in Europe. Filmmakers Erik Pauser and Thomas Nordanstad interview all people involved and show that Jews all over the world hold very different views on the political situation in Israel. It does not surprise Eyal Sivan, one of the conference guests, that an ambassador behaved like this: "Of course he can destroy an art piece; he can burn a museum if he wants." Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

Tin Soldiers

TITLE: Tin Soldiers Tinnsoldatene
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Stian Indrevoll / Torstein Grude
COUNTRY: NORWAY
LANGUAGE: Norwegian w /English ST
TIME: 48 minutes video
SOURCE: torstein@piraya.NO www.piraya.NO Piraya Film in Bergen Norway
TEXT: Unfeeling, tin soldiers do not exist and even in so-called "quiet territory," war is more than suntan lotion, soft ice-cream and drinking binges. This is what three Norwegian soldiers discover in a United Nations camp in Qana, Lebanon in 1996. On April 18 of that year, Israel bombs this camp where eight hundred refugees have sought safety. The Norwegians are launched from their comfortable deck chairs into a veritable nightmare. People with severed limbs, dozens of dead bodies and the smell of charred skin permanently change their outlook on the world. To their horror, the Norwegian government ignores the events in Qana and the Israelis blame Hezbollah, and vice versa. Now, seven years after the incident, the time has come to clear things up. Armed with footage the three soldiers shot in Qana at the time and a video camera, they travel back to the place of the disaster and tell their side of the story. The images they made of an unmanned reconnaissance plane, for example, are crucial evidence of Israel's tactics. Their video footage is alternated with images of the trip, together providing a poignant illustration of the atrocities the men witnessed. Shown at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam in November 2004.

The Wall

TITLE: The Wall / Mur
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Simone Bitton / Thierry Lenouvel
COUNTRY: France Israel
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 95 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: cine-sud@noos.FR or Wide@WideManagement.com Wide Management Paris France
TEXT: Less than fifteen years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Israel is constructing a wall between its territory and the Palestinian regions. Last July, the International Court of Justice in The Hague judged that the route of the partition, partly running over Occupied Palestinian Territory, is in breach of international law. WALL shows the implications this has for a society controlled by fear and the consequences for daily life on both sides of the fence. Director Simone Bitton interviewed not only the head of the Israeli Ministry of Defence about the technical details, but she also visited the concrete factory that produces the wall sections, spoke with the Palestinian workers who put up the wall and interviewed people living on both sides of the 500-kilometre-long partition, every kilometre of which costs $2 million. Before even a single face appears on the screen, we hear the voices of passers-by on the soundtrack, as if the wall has already made them invisible. Selected for Sundance 2005. Cannes 2004.
In recent months, the focus of the rage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been on what the Jewish side regards as a barrier that will separate them from terrorism and what the Palestinian side sees as a wall of hostility that will only perpetuate the conflict. In the eyes of one interviewee, it is a disease blocking what little that remains of the osmosis between the two sides. In her new film, Simone Bitton, who presented her Ben Barka: l'equation marocaine at JFF 2001 and later, Citizen Bishara at the Cinematheques, visits among the inhabitants of the seam-line; among Palestinians separated from their lands and Israelis separated from their Palestinian neighbors. She talks with an Israeli general and goes to the cement factories in the south where the wall's concrete slabs and watchtowers are produced. Contrary to what we have come to expect, most of her interviewees speak with humor about the situation and have not lost hope. "I did not make this film in order to convince them, or provide them with arguments. I made the film in order to share what I feel, what comes from my heart... The wall that I filmed is as much a part of me as it is a part of the mental and physical horizons of my characters. This wall is, in a sense, testament to our failure. Mur is a political film because everything is political. But it doesn't talk about politics. It talks about me, it talks about us."

WHEN ADAR ENTERS

TITLE: WHEN ADAR ENTERS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yael Bartana
COUNTRY: Israël, Nederland
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 7 minutes
SOURCE: info@Montevideo.NL Montevideo in Amsterdam
TEXT: Young and old in carnival attire, dressed as animals, characters from literature or history, soldiers, and policemen. Girls and young women are preening in bridal gowns: Queen Esther on the eve of her wedding, celebrating the victory of her people. In her film, Bartana raises questions concerning the place of rituals and ceremonies common to Israeli society. She has chosen to film Purim because it is the only holiday during which, in contrast to all other days of the year, religious Jews permit themselves to cast off the bonds of "prohibited and permitted" behaviour. They celebrate the rescue of the Jews in the Kingdom of Ahashveros in Persia from Haman's plot to exterminate them. It is considered a blessing to devote the Purim holiday to a feast with drinking, merriment, the exchange of delicacies among friends and giving gifts to the poor. Throughout the film, we are witness to stolen glances directed back towards the camera and hidden faces that create a sense of threat and approaching catastrophe. Despite the costumes and the carnival atmosphere, the exceptional presence of a camera in the religious quarter and the sense of strangeness and suspicion evoked by its very presence, reveal the fear that outsiders are taking advantage of the image of ultra-orthodox Jews by entering their world - the fear that the camera will not convey the codes of that world but only its masks.


TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:



TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

TITLE:
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT:

Main Page is www.Jewishfilm.com

Next Page on www.Jewishfilm.com



http://www.jewishfilm.com -- Revised: 1/15/98, 7/5/98, March 2000, July 2000, May 2002, October 2003
Copyright © 1996-2003 Jewish Film Archive online website, Larry Mark, webmaster gadol
http://members.aol.com/jewfilm -- Revised: 1/15/98, 7/5/98, March 1999, August 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005 Jewish Film Archive online website, Larry Mark, webmaster gadol
jewfilm@aol.com

Disclaimer: We provide this data as a service to readers. We are non-commercial. We are not responsible for the results of the use or misuse of the data and/or opinions provided.


MBA Style
Jewish Books Jewish Books