Jewish Film Archive Online
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Who Do You Love

TITLE: Who Do You Love
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Jerry Zaks
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: WhodoyouloveMovie.com
TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xA2KJ-aABg
TEXT: Released theatrically in Spring 2010. Release was delayed do to the similar themed film, Cadillac Records. Jerry Zaks directs and the screenwriters are Peter Martin Wortmann and Robert Conte. Leonard and Phil Chess, Jewish immigrants from Poland arrive and learn how to say “motherfucker” from a Chicago street musician. They meet Muddy Waters. Leonard explains his obsession with “race music.” This is the story of the Chess brothers and their contribution to music.

Please Give

TITLE: Please Give
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Nicole Holofcener
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://www.sonyclassics.com/pleasegive/
TEXT: Sundance 2010. Released USA June 2010. Nicole writes, “A friend’s apartment in New York was both the source and the setting for PLEASE GIVE. My friend bought her elderly neighbor’s apartment, just as the couple does in the movie, and they became good friends. When it came time to find a location for the film we ended up shooting in that actual building, and in one of its apartments. One of the great things about living in New York (if you have money) is being able to buy a beautiful place and fill it with beautiful things. But how do you do that and feel okay about it when there are hungry people right outside your (beautiful, newly stripped solid walnut) door? I’ve been struggling to forgive myself for those contradictions my whole life, and I think that’s a struggle I heaped upon my characters, especially Kate. We tend to instantly sympathize with people who are struggling, so even though my characters do some unattractive things, I hope we can forgive them, especially while we laugh at them. PLEASE GIVE begins with a montage of mammograms. Mammograms are like life: potentially tragic but really funny looking. You’re stripped semi-naked, divested of dignity, shivering with cold and filled with dread. It’s ridiculous but very necessary. With PLEASE GIVE I wanted to illustrate these kind of contradictory moments that make us human.”
Kate (Catherine Keener) has a lot on her mind. There’s the ethics problem of buying furniture on the cheap at estate sales and marking it up at her trendy Manhattan store (and how much markup can she get away with?). There’s the materialism problem of not wanting her teenage daughter (Sarah Steele) to want the expensive things that Kate wants. There’s the marriage problem of sharing a partnership in parenting, business, and life with her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) but sensing doubt nibbling at the foundations. And there’s Kate’s free-floating 21st century malaise—the problem of how to live well and be a good person when poverty, homelessness, and sadness are always right outside the door. Plus, there’s the neighbors: cranky, elderly Andra (Ann Guilbert) and the two granddaughters who look after her (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet). As Kate, Alex, and Abby interact with the people next door, with each other, and with their New York surroundings, a complex mix of animosity, friendship, deception, guilt, and love plays out with both sharp humor and pathos. PLEASE GIVE is writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s perceptive—and devastatingly funny—take on modern life’s contradictions, good intentions and shaky moral be.

Greenberg

TITLE: Greenberg
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Noah Baumbach
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://www.focusfeatures.com/film/greenberg/
TEXT: Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is a former 1990s rock band front man and is a childish man. Life Stiller in real life, he is the son of a Jewish father (The character is half Jewish, because it is yet another thing that he cannot fully be, and another thing to make Roger cranky). He is quick to criticize others, but is blind to his own flaws. No one cares what he thinks, yet he still writes letters and letters to criticize and attack celebrities and leaders, from NYC’s mayor to Starbucks. He is in his 40s and hates people, so he fits in to NY. After some time in a mental rehab center, he travels to Los Angeles to house-sit and dog-sit for his brother. His brother is successful and taking his wife and kids to Vietnam for a vacation. Cranky Greenberg ponders an affair with Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig), his brother’s 25 year old personal assistant. And so we watch as Greenberg goes through LA hating people, being mean and a living as a jerk

8: The Mormon Proposition

TITLE: 8: The Mormon Proposition
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Reed Cowan
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 80
SOURCE: MormonProposition.com
TEXT: Sundance Premiere. The documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition” is not a Jewish film overtly. But it touched many Jews in California. Mormons in California and Utah, following their prophet's (The Mormon leader) call to action, wage spiritual warfare, fueled with money and religious fervor, against LGBT citizens and their fight for equality in California. This exploration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in the passage of California's Proposition 8 reveals a secretive, decades-long campaign against lesbians’ and gays’ right to marriage. Directors Reed Cowan, a former Mormon missionary, and Steven Greenstreet deftly investigate this ongoing battle through three telling perspectives: personal, political, and ideological. They are careful not to succumb to emotional rant but choose instead well-researched data and a range of interviews with politicians, historians, and those most affected by the outcome. One such couple is composed of Spencer Jones and Tyler Barrick, who is the direct descendant of Mormon polygamist Frederick G. Williams. Cowan and Greenstreet's film tellingly reminds us that, if any common ground can ever be found, it must be based on truth and transparency.
I met Reed in Utah, an I want to add this story he told me. Reed was a Mormon missionary as a youth and as an adult, he was a well known tv news reporter in Utah. One day, he was assigned to cover the death of a child. He arrived at the scene of the death and found out that the child was his son. His grief was overwhelming. One of the ways he healed was his relationships with his Jewish friends in Utah. They reached out to him and helped him to grieve. They also helped him to raise most of the funds for African charities as a memorial to his son. Reed has a deep affection for the Jewish community.

Born Sweet

TITLE: Born Sweet
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Cynthia Wade
COUNTRY: USA, Cambodia
LANGUAGE: Khmer with English subtitles
TIME: 28 minute short
SOURCE: www.bornsweetfilm.com
TEXT: This is not a Jewish film, but it was my favorite short at Sundance 2010. Documentary. Arsenic-laced water has poisoned a 15-year-old boy from a small, rural village in Cambodia, who fashions dreams for karaoke stardom in spite of his illness. He is ostracized by his village. Throughout Asia, NGO’s try to train people not to drink from arsenic laced water wells (the arsenic is naturally occurring) In the film, an NGO decides to use the boy in a series of educational films, but he needs a lot of work to sing and act, and the audience roots for him….

Boy

TITLE: Boy
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Taiki Waititi
COUNTRY: New Zealand
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 87
SOURCE: James Thompson, New Zealand Film Commission
TEXT: Premiered at Sundance . Not a Jewish film. Sort of based on the life of comedian and actor, Taiki Waititi, New Zealand’s top rated funnyman.
It’s 1984, and Michael Jackson is king—even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s father, Alamein, appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version—an incompetor and director, Taiki Waititi, whose actual last name, surname, is… COHEN. But as Taiki informed me, he grew up more Maori on the reservation lands, and his father was practiced no Jewish rituals. This film is a hilarious comedy that I liken to Napoleon Dynamite with a New Zealand accent. It is filmed in the Maori lands in the director’s own village and family home. In the film, Boy is about to start Summer break from school. He says his father is abroad for work, a spy, but his father is in jail. After the death of Boy’s mother, his father went to jail for theft. Boy is being raised with his younger brother and cousins galore by his grandmother, who must leave town and places him in charge. Who shows up? Boy’s father and his two cronies, out of jail, and looking for buried loot.. This is where the goat enters.
Inspired by his Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars, One Night, Taika Waititi offers a charming, funny, and earnest coming-of-age story where everybody has some coming of age to do—particularly Alamein (affably played by Waititi himself). Never short on humor, Waititi’s story is ultimately about three boys (one grown) reconciling fantasy with reality.
Boy was cast a week before shooting began. He came to audition for a minor role, but was so fantastic, that he was given the lead.
Shown at Sundance January 2010
Shown at National Geographic All Roads Film Festival in Washington DC


Bus

TITLE: Bus
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yasmine Novak
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: French Arabic Hebrew English with English and other subtitles
TIME: 11
SOURCE: Mozer-Films.com
TEXT: A short that premiered at Sundance. An examination of those who live amidst the complex rules, walls, soldiers, and permits that make up the Israel/Palestine bus system. The film opens with a caller asking how to get a bus or find a bus to the West Bank. Not an Egged Bus. And so the tale of Palestinian transit and borders begins.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

TITLE: Casino Jack and the United States of Money
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Alex Gibney
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 120 minutes
SOURCE: Magnolia Pictures
TEXT: Sundance. Documentary. Before there was Madoff, there was the blemish called Jack Abramoff. This portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah—confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A tale of international intrigue with Indian casinos, Russian spies, Chinese sweatshops, and a mob-style killing in Miami, this is the story of the way money corrupts our political process. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney wields the tools of his trade with the skill of a master. Following the ongoing indictments of federal officials and exposing favor trading in our nation's capital, Gibney illuminates the way our politicians' desperate need to get elected—and the millions of dollars it costs—may be undermining the basic principles of American democracy. Infuriating, yet undeniably fun to watch, CASINO JACK is a saga of greed and corruption with a cynical villain audiences will love to hate.

Chicken Heads - Roos Djaj

TITLE: Chicken Heads - Roos Djaj
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Bassam Jarbawi
COUNTRY: USA, Palestinian Territories
LANGUAGE: Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: 15 minutes short
SOURCE: contact Bassam Jarbawi BassamJarbawi.com
TEXT: A young Palestinian boy and his older brother must care for the sheep. A gazelle should always be tied up, but it isn’t and it kills a prized sheep that the father hopes to sell to a wealthy neighbor who is making a celebration. In order to deflect blame from the gazelle, the boy blames the family dog, who will now be punished… Email: jarbawi@gmail.com

Daddy Longlegs

TITLE: Daddy Longlegs
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 98
SOURCE: DaddyLongLegsMovie.com
TEXT: With Daddy Longlegs (formerly known as Go Get Some Rosemary), Josh and Benny Safdie have crafted a realistic fairy tale that captures the magic of parenthood, invoking memories of their inventive dad from their own childhood. Divorced and alone, Lenny (the perfectly cast Ronald Bronstein) is the father of two young boys he gets to see a couple of weeks a year. He cherishes these days with the kids, being both stern parent and lovable buddy, inventing myths and somehow living them, all while working overtime in the big city. When the going gets tough, Lenny uses some unusual, perhaps even hazardous, techniques to keep the kids safe from the world. Because of the film’s fluid style, we feel that we are in the boxing ring alongside Lenny, as flawed as he is charismatic, champion of each day, yet totally black and blue. As the storm of society continually rains on him, Lenny laughs through it all. Isn’t life crazy? Premiered at Sundance. Yes, they are distantly related to Moshe Safdie.

Douchebag

TITLE: Douchebag
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Drake Doremus
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 81
SOURCE: Jonathan Schwartz, Super Crispy Entertainment Phone: (310) 922-3933
TEXT: Sundance. The only thing Jewish in this is the surname of the brothers and maybe one wall hanging. The week Sam Nussbaum is to be married, his live in fiancée questions why his only brother, Tom, isn’t coming to the wedding. Unsatisfied with his lame reply, she surprises Sam by bringing the brothers together. Sam is not happy, but he rarely is—unless he’s telling someone what to do. He is quite the control freak and environmentalist know it all Vegan. At dinner it is revealed that Tom has only been in love once—with his fifth-grade girlfriend—; Sam insists they go find her. It soon becomes evident that their journey is simply an excuse for Sam to avoid his impending commitment…. SAM is a DOUCHEBAG! Douchebag will make you squirm, laugh, and get pissed off—all at the same time. Outstanding breakout performances bring an authenticity that would be impressive even from seasoned actors. Drake Doremus's clever, straightforward filmmaking keeps the story buzzing in this offbeat comedy that gives a modern twist to sibling rivalry.

Enemies of the People

TITLE: Enemies of the People
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath
COUNTRY: UK Cambodia
LANGUAGE: Khmer with English ST
TIME: 93
SOURCE: Rob Lemkin, Old Street Films Phone: +44 7889 441378 Email: rob@oldstreetfilms.com
TEXT: This is not Jewish, but would make a great pairing with a Holocaust themed film program. Genocide themed. Sundance price January 2010 = WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people in the late 1970s. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now. Enter Thet Sambath, an unassuming, yet cunning, investigative journalist who spends a decade of his life gaining the trust of the men and women who perpetrated the massacres. From the foot soldiers who slit throats to Pol Pot's right-hand man, the notorious Brother Number Two, Sambath records shocking testimony never before seen or heard. Having neglected his own family for years, Sambath's work comes at a price. But his is a personal mission. He lost his parents and his siblings in the Killing Fields. Amidst his journey to discover why his family died, we come to understand for the first time the real story of Cambodia's tragedy.
Codirectors Rob Lemkin and Sambath create a watershed account of Cambodian history and a heartfelt quest for closure on one of the world’s darkest episodes.

A Film Unfinished

TITLE: A Film Unfinished
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yael Hersonski / Noemi Schory, Itay Ken-Tor
COUNTRY: Germany, Israel
LANGUAGE: German/Hebrew/Polish/Yiddish with English subtitles
TIME: 87
SOURCE: To be distributed by Beastie Boy…
TEXT: Sundance 2010 - WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY EDITING AWARD. Yael Hersonski’s powerful documentary achieves a remarkable feat through its penetrating look at another film—the now-infamous Nazi-produced film about the Warsaw Ghetto. Discovered after the war, the unfinished work, with no soundtrack, quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record, despite its elaborate propagandistic construction. The later discovery of a long-missing reel complicated earlier readings, showing the manipulations of camera crews in these “everyday” scenes. Well-heeled Jews attending elegant dinners and theatricals (while callously stepping over the dead bodies of compatriots) now appeared as unwilling, but complicit, actors, alternately fearful and in denial of their looming fate. Hersonski relentlessly screens each reel as ghetto survivors and (amazingly) one of the original cameramen recall actual events, investing the cryptic scenes with detail, complexity, and authority. Rigorous in its regard for human tragedy and the power of images, A Film Unfinished indicts both the evil and the astounding narcissism of the Nazi state.
Film Contact: Assaf Mor, Cinephil Phone: +972.3.5664129 Cinephil.co.il
Please note, the producer is Noemi Schory, the Tel Aviv area film educator and filmmaker.

Fix ME / Suda

TITLE: Fix ME
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Raed Andoni
COUNTRY: Palestine, France, Switzerland
LANGUAGE: Arabic with English ST
TIME: 98 minutes
SOURCE: OALbou at Gmail dot com Olivier Albou of Other Angle Pictures in Paris
TEXT: Raed Andoni has a tension headache—one that has lasted generations and isn't going to end soon. That's because Andoni is a Palestinian living in the Ramallah, where the prospects for a stress-free life are elusive. Fix ME, Andoni's latest documentary, follows him through 20 therapy sessions as he tries to cure his unwelcome condition. The internal terrain of displacement and alienation that is revealed to his therapist and through his daily encounters with friends and family mimics the lived reality of thousands of Palestinians who are themselves displaced from their history and homeland. Ironic in tone, stylishly shot, and with a haunting score, Fix ME deftly plays with the concept of detachment from every angle. In Andoni’s hands, life under occupation is rendered with sly humor and an unexpectedly light touch that culminates in a poignant statement about the universal longing for a way back home. I found most telling his interactions with his former cellmate from an Israeli prison, as well as his electrician who suffers stoically from cancer and doesn’t whine about headaches. Also, his interactions with his nephew, a great fan of anarchism, who is visiting from America, are interesting
I asked Andoni if he still has headaches. Now that he lives in France, he said his aches are more Parisian in nature.
Film Contact Julie Gayet, Rouge International Email: bienvenus@rouge-international.com

Ajami

TITLE: Ajami
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani / Moshe Danon, Thanassis Karathanos, James Richardson
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic with English ST
TIME: 120
SOURCE: http://www.kino.com/ajami/
TEXT: Oscar nominee, March 2010. Hollywood Reporter wrote, “The fact that first-time co-directors Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani used a mostly nonprofessional cast and shot "Ajami" on location, sometimes without a script, gives their film a raw, realistic power. The main drawback to this noble effort, just nominated for the foreign-language Oscar, is that the two-hour film is unrelievedly grim and tense. Cinematic treatments of Middle East tensions usually find an audience. Word-of-mouth and the many awards the film has won will assure "Ajami" a certain success at specialized venues, though the film's evenhandedness might annoy the politically astute. Copti (a Palestinian from Israel) and Shani (an Israeli Jew) combine forces by telling their original story, based in part on their experiences and observations, and setting it in the multi-ethnic section of Jaffa called Ajami. Here, several disparate characters cross paths -- sometimes in deadly and tragic ways. It starts with Omar (Shahir Kabaha), a young Israeli determined to avenge the murders of his family members. Then there is Malek (Ibrahim Frege), a Palestinian refugee working illegally in order to afford major surgery; Dando (Eran Naim), a Jewish police officer hellbent on finding his missing brother; and Binj (director Copti), a wealthy Palestinian trying to find peace as he romances a young Jewish woman. In "Pulp Fiction" fashion, the stories intertwine and are told in flashbacks and flash-forwards, adding to the sense of chaos and crisis inherent in the lives of those in the war-torn region. Again, it is worth noting that this is the feature debut for both of the writer-director-editors. Copti and Shani's skill at juggling the many balls of the narrative is more than admirable. The multiple points of view offer audiences a chance to experience the variety of situations from a range of character perspectives. Thanks to cinematographer Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov, nearly every moment feels authentic (only a few scenes of violence betray a "staged" quality). At its best, "Ajami" exhibits the suspenseful immediacy of documentarylike fictions like Cristi Puiu's Bucharest-set crime drama "Stuff and Dough." Although no one actor stands out, the ensemble seems completely natural. But there are several flaws to "Ajami" that are hard to overlook. The film is simply too long and could have been trimmed without losing valuable information. The shaky, cinema-verite camera style might be appropriate but becomes overused (after 20 years of this mainstream film and television technique, it might be time for directors to give it a rest). Finally, the emphasis on the personal over the political is obviously intentional, but "Ajami" passes up the chance to be more critical or even darkly humorous in the manner of the films of Amos Gitai or Elia Suleiman; the film better resembles thematically, if not artistically, Susan Sontag's recently rereleased 1974 documentary "Promised Lands," which goes to show that things haven't changed much in the Middle East over the past several decades.” Production: Inosan Prods, Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion, ZDF, Arte
Cast: Shahir Kabaha, Ibrahim Frege, Fouad Habash, Youssef Sahwani, Ranin Karim, Eran Naim, Scandar Copti, Elias Sabah, Hilal Kabob, Nisrin Rihan, Tami Yerushalmi, Moshe Yerushalmi, Sigal Harel, Abu-George Shibli

The Girl on the Train

TITLE: The Girl on the Train
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Andre Techine
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 105
SOURCE:
TEXT: Hollywood Reporter: “Andre Techine's many admirers will not be disappointed by his latest offering, "The Girl on the Train," but they might be hard-pressed to define it. Ostensibly the movie is, in the words of one of the main characters, "the story of a lie," but as always with this director, the pleasures reside in the fine detail rather than the broad sweep. Art house audiences will be well rewarded. The film plays in April at the annual City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival in Los Angeles. Techine's starting point is a true story that raised a storm in France five years ago when a young woman announced that she had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on a Paris suburban train, creating a media uproar that drew in even the head of state, only for the affair to be revealed as a fabrication. A first-rate cast is set on this -- at first sight -- unpromising material, with Emilie Dequenne as the girl, here named Jeanne; Catherine Deneuve as her workaday mother, Louise; and Michel Blanc as the successful lawyer Bleistein, a former flame of Louise with whom Jeanne seeks employment. The movie is divided into two halves, entitled "Circumstances" and "Consequences," though this is misleading because the movie is anything but schematic. The first half deals mainly with a burgeoning love affair between Jeanne and Franck (Nicolas Duvauchelle), a would-be professional wrestler, while in the second we are drawn more into Bleistein's world and that of his son Alex (Mathieu Demy) and fearsome daughter-in-law Judith (Ronit Elkabetz). Techine makes no attempt to analyze Jeanne's motives or draw conclusions from her action on the state of French youth today, the volatile nature of the media or the current threat or otherwise of anti-Semitism in France. He is as interested in the secondary relationships as much as the plot points: Louise's hesitant renewal of relations with Bleistein (both have been widowed), Judith's estrangement from Alex, a bond formed between Jeanne and the couple's 13-year-old son. This makes for a relative dispersion of the points of interest, but the movie is held together not simply by Dequenne's fine portrayal of a young woman searching for herself and drawing a blank but by the force of Techine's attachment to his characters, the fluidity of his style and his characteristic blend of lightness and gravity. The presence of Techine regulars Deneuve and Blanc (and Alain Sarde, for the score) lend a sense of continuity with the director's previous work, with no sign of a lowering of standards.
Cast: Emilie Dequenne, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Blanc, Ronit Elkabetz, Mathieu Demy, Nicolas Duvauchelle
Based on the play by: Jean-Marie Besset
Producer: Said Ben Said
Director of photography: Julien Hirsch

Where The Wild Things Are

TITLE: Where The Wild Things Are
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Spike Jonze
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://wherethewildthingsare.warnerbros.com/dvd/
TEXT: Maurice Sendak based the monsters on his Jewish relatives in Brooklyn that he knew as a shild, people with nose hairs, moles, weird eyes; waiting to eat at his home on Sunday, saying that they were so hungry that they would eat up the young Maurice. He based his best selling book on these characters, which is now this film. The film opens with a child having a tantrum, he is unruly and selfish. He bites his mother and runs off, takes a boat into a storm and ends up on an island where he meets other monsters. On one level, they are monsters that he can love but also fear. They are filled with danger and love. Or perhaps they are elements of a person’s own psyche, their fears, egos, ids, and more.

Date Night

TITLE: Date Night
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Shawn Levy
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 88
SOURCE: 20th Century Fox
TEXT: Not a Jewish film. But included here because Mark Wahlberg plays a security expert who trades a few sentences in Hebrew with his own date, a Mossad operative from Israel. She thinks that the characters played by Tina Fey and Steve Carrell have arrived for a foursome.

Life 2.0

TITLE: Life 2.0
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Jason Springarn-Koff
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: KevinIwashina.com
TEXT: Sundance 2010 documentary premiere. This is a documentary that follows the lives of three addicts to SECOND LIFE, a profitable virtual online world. We meet a woman from Westchester country NY who is carrying on an extramarital affair in her SECOND LIFE with a married man. We meet a woman who is earning more than her brother and parents by selling items in the online world with online money. She is addicted to food, cigarettes and SECOND LIFE. And we meet a young man, living with his girlfriend, and slowly increasing his 24/7 addiction to SECOND LIFE, where his SECOND LIFE avatar is a young girl, where his online friends are also young girls who are actually older men.

My Perestroika

TITLE: My Perestroika
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Robin Hessman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Russian with English ST
TIME: 87 minutes
SOURCE: MyPerestroika.com or RedSquareProductions.org
TEXT: Sundance 2010 Documentary. When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of opportunities, openness and restucturing. This is a look at the last Soviet generation. Robin follows 5 Moscow schoolmates from school #57, using archival footage and current interviews. How did Glasnost affect them? What was Komsomol Youth like? What did they do in August 1991 when tanks rolled into the streets abd Swan lake was played on the tv. What was their joy, instability, and confusion. How was their army service? Are the succeeding in the post Soviet Russian state. Olga, the prettiest girl, is now a single parent earning $40K a year (her BF had been a top officer at a bank, but he was killed along with his driver); Andrei is a businessman and importer of upscale French shirts and very successful.; Ruslan is a musician with a famous punk band and “outside of society.” He now plays banjo in the Metro. And Borya and Lyuba are both teachers. Their son, Mark, goes to the school. It is an engaging, funny, and inspiring story. And why is this film on this site? Umm… well… as I watched the film, I noticed that the principal character and his kid just did not “look” Russian, if you know what I mean. And then as the film continues, oh,…. you find out that his surname is Meyerson. Hahaha. And that when he got engaged to his school sweetheart, her mother said something like, “I knew one day some Jew would get his hands on you. (latch himself onto you)”
Borya Meyerson grew up in a Jewish family of intellectuals. He and his friends wanted to subvert the system as kids. He now teaches in the same school he attended and lives in the apartment in which he was raised. Lyuba grew up as a conformist. She now teaches History at the school. She teaches 6 days a week to preschools and high school seniors. Ruslan was in the band NAIV, and is twice divorced. He has an 8 year old son, Nikita. Olga lives in her childhood apartment with her son, sister, and nephew. Andrei owns 17 stores.

A Small Act

TITLE: A Small Act`
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Jennifer Arnold
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: HBO Documentary Films.
TEXT: Sundance 2010 documentary. Can one small act change the life of a person. Chris MBURU was the top student in his village in Kenya. But he had no money for school fees and little hope for a future. He wold be a coffee picker. But an anonymous woman, a teacher in Sweden, made monthly contributions to a charity that paid his school fees. It was a small act for her, and a giant leap for him. MBURU finished school, graduated Harvard Law School, on now is a leader who fights genocide at the United Nations. And who was this woman in Sweden? This film tracked her down. She was Hilde Back, in her 80s, retired. Did I say she was Swedish? Well actually she is a German Jew who escaped Hitler by going to Sweden. And now Mburu fights genocide. Coincidence? Mburu’s show of gratitude and his belief in the transformative power of education have lasting implications for the world. Did I mention that they renamed a charity in Hilde’s honor?

Ha‘agam - The Lake

TITLE: Ha‘agam - The Lake
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Boaz Lavie
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 26
SOURCE: BoazLavie at gmail
TEXT: Seen at Slamdance January 2010. Short. After once again losing his job, Yoni is filled with despair. He comically turns to his older brother, Sa’ar, who makes good money, but the source of his wealth is a mystery. Sa’ar agrees, reluctantly, to help Yoni, and they head out to the lake.

Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish

TITLE: Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Eve Annenberg
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 60
SOURCE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Romeo-and-Juliet-in-Yiddish/45082454706
TEXT: Eve Annenberg, a director who has trained famous actors at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, organized a group of at-risk, ex-Hassidic youth and created this film with them. Wherefore Art Thou takes place a fire escape. The Friar character is a rabbi in this film. Capulets v Montagues is now two hassidic sects (Chabad and Satmar).
What's in a name?
What we call a rose is,
What it would mean
Would smell sweet. "
Julia says - in Yiddish - in Eve AnneBerg's innovative, Shakespeare-infused drama about former Orthodox Ava, a Yiddish student, make their knowledge available. The 1 8year-lazer from Brooklyn financed with his buddy Mendy food and drugs through retail theft. Cut off from their families and their community, they speak the strong accent of the ultra-Orthodox sect SATMER, in the Yiddish language. Ava, a nurse in the emergency department learns of a master's degree in Mame loschen, that same mother tongue. She loves Yiddishkeit, but not the Orthodox. When she sets out to translate into Yiddish Romeo and Juliet, you recommend a SATMER-ambulance drivers who ask for two small crooks lazer and Mendy for help. There is only one small problem: The two have never heard of Shakespeare. As they begin to modernize the archaic piece of 'acting out and advised the young men of rapturously in its spell. Anneberghey's completely charming meditation on life and love in New York leads to a rapprochement between the secular and the ultra-Orthodox world

Forgotten Transports to Poland

TITLE: Forgotten Transports to Poland
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Lukas Pribyl
COUNTRY: Czech Republic
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 90 by 4
SOURCE: http://www.forgottentransports.com/
TEXT: Most documentaries about the Holocaust focus on a few notorious camps, with familiar newsreel footage and bald commentary to fill in the historical background. Forgotten Transports, a major series of four 90-minute films, offers something powerfully and challengingly different. It is not just that the tragic events depicted are almost unknown, even to specialist historians. Just as significant is the way they have been recreated. Instead of a detached outsider’s narrative, each film is built from the gripping stories of individual survivors, seen through their own eyes and told entirely in their own words. While they speak only of what they experienced themselves, their impressions weave together to form a poignant picture of ordinary individuals caught up in an era of atrocity and terrible violence. Every detail of what they describe is illustrated and confirmed through contemporary photographs and other visual material, most of it previously unseen, meticulously sourced everywhere from official archives to the garages of former SS men.
The result calls into question much of what we think we know about the Holocaust. But it also reveals the range of strategies which enabled at least some people to stay alive. Nothing can detract from the suffering the films depict. Yet there is also something thrilling about the sight of a handful of now elderly people who defied all the Nazis’ attempts to destroy them and are still here to tell their tale. In historical terms, Forgotten Transports breaks major new ground. Each of the films is based on the experience of Jews deported to virtually unknown camps and ghettos - in Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and the Lublin region of eastern Poland. Almost all were sent to places where thousands or even tens of thousands of people perished. But names like Ereda, Maly Trostinec, Salaspils and Sawin hardly feature in standard histories of the Holocaust, since virtually no one was left after the war to describe what happened there. Fewer than three hundred Czech Jews out of tens of thousands survived these ghastly transports. The young director Lukas Pribyl, whose own family was devastated by the Holocaust, has spent eight years researching, photographing and collecting archive material to document exactly what happened to them. After a sometimes lengthy period of persuasion, he convinced almost all of those who were still alive to share their experiences, mostly for the first time (many had not told even their families and close friends). The process generated more than 260 hours of interviews, collected in about twenty countries on three continents. It is this wealth of unique first-hand accounts which underpins the whole series.
Each film tells the story of the people deported to a particular destination. But each also illuminates a different mode of survival. In Estonia, a group of women and girls – largely thanks to their youthful naivety and constant mutual support – managed to live through the genocide raging all around them almost by refusing to acknowledge its existence. In Belarus, by contrast, resistance and armed struggle by escapees from the camps represented the only realistic means of staying alive. Some of the Jews deported to Latvia tried to preserve a semblance of “normal family life” in the Riga ghetto, even if it meant that children had to pass the gallows on their way to an improvised school. Finally, the documentary on eastern Poland explores the psychological tactics of people on the run, alone, constantly in hiding, continually required to invent or change their identities. Though each of the four films can stand on its own, they are also far more than the sum of their parts. Not only do they restore a neglected chapter to its rightful place in the history of the Holocaust. They also illuminate the range of tactics adopted by people exposed to the extremes of persecution and terror. In different places, those who survived had to rely on everything from ruthless self-reliance to family loyalty and distinctively male or female forms of solidarity. Compelling, moving and sometimes harrowing, Forgotten Transports throws new light onthe events of the 1940s. It also reveals much about the sheer lust for life of human beings everywhere

Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills

TITLE: jack Taylor of Beverly Hills
YEAR: 2007
DIR/PROD: Cecile Leroy Beaulieu
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://www.jacktaylorthemovie.com/
TEXT: A documentary on Jack Taylor, the top custom men’s suit retailer in Beverly Hills, now in his 90s. A control fiend. Interviews with many of Hollywood’s male celebrities, Monty Hall, Jason Schwartzman, Mike Douglass, Alan Flusser, Joe Rosenberg, Hal Linden, etc., who indulge themselves in criticism and suits from Jack Taylor, and his asian tailor, Mr. Sam.

The Infidel

TITLE: The Infidel
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Josh Appignanesi / Arvind Ethan David, Uzma Hasan, Stewart Le Marechal, David Baddiel
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 105
SOURCE: infidelmovie.com
TEXT: Primary Cast: Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff (from the tv show about the White House, The West Wing), Archie Panjabi, Igal Naor, Amit Shah. Written by David Baddiel. Composer: Erran Baron Cohen. Meet Mahmud Nasir (Omid Djalili), loving husband, doting father and something of a “relaxed” Muslim. Does the “F” word occasionally pass his lips? It’s hardly worth mentioning. Does he say his prayers five times a day? Of course! Well, usually… Does he fast every day of Ramadan? Who’s counting anyway? He may not be the most observant, but in his heart he is as Muslim as it gets. But after his mother’s death a discovery turns Mahmud’s world upside down. He finds his birth certificate which reveals that not only was he adopted at birth…but he’s Jewish, and his real name is Solly Shimshillewitz! As Mahmud tumbles headlong into a full scale identity crisis, the only person he can turn to is Lenny Goldberg (Richard Schiff), a drunken curmudgeonly Jewish cabbie who agrees to give him lessons in Jewishness, which starts with how to dance like Topol and eat matza balls. He actually did spit out the chicken soup during the filming since they made it horrible. The film is a satire. It insults Moslems, Jews, Brits, Americans, and everybody else. Will they make some of the Jewish people at a synagogue event look horrible? Yes. Will the rabbi be a bastard? Yes. Will the right wing Moslems be idiots? Yes. But it is an equal opportunity insulter. Seen at The Tribeca Film Festival, 2010.

Howl

TITLE: Howl
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Oscilloscope.Net
TEXT: Sundance 2010 Opening film. Mixes drama and animation and documentary footage. Epstein and Friedman were approached to make a film about the 50th anniversary of the publication of HOLW by Allen Ginsberg. They had difficulty making the doc, and decided to create a new form of fim, combined animation, documentary and narrative forms. This is framed around the landmark obscenity trial surrounding Allen Ginsberg‘s career-defiing work. In 1956, Lawrence Ferlinghetti published Ginsberg‘s (James Franco) poem, HOWL. This beat poem included references to druguse and penises and homosexuality. Ferlinghetti was put on trial for obscenity. The film dramatizes the court room battle and all the players in the case, but also reimagines the poem in animation (which helps you understand it much better), and investigates Ginsberg life in 1940s NYC. Includes Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Carter Burwell, Mary-Louise Parker, Bob Balaban (who in real life was embroiled in a obscenity case when he appeared in Midnight Cowboy in a blowjob scene)

Gay Days

TITLE: Gay Days
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yair Qedar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 71
SOURCE: Norma.CO.IL
TEXT: Documentary. A history of Lesbian/Gay LGBT rights movement in Israel with archival footage and interviews with activists, sex workers, and Eytan Fox. Seen at JCC of the Upper West Side NYC and Newfest.org
n 1988 homosexuality was still a crime in Israel and very few lived their lives openly as homosexuals. Gay and lesbian declarations in the arts and media were subject to censorship; gays were excluded from the army, the police and other public institutions – without recourse to appeal. Moreover, police brutality against gays and transsexuals was the order of the day and such incidences were never prosecuted. Ten years later, in 1998, there were around 3,000 gays and lesbians living openly as homosexuals; a transsexual singer represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest; there were happy gay characters in popular television series and, in the armed forces and other state institutions. It was officially forbidden to discriminate against people on account of their sexual orientation. Several thousand people – Jews and Arabs, young and old, gays and lesbians, religious devotees and atheists, transvestites, drag queens, prostitutes, professors, soldiers and police officers – all marched together in the ‘pride parades’. Nowadays Israel’s gay - Berlin Film Festival

The So-Called Movie

TITLE: The So-Called Movie
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Garry Beitel
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 96
SOURCE: KinoLorber.com
TEXT: Documentary. Josh Dolgin is also known as DJ So-Called. He is a gay Canadian rapper and known for mixing hiphop and klezmer music, or klez-hop I suppose. This doc follows him as he tries to bring klezmer/funk hybrid music to the world. Seen at JCC of the Upper West Side NYC Faigele Film Festival and Newfest.org

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

TITLE: Joan Rivers; A Piece of Work
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Ricki Stern and Anne Sudberg
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 84
SOURCE: IFCfilms.ORG
TEXT: Premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2010 at Temple Har Shalom‘s theater in Park City Utah. She quipped to me, “my relatives are downstairs praying for the premiere.” This doc follows the comedian for a year in her life and reviews the ups and downs of her long career in comedy, her work ethic, her family, her apartment and staff, her philanthropy, her jewelry line, her husband‘s suicide, her problems with Johnny Carson, her work on Celebrity Apprentice, her competitiveness, and her workaholism. It is funny and delightfully obscene.

8: The Mormon Proposition

TITLE: 8: The Mormon Proposition
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Reed Cowan
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 88
SOURCE: RedFlagReleasing.com
TEXT: First of all, let me mention… if you have this film at your festival and you invite Mr. Reed Cowan, please be sure to ask him about his relationship with the Utah Jewish community in Salt Lake City. When his son died, it was the Jewish community, or his Jewish friends, who helped him mourn and heal, and raised the funds for a legacy charity in his son‘s memory. Reed was a respected tv journalist in Utah when he was assigned to cover the story of a child‘sdeath . When he arrived at the scene of the incident, he discovered that the child was his son. And now, on to the documentary film. After his son;s death, Reed Cowan became an activist, and made this film about how the Mormon Church in Utah orchestrated the funds and process to gay marriage / Proposition 8 in the State of California. As a tax exempt church, the are accused of breaking the law by audaciously stopping same sex marriage in California. The film reveals audio recordings and secret documents that show the Church’s moves to defeat the legislation. Includes the touching story of homeless gay teenagers in SLC who were kicked out by their homes by religious families. Narrated by Dustin Lance Black. At Sundance, Dustin said to me, “Why should the marriage and other rights of gays in California be decided on by church leaders in Utah?” He is the award winning screenwriter of Milk.

Restrepo

TITLE: Restrepo
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Sebestian Junger and Tim Hetherington
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 94 minutes
SOURCE: restrepothemovie.com National Geographic Entertainment
TEXT: Sundance 2010. Sundance Grand Jury Price Recipient for Documentary. Opens in USA in June 2010. AO Scott, in the New York Times, wrote that “Restrepo,” a documentary that sticks close to a company of American soldiers during a grueling 14-month tour of duty in an especially dangerous part of Afghanistan, is an impressive, even heroic feat of journalism. Not that the filmmakers — Sebastian Junger, an adventurous reporter perhaps best known as the author of “The Perfect Storm,” and Tim Hetherington, a photographer with extensive experience in war zones — call attention to their own bravery. They stay behind the portable high- and standard-definition video cameras, nimble flies on a wall that is exposed to a steady barrage of bullets.” The filmmakers spend time, month on and month off, switching off, with Battle Company in their hilltop outposts in the Korangal Valley between May 2007 and July 2008. Mr. Junger and Mr. Hetherington recorded firefights, reconnaissance missions, sessions of rowdy horseplay and hours of grinding boredom. Afterward, when the tour was done, three months after, at a time when PTSD sets in, the filmmakers conducted interviews in which the soldiers tried to make sense of what they had done and seen. It is just a blunt, sympathetic, thorough accounting of the daily struggle to stay alive and accomplish something constructive. Amir Bar Lev told me at Sundance that the film makes no polemic POV. It is up to the viewer to make their own decision on war. The film takes place in a valley that is one mile wide and 6 miles long, and over a third of the battles in Afghanistan during those 14 months took place in that small area. In watching the film, you might think, why arent the troops questioning the policies or the creation of the outpost or the deaths and the winning of hearts and minds… but you realize that they are grunts. They are there to follow orders; and they do.
AO Scott added, ,”Any viewer superficially acquainted with the literature and cinema of modern war will have a sense of the peril and tedium that define a soldier’s daily experience, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have spawned a number of serious and well-made films, both fictional and not. What distinguishes “Restrepo” — which belongs with “The Hurt Locker” and “Gunner Palace” on the short shelf of essential 21st-century combat movies — is not only its uniquely intensive focus on a small group of men in a particular time and place, but also its relentless attention to the lethal difficulty of their work. The setting is the Korangal Valley, a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Eastern Afghanistan that, at least at the time, was seen as a region of prime strategic importance. (American forces withdrew from the valley this April.) It was also an exceedingly hazardous place for American soldiers, with almost every day bringing a fresh engagement, to use the military term of art that basically means being shot at by the enemy and shooting back. In addition to defending their encampments, the company’s men built a new outpost, and in the midst of regular skirmishes with the Taliban and other insurgents they went about the sometimes confusing business of trying to win hearts and minds. At weekly meetings with local elders and in more informal encounters, the soldiers, led by Capt. Dan Kearney, tried to overcome suspicion and resentment, and to persuade Korangal citizens that the American presence would bring jobs, improved infrastructure and other good things.” The Battle Company got fired upon from the first day they arrived to the last day they left. Were their enemies Taliban or just local mobsters involved in the drug trade and drug routes?
Why is this film on this site??
Because Sgt Kyle Steiner and Specialist (now Sgt) Misha Pemble-Belkin are of Jewish heritage. Misha‘s parents brought him up as a hippie pacifist in Oregon, but his parents are roud of his decision to serve (Misha is named for his paternal grandmother, Myrna).
Note: Private Restrepo is seen in shaky video taken before his tour began — a playful, charismatic young man (only 20 at the time of his death) who describes himself as “loving life and getting ready to go to war.” As the movie goes on, the heartbreak latent in this simple declaration becomes more acute, as the soldiers deal with their fears and then, during a field assignment called Operation Rock Avalanche, the brutal realization of those fears. The filmmakers are circumspect in what they show, taking care to avoid focusing on the wounded and the dead, but the impact of battlefield death and injury has rarely been captured so unsparingly. And though it is composed in the prose of hand-held video, “Restrepo” has the spare, lyrical force of an elegy, inscribing a place for its characters in a tradition of war poetry stretching back to the epics of the ancient world.
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My Mom Smokes Weed

TITLE: My Mom Smokes Weed
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Clay Liford
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 17
SOURCE: clay_liford at yahoo com
TEXT: Short Film. Sundance 2010. After a loyal son comes home to visit his aging mother, she assigns him some chores; one of them involves a road trip to help satiate her desire for pot. Not Jewish per se, but Jewishy actors/writer gives it a Jewish feel. Stars Nate Rubin. Based on a true story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy0A01e-JA4

I Shot My Love

TITLE: I Shot My Love
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Tomer Heymann
COUNTRY: Israel / Germany
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 70
SOURCE:
TEXT: Berlin Film Festival, Feb 2010. Seventy years after his grandfather fled to Israel from Nazi Germany, documentary filmmaker Tomer Heymann returned to Berlin in 2006 as a guest of the Panorama to present his film BUBOT NIYAR/PAPER DOLLS. It was in a Berlin club that Heymann met and fell in love with a German dancer named Andreas Merk. In his film I SHOT MY LOVE Tomer Heymann tells the story of their love affair. Heymann’s mother Noa cannot get over the fact that Tomer is the only one of her children who still lives near her after the parents’ separation. When Andreas pays Tomer his first visit in Tel Aviv he not only has to get used to living in a new relationship, he also has to understand the complexities of daily life in Israel, as well as learn to cope with his lover’s family history. Their love takes Tomer and Andreas to some beautiful places, but the family’s influence and their personal fears force the pair to confront thorny challenges. Their often unsettling discussions take place before Tomer’s rolling camera. The result is a series of intimate portraits that manage to stay close to the protagonists and maintain a thoughtful distance. In his film, Tomer Heymann tells a small personal story amidst echoes of the great events of our times.

Jew Suss - Jud Suss - Rise and Fall - Film Ohne Gewissenn

TITLE: Jud Suss - Rise and Fall - Jud Suss - Film Ohne Gewissenn
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Oskar Roehler
COUNTRY: Austria / Germany
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 114
SOURCE: TF1 International
TEXT: Berline Film Fest, February 2010. Ferdinand Marian was the actor who in 1940 gave a brilliant performance in the lead in Veit Harlan’s Nazi propaganda film JUD SÜSS – but the role was to break him. The situation already begins to come to a head for Marian during the filming when his wife distances herself from him because she can’t bear to see how her husband has changed. The national and international success of JUD SÜSS – which delights audiences at its premiere at the Venice international film festival founded by Mussolini – is but a brief, albeit ecstatic, intermezzo. In time the Nazis’ new superstar begins to see through the effect that the film has on society; he also recognises the criminal nature of the regime. Not only are many of his friends forced to emigrate; the Marians also hide Jewish actor Adolf Wilhelm Deutscher in their summerhouse – until a maid denounces Deutscher to her SS lover. In a desperate attempt to distract himself, Marian succumbs to alcoholic binges and affairs but his actions only succeed in earning him the disapproval of, among others, the propaganda minister himself. In a bid to control him, Goebbles has Marian’s wife Anna deported. But this only accelerates the actor’s demise, and even his Czech lover Vlasta can no longer give him the support he needs. He no longer wishes to have anything to do with the most successful film of his career.
After the end of the war Marian observes others who were involved in the film attempting to acquit themselves – particularly its director, Nazi propagandist Veit Harlan. At a garden party in Munich Marian meets concentration camp survivor Deutscher, who informs him of Anna’s death. Unable to bear Vlasta’s intimate behaviour with an American soldier, he breaks down, gets into his car and drives off, never to return again.
Stars Tobias Moretti, Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu

Persian Lullaby

TITLE: Persian Lullaby
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Keren Hakak
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Persian Lullaby is a Ma’aleh film by Keren Hakak. The Website is http://www.youtube.com/v/fd8DdROpxns
Dafna, the 40-year-old single mother of a newborn boy, arrives at her parents’ home a few days before her baby’s brit. While her mother and brother embrace the new member of the family, her father, an elderly Persian Jew, repeatedly snubs Dafna, noting coldly that “a baby needs a father.” Will Dafna's father be able to transcend his discomfort and agree to be the sandek (godfather) of his first grandson? Keren is a graduate of the Ma’aleh film school in Jerusalem who has made three films and has shown them at festivals in Israel, Italy, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland. This is her first festival in the US. Keren received the Young Director award at the “Religion Today” Film Festival in Trento, Italy in 2006 for her film, Kaparot.

Shira

TITLE: Shira
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Miryam Adler
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: A young woman with five small children struggles with issues of family planning, weighing her own needs, her husband’s expectations, and the halakhic imperatives. (In Hebrew with English subtitles. See the clip at http://www.youtube.com/v/SFKOi7CaQQs

Newspapers and Flowers

TITLE: Newspapers and Flowers
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Micha Ben Shachar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Web clip at http://www.youtube.com/v/MAyy1Ue5VKg
This sweet romantic comedy follows the courtship of two young modern orthodox Jews as they struggle with getting to know the person underneath the religious label. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)

Arranged

TITLE: Arranged
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yuta Silverman
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Arranged is a Film Movement film by Yuta Silverman. Clips at http://www.youtube.com/v/wPnYPtbjUVo&feat
Centers on the friendship of an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman employed as first year teachers in a Brooklyn public school. As the women discover that they are both going through the process of arranged marriages, they become closer as they struggle with tradition, family pressure, and the modern world’s rejection of the their value systems. Yuta grew up and still lives in the Orthodox Jewish community of Borough Park, Brooklyn. She works as a special ed instructor in the NY city public schools. Her experiences in the schools - where she befriended the Muslim mother of one of the children she was assigned - lies at the heart of the film.

Prague

TITLE: Prague
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Katie Green
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Prague is a film from Ma’aleh by Katie Green. Clip at http://www.youtube.com/v/Yx59v92dlF0 Hedva, an Israeli artist, is faced with the challenge of balancing her career, motherhood, and supporting her husband’s career. When she is invited to exhibit her art in Prague, she faces a difficult decision. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)


Mosque in Morgantown

TITLE: Mosque in Morgantown
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Braittany Huckabee
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/v/nLNTT_yADxo
TEXT: A documentary of a West Virginia community mosque challenged by a local Muslim feminist. The conflict becomes a lens for exploring the issues facing American Islam and portrays the struggles of progressive women trying to make change within a religious community. Brittany Huckabee is the founder and principal of Version One Productions, Inc., and served as a 2006-2007 Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH, Boston’s award-winning PBS station. Her directing experience includes four documentaries and two weekly series that were broadcast nationally on PBS. Most recently, she produced and directed the three-hour documentary series HEAVEN ON EARTH: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIALISM, which debuted on PBS in June 2005. This is her first independent film project.


The Orthodox Way

TITLE: The Orthodox Way
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Ilan Eshkoli
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6YRPvqm5rc In this comedy of errors about blind dating, everything that can go wrong does. Will our hero and heroine find true love? This witty farce explores the funnier side of blind dating the Orthodox way. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)


Hallel

TITLE: Hallel
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Liat Cohen
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Hallel is a Ma’aleh film by Liat Cohen. Clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9pDHjYi6U0 When a married orthodox woman meets a young secular owner of a bookstore, their new relationship provides comfort from her strained marriage and battle with infertility. Drawn to this new world of poetry and literature, she struggles to figure out the life she ultimately wants to lead. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)

Srugim

TITLE: Srugim
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-5Z7YfdFZ4
TEXT: A hit new television show in Israel, Srugim portrays the lives of five young, modern-Orthodox singles living in Jerusalem, dealing with religious life and dating in contemporary Israel. The show follows the lives of the young men and women striving to lead religious lives in a secular world, who must cope with the sometimes suffocating expectations of their families and communities, all the while searching for a mate. Srugim was the winner of a number of accolades at the Israel Academy of Television 2009 awards, including Best Series of the Year, Best Script of the Year, and Best Actress. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)


The Rabbi's Daughter and the Midwife

TITLE: The Rabbi's Daughter and the Midwife
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Go2films.com
TEXT: Part of the Haredim trilogy. Documentary. Two ultra-Orthodox women work towards creating positive change within their community as they try to fight poverty in Israel's Haredi slums. One of the women, the daughter of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, establishes a college for Haredi women to get a degree. The other, a nurse and midwife, creates a charitable foundation to help Haredi women with the burden of raising large families in poverty while their husbands dedicate themselves to the study of Torah. (In Hebrew and English with English and Hebrew subtitles)



Cimpany Jasmine

TITLE: Company Jasmine
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yael Katzir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: New Love Films
TEXT: This documentary film follows five individual female Israeli soldiers over a five month period as they train to be prestigious field officers. Throughout the rigorous process, the young women struggle with the arduous physical training and the pressures of being a female in the military. The film documents the experiences of these women as they cross gender boundaries and advance to positions traditionally reserved for men. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)

Covenant: Women, God and All Between

TITLE: Covenant: Women, God and All Between
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME: Nurit Jacobs-Yinon
SOURCE: Ruth Diskin Films in Israel
TEXT: This documentary is about women, motherhood and their relationship to God and how the eight days between birth and circumcision highlight a tension between faith, religious law and the tender feelings of a mother. Why does Covenant require the spilling of blood? How do women connect to a Covenant which for them lacks that sacrificial element? (In Hebrew with English subtitles)

Kaparot

TITLE: Kaparot
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Keren Hakkak
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE: Ma'aleh School of film
TEXT: Kaparot is a Ma’aleh film by Keren Hakkak. In this very short film about the clash between tradition and modernity, a young woman celebrating her independence in her new apartment is horrified when her father turns up with a chicken to perform the kaparot ritual. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)


The Round Up / La Rafle

TITLE: The Round Up
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Roselyn Bosch / Alain Goldman
COUNTRY: France / Germany / Hungary
LANGUAGE: French w/ English Subtitles
TIME: 115
SOURCE: www.gaumont.fr Shown at Jerusalem 2010 and Giffonin in Rome 2010
TEXT: Seen at Giffoni Film Festival in Rome Italy. Big budget film depicts the mass arrest by France's Vichy government (collaborated with Nazi regime) of more than 13,000 Jews in Paris prior to sending them to death camps. This horror is seen through the eyes of a child, and the film is directed at teens. La Rafle” (“The Roundup”), written and directed by Roselyne Bosch, is a historical film about the notorious July 1942 Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv, the largest mass arrest of French Jews during the Second World War. More than 13,000 Jews were sent to the Vélodrome d’Hiver, a building that housed a winter bicycle track, and thence deported to Auschwitz. Elmaleh plays Schmuel Weisman, a family man who has his hands full with a brood of three children, ranging in age from 10 to 13: Joseph, Charlotte and Rachel. “La Rafle” is produced by Alain Goldman, Elmaleh’s co-producer on “Coco.”
Paris, summer 1942, France is under German occupation. Jews are first forced to wear the yellow star, then they are banned from any public place, they can’t work or attend schools. Many Jewish families, including that of Joseph, 10 years old, live in Montmartre. The situation is worsening day by day and the city is divided: some are seeking to protect and help their neighbours, others deride them. In the night between 15 and 16 July, the fate of the Jews of Paris changed forever. Following an agreement between Hitler and General Petain, thousands of Jews, including Joseph and his family, are taken to the Velodrome d 'Hiver, where they stay for days without water, no toilets and little food. To help them a few brave French as the nurse Annette Monod, and the firefighters who not only

Rosalyne has worked as an investigative journalist for the magazine Le Point before moving to cinema and television as writer, producer and director. In 1992 she is writer and producer of an ambitious project with the collaboration of Gerard Depardieu and Ridley Scott: the historical movie 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE. In 2005 she directed her first film ANIMAL. In 2010 she returns to historical film with THE ROUND UP, her second feature.
director’s statement: “I'm not Jewish, but thanks to my husband, Ilan Goldman, who produced the film, and my parents in law I found the humour, the joy of life and philosophy of Jewish life. Over the years I also discovered the extent of the trauma experienced by some families in the district of Montmartre, in particular during the Vel d'Hiv roundup in 1942. That's where comes the desire to make this film. We can not say that the RAFLE is "yet another film about war”. Actually, I realized that there are not truthful film about the deportation of French children. So I wanted to tell the tragedy of the Vel d'Hiv from the point of view of children. At the time, people did not know there were camps in France. This is why it was difficult to recover historical evidence on the camps and, in particular, those of Beaune-la-Rolande, Lorraine. I came into contact with Serge Klarsfeld (the investigator who did much research in the German archives about Paris round up - editor note) I tried to put together all possible documents to ensure that the film could return a real image, a snapshot of that time. And I asked Serge to check that my vision was not tainted by prejudices. He showed me a report of the Renseignements generaux, dating from 1942 which states that France is not enough anti-Semitic to tolerate the mass deportation of Jews. I was very surprised. This shows that even if the population at that time had ambiguous feelings toward Jews, it was not necessarily anti-Semitic and it is important to emphasize that. It is very ironic that France, the country that work closely with the Germans, is also the country that has protected most Jews, while in Europe the proportions are reversed. Between 10,000 and 12,000 people have disappeared into thin air thanks to the Parisians. Hiding Jews at that time involved many risks. It is in this climate of terror that ordinary people, we do not know the name, act like righteous persons. "
Mélanie Laurent (Annette Monod) Jean Reno (Dr. David Sheinbaum) Gad Elmaleh (Schmuel Weismann) Raphaëlle Agogué (Sura Weismann) Hugo Leverdez (Jo Weismann) Oliver Cywie (Simon Zygler)

Phobidilia

TITLE: Phobidilia
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Doron Paz and Yoav Paz
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 86
SOURCE: Bleiberg Entertainment LLC
TEXT: A film about urban escapism by first-time directors and brothers Yoav and Doron Paz. The film’s focus is Wainblum, a young man who, following a very public collapse, decides to turn his back on what he believes to be the chaos of life in the metropolis and withdraw instead into his apartment. All he needs to live is delivered to his door; television provides entertainment; food is ordered by phone and sex can be found on the internet. And then, after four undisturbed years, two visitors intrude on his glorious seclusion. The first visitor is Grumps, an estate agent who has been ordered to oust Wainblum from his refuge by the landlord who wants to sell the apartment. Grumps is a tough Holocaust survivor who goes about his task with an iron will. Cheeky Daniela, on the other hand, is in market research. She thinks that Wainblum owns the apartment – and the two are soon embroiled in a passionate affair. Wainblum has no intention of allowing either one to coax him out of his cocoon. His extreme agoraphobia and his reluctance to expose himself to the challenges of the outside world are as strong as his determination to stick it out in the apartment. He’s prepared to put up a fight – if necessary, to the bitter end.
Berlin Film Fest, Feb 2010. Cast: Ofer Shechter, Efrat Baumwald, Shlomo Bar Shavit Efrat Dior.

Aisheen - Still Alive in Gaza

TITLE: Aisheen - Still Alive in Gaza
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Nicolas Wadimoff
COUNTRY: Switzerland / Qatar
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 86
SOURCE: Point du Jour, Paris
TEXT: A wonder in propoganda filmmaking. A situation report from the Gaza Strip in February 2009, just one month after the end of Israel?s military offensive. Destruction everywhere. The bombs did not even spare the theme park. The ghost train is out of order. But hasn?t Gaza itself become a ghost town? Yes and no. Amid ruins, grief and despair, there are people who refuse to give up. Calmly and unspectacularly, without analysis or agitation, this film shows what it means to rebuild one?s life and daily common existence in a destroyed region that is cut off by an ongoing blockade. It transmits diverse impressions and voices from Gaza: children who have lost their relatives and young people who do not feel like taking a compulsory vacation, clowns who despite the nearby rocket fire still manage to make children laugh, and the politically-committed Darg Team rappers whose music is polarizing. It not only shows places such as the border crossing into Egypt, the hospital, the UN Food Distribution Center, the smugglers? tunnels and the refugee camps, but also the beach and the zoo. That’s where the skeleton of a whale is being reconstructed. A beautiful image, despite everything. - Berlin Film festival, February 2010
Screener: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYIxkVaSuMY
Interview with director : http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/Swiss_film_gives_voice_to_Gaza_residents.html?cid=9013732

Black Bus - Soreret

TITLE: Black Bus - Soreret
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Anat Yuta Zuria
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 76
SOURCE: Check with Berlin Film Festival , Feb 2010
TEXT: Two young women from Israel, who wouldn't be out of place in any cool café in the world, coming across just as smart and fashion-conscious as their contemporaries in Berlin or Buenos Aires. But blogger Sarah and photographer. Shlomit have paid a high price to have arrived in the here and now as modern women. Both of them were cast out by their families after fleeing from the ultra-orthodox Haredi community. Over the last decade, the community has become more strongly fundamental, with girls and women feeling the pinch of this move towards radicalization in the form of heightened repression and extreme restrictions in their freedom of movement. Thus, in the so-called "Black Bus", women are only allowed to sit at the back, so that any sort of fleeting contact with men they do not know can be avoided. It is in these surroundings that Shlomit works as a photographer, documenting the daily moments of confrontation as they take place, while Sarah blogs about the consequences of this escalation of the gender conflict. Both Sarah and Shlomit are searching for a new identity, whether with the camera or the internet – the film creates a portrait of them as the protagonists of a largely unnoticed societal conflict in today's Israel.

As Lilith - K’mo Lilith

TITLE: As Lilith - K’mo Lilith
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Eytan Harris
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 78
SOURCE: Eytan Harris Productions Ltd. Tel: +972.52.2643525 harris@netvision.net.il
TEXT: Documentary. Seen at Silverdocs Doc Fest, June 2010. From filmmaker Eytan Harris comes AS LILITH, a haunting and provocative documentary that will stay with you long after you leave the theater. When a 14-year-old Israeli girl commits suicide, her mother, Lilith, wants the body cremated. Before she can proceed, however, she must fight ZAKA, one of Israel’s most powerful religious organizations, which is fundamentally against cremation. Lilith quickly becomes a pariah within her small community, known as a brazen free spirit and keeper of dark secrets. At times a sympathetic grieving mother and at others an angry provocateur, Lilith is a true enigma and an unforgettable subject.

Freedom Riders

TITLE: Freedom Riders
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Frederick Nelson
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 113
SOURCE: WGBH.org
TEXT: In the summer of 1961, the Freedom Riders boarded interstate buses and rode into our consciousness, risking their own lives to point out the continuing pattern of segregation at work in the American south. FREEDOM RIDERS vividly evokes the sense of possibility and danger of the rides, masterfully balancing archival footage with riveting first-person accounts. The film is notable for its unusually deep level of detail and insight, touching on oft-omitted aspects of the rides, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s refusal to participate. Also remarkable is the documenting of white racists, whose plain statements of hatred are still shocking. Near the end of the film, a coalition of rabbis is mentioned and one rabbi is interviewed.

My So-Called Enemy

TITLE: My So-Called Enemy
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Lisa Gossels
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: mysocalledenemy.com
TEXT: Filmed over a seven-year period, MY SO-CALLED ENEMY follows a group of teenage Israeli and Palestinian girls committed to mutual understanding and a just solution to the conflict that continues to rage in their homeland. Set against the backdrop of the second intifada and more recent upheavals in Gaza, this illuminating film charts the girls’ attempts to nurture their budding friendships and hopes for peace in the context of increasing violence. As entrenched ideologies and political interests tighten their grip, we learn once again that it will be left to the young to build bridges instead of walls. At the Silverdocs Film Fest in June 2010, the programmers featured a post film discussion with filmmaker Lisa Gossels, Manal Omar, United States Institute of Peace Director of Iraq Programs, and Robin Wright, journalist, foreign affairs analyst, USIP fellow, moderated by USIP Executive Vice President, Tara Sonenshine.

Budrus

TITLE: Budrus
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Julia Bacha / Rula Salameh, Ronit Avni, Julia Bacha, Jehane Noujaim
COUNTRY: USA Israel Palestinian Authority
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 82
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. Shown April 2010 in Toronot at HotDocs. Budrus is the gripping story of one man’s attempt, through 10 months of peaceful protest, to protect his agricultural Palestinian village from being arbitrarily divided by an Israeli government-built barrier. Ayed Morrar quit his comfortable job at the Palestinian Authority when he learned about the government’s plan to butcher his beloved Budrus and its olive groves. As Morrar launches his campaign of Gandhian-style protests, we meet his daughter, who at 15 challenges her father by launching a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Other characters include an Israeli mathematics professor who begins as a reluctant bystander but soon transforms into an activist; Yasmine Levi, the only female officer on duty who confronts the Palestinian women, at times using brute force; and Ahmed Awwad, a Hamas leader who speaks of the importance of people coming together without arms. Will Morrar’s strategy of non-violence be enough to stop the bulldozers?

Beirut - Not Enough Death to Go Round.

TITLE: Beirut - Not Enough Death to Go Round.
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Tahani Rached / Jacques Vallee
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 57
SOURCE: NFB.CA
TEXT: Documentary. Toronto at the HotDocs Fest in April 2010. An old woman sits on a pile of rubble in the heart of Beirut and cries out a chilling litany of anger and despair. Around her, the Lebanese survivors of the 1982 Israeli bombing of the Saint-Michel beach resort pick through the ruins seeking to make habitable shelter from the few houses left standing. Already refugees in their own land, these unarmed civilians fled to the unoccupied resort to escape the fighting. Filmed shortly after the civilian massacres at Sabra and Shatila, the film is a raw portrait of the anguish and resilience of people who suffer the aftermath of a war “fought on the backs of the poor.” Although army blockades keep them from leaving, little aid is delivered and they fear that they too will be massacred. As the survivors attempt to reconstruct their lives, a young boy sings a heartbreaking song of his dream for a beautiful Lebanon. Official website: http://www.nfb.ca National Film Board of Canada

First Aid - Ezra Rishona

TITLE: First Aid - Ezra Rishona
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Mr Yarden KARMIN
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 16
SOURCE: Cinephil in Tel Aviv, or the Sam Spiegel School in Jerusalem .
TEXT: Student film. Short. Cannes Film Fest, May 2010. A day before his wedding, Shai visits Tamar, his ex-girlfriend, for a tempestuous encounter prior to becoming established. Tamar leaves him a hickey, entangling the situation.

No. 4 Street of Our Lady

TITLE: No. 4 Street of Our Lady / Number 4 Street of Our Lady / Number Four Street Of Our Lade
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Barbara Bird, Judy Maltz and Richie Sherman
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: TJCTV.com
TEXT: Documentary. Intelligently structured, ‘Street Of Our Lady’ is a tribute to a Polish mother and daughter who saved 15 Jews. George Robinson, writing in The Jewish Week, wrote, “When the Second World War broke out, the town of Sokal, then in Poland, had a population that included 6,000 Jews. By 1944, only 30 were still alive. Fifteen of them were being hidden in an attic and a hayloft over a pigsty by Francisca Halamajowa and her daughter Helena. In a firestorm of hatred, the Halamajowas were a small wellspring of hope. But after the war, there was still enough fear and hostility that Francisca and Helena never told their story. Francisca’s granddaughters only learned the truth in full after they had moved to the United States decades later. But the Jewish families they saved, and their descendants, knew the truth. Moshe Maltz kept a diary of those years, which his sons eventually got published, and Judy Maltz, his granddaughter, co-directed a film about the Halamajowas, “No. 4 Street of Our Lady,” which is playing this month on the Jewish Channel cable network. It is a striking testimonial to an extraordinarily selfless act, intelligently structured and quite handsome-looking….. Most documentary films about survivors returning to the remnants of their lives pre-Shoah are structured around what is no longer present. Usually, this is a cinema of absence, about the traces of a life, a culture and places that ceased to exist with the advent of the Nazis. By contrast, “No. 4” is about what remains, an intriguing and entirely appropriate difference. When members of the three families of Jews who were saved by the Halamajowas return to Sokal, they are surprised, and not a little shaken, to find the house, the pigsty, hayloft and attic still intact, much as they remembered it. More disturbing, they also discover that the abandoned brick factory in which the Nazis carried out mass executions of Jews is also still there. As a result, “No. 4” is a Holocaust documentary with a subtle but very real difference, its structure combining the present with memory in a way that most such films cannot. Moshe’s diary serves as an off-screen promptbook essential to recreating the story with an immediacy that 60-year-old memories cannot always provide. At the same time, though, the men and women who were once the children Francisca and her daughter saved are able to fill in the sort of details that only children would recall. Consequently, the fabric of memory of which the film is made is richly layered, a palimpsest that reflects a multiplicity of viewpoints. Happily, the Maltzes, Kindlers and Krams — the three families whose members were saved — are articulate, frank and remarkably open to the emotional pummeling that such memories must produce.

The Black Panthers (in Israel) Speak

TITLE: The Black Panthers (in Israel) Speak
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Sami Shalom Chetrit, Eli Hamo
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. Shortly after Israel’s victory in the War of Independence, the Jewish state took in a mass exodus of Jews from Arab lands, first in 1949, and then again in 1956. Jews from Arab lands, called Mizrahim, came to Israel not because they were ardent Zionists, but because their host Arab countries, angered by the establishment of the State of Israel, had turned against them. When the Mizrahim arrived in Israel, they harbored a deep sense of grievance towards European Zionists, which was compounded by their settlement in Israel’s least developed neighborhoods — mostly the ones vacated by Arabs after the war — and their paltry job options. Mizrahi children were put in trade schools rather than on a college degree track, which meant they ended up becoming mechanics, plumbers, hairdressers and the like, prolonging their stay in poverty. Something, they felt, had to change. By the 1970s, Mizrahim made up more than half of Israel’s population, but lacking the ability to change things from within its institutions, then as now dominated by Ashkenazi Jews, thousands took to the streets. For nearly two years, beginning in 1971, a Mizrahi group called the Black Panthers, modeled on the black movement in American, began what many today regard as the beginning of Mizrahi civil rights.

Let It Rain

TITLE: Let It Rain
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Agnes Jaoui
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT: The Jewish Week writes, “In ‘Let It Rain,’ filmmaker/actress Agnes Jaoui, the French-born daughter of Tunisian Jewish immigrants, explores damaged people. Agnes Jaoui knows what it feels like not to fit in. “My parents were Jews from Tunisia,” she says, sitting on the edge of the bed in a Soho hotel suite. “I was born in a suburb of Paris, but when I was 7 we moved to Paris itself. We lived in a poor and ugly block, but in a very chic arondissement [neighborhood]. So I went to very, very good schools, but it was purely by chance, because we were in this arondissement. I never felt in my place, nowhere.” Watching Jaoui in her latest film, “Let It Rain,” that is hard to believe. Co-author, director and female lead of the movie, which opens June 18, she is a commanding presence on camera, an ultra-efficient, coolly distant feminist author, Agathe, who has returned to her hometown to run for office. It’s a role not unlike the ones she played in her previous directorial efforts, “The Taste of Others” and “Look at Me,” and many of her other on-screen efforts as well.”
“My parents were Jewish, but not very traditional,” she says. “When they left Tunisia, they settled for a little while on a kibbutz in Israel, but my father is such an individualist that he couldn’t stand it.” She laughs at the recollection. He sounds a bit like the kind of characters that her writing partner (and former life partner) Jean-Pierre Bacri plays in three films, a dreamer, intermittently competent but baffled by human interaction. In “Let It Rain” he is Michel, a freelance TV journalist who is working on a profile of Agathe; much of the film’s humor comes from his social and professional ineptitude.
But the real pivot on which the film turns is the earnest, bright Karim (Jamel Debbouze), a decent, caring person who desperately wants to escape his dead-end job as a hotel desk clerk. For him, making a success of the documentary will be a passport to Paris, perhaps to the sort of neighborhood in which Jaoui grew up. His previous experience has been quite limited; as he wryly observes when the two filmmakers arrive at Agathe’s impressive family home, “I usually come in the servants’ entrance.” But Agathe, like Jaoui herself, is something of a displaced person, uneasy in the provinces, estranged from her depressed sister Florence (Pascale Arbillot) and as oblivious to other’s needs as Michel is to their feelings. In short, these are all damaged people. “From my observation of human beings, that’s the way most of us are,” Jaoui says. “The victim needs to repeat the trauma. It’s hard not to repeat. Most of the people I meet are not conscious of themselves. And the strength of prejudice is underrated; it’s an unconscious legacy for many. Most of the people in bourgeois France are damaged.” Click to NY Jewish Week to read more

Coco

TITLE: Coco
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Gad Elmaleh
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT: Thirty-eight-year-old French-Moroccan Jewish comedian Gad Elmaleh is well on his way to global stardom. His latest film, “Coco,” which opened in Paris was a huge box office hit, and Elmaleh earns kudos not only as an actor, but as writer and director, too. He stars as the title character, a nouveau riche North African Jewish immigrant who goes overboard planning his son’s lavish bar mitzvah and winds up with a heart condition (his cardiologist is played gleefully by Gérard Depardieu). At the reception, the clueless whirlwind Coco gauchely orders “scotch on the rocks without any ice.” The character’s frenzied determination to make the family bar mitzvah into a “national event of the year” eventually repels his entire mishpocha, until Coco finally experiences what Elmaleh calls a “moment of truth about his role as a father.”


Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You Mommy)

TITLE: Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You Mommy)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Stephanie Wang-Breal / Judith Helfand, Jean Tsien
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English with some Cantonese and Mandarin subtitled in English
TIME: 76
SOURCE: Facebook Page or webpage is Woannimommy.com
TEXT: Features Donna Sadowsky, Jeff Sadowsky, Faith Sadowsky, Darah Sadowsky, Jared Sadowsky, Jason Sadowsky, Amanda Baden. Prize winner at the SF Asian American Film Fest 2010. Grand Prize at Silverdocs 2010. Ny Asn American Film Fest, July 2010. Boston Jewish Film Fest, November 2010. A fabulous documentary film to show and pair it with other Jewish adoption documentaries or the Israeli fiction film, Noodle. Also, great to apir with a speaker on trans-racial Jewish adoptions or Jewish families in your town that have adopted Chinese infants or Chinese older children. From 2000-2008, China was the leading country for U.S. international adoptions. There are now approximately 70,000 Chinese children being raised in the United States, mostly girls. Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You Mommy) explores what happens when an older Chinese girl is adopted into an American family. (When infants are adopted, they have no language skills yet, no history. An older child is a much more complicated adoption) This film reveals the complicated gains and losses that are an inherent aspect of international, transracial adoption. In 2007 Donna and Jeff Sadowsky of Long Island, New York submitted their dossier to adopt eight-year old Fang Sui Yong from Guangzhou, China. They will call her Faith. Donna and Jeff have two sons, as well as a Chinese girl, 3, who they adopted when she was 14 months old. From the very first moment Sui Yong meets her new mother, Donna, at the orphanage, we get a real sense of the emotional confusion and loss Sui Yong experiences, as adoption workers translate their first words of communication. (Please note, the orphanage leaders and Fang Sui Yong speaks Cantonese and just a little Mandarin. Donna speaks English. The filmmaker speaks Mandarin. Therefore, although in the film you see Sui Yong's comments translated into English, and the adoption administrators words as well, neither Donna nor the filmmaker knew what they were saying at that moment)
This day will change Sui Yong’s life, forever (the surname of Fang was conferred on Sui Yong by the orphanage since she was found in the Fang neighborhood). Language, habits, food, everything she knows will never be the same. Her new life in America is filled with happiness and confusion. As she struggles to survive in this new world, we witness her transform into a lively, outspoken American girl. Sui Yong has become someone neither she nor Donna could have imagined. In a sense, she’s the same girl Donna met in Guangzhou all those months ago – and yet she’s utterly different. Along the way, your heart will be torn as she leaves China for America, and must learn to live in an English speaking house. After 14 months, she is speaking English and sort of forgets how to even say “Nee How Ma.” She also attends her older brother Bar Mitzvah. It is a rare, intimate glimpse at the joys and pains of parenthood and adoption. While Donna might think the film, which covers over two years yet is boiled down to 77 minutes, might make her look like a bitch, the audience knows better; namely, that to succeed in acclimating her new stubborn headstrong frustrated tempermental daughter to America and the family, that a mother at times has to be stern and pushy.
Best line for Jewish audiences... When “Faith” tells, via Skype, her Chinese foster family that she is Jewish and celebrates “Hanukkah” and not Christmas, and the effect of this on presents. Best Line Number 2: When Sui Yong Faith asks to wear makeup at the bar mitzvah, and her mother does not allow a 9 year old to wear makeup.
More information: Stephanie Wang-Breal has been producing stories for television since 1999. She has worked with various media outlets including CNN, MTV, the Biography Channel and UNICEF. In 2006, Stephanie produced and directed her first short, independent film, From Infirmity to Firmness, about the beneficial aspects of yoga for individuals living with HIV. This film screened at the San Francisco Short film festival in 2007 and it helped the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York receive a grant from the Walt Disney Foundation for their free HIV positive yoga class. Stephanie grew up Chinese American in Ohio. Her parents were from China. As an adult, she met several young Chinese girls that looked Asian, but had no or limited knowledge of Chinese language or culture. She wanted to make a film about the adoption process on the child and the family for an older child, one who could tell the camera what she felt (not an infant). After meeting 100 families, she knew the Sadowsky's were the perfect fit for this project.

Kol Erev / Paris Return

TITLE: Kol Erev / Paris Return
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yossi Aviram / Noemie Schory, Itay Kentor
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, French, Italian dialogue with English ST
TIME: 71 minutes
SOURCE: Belfilms, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. A Belfilms production with the support of Makor Foundation for Israeli Films, ZDF/Arte, EBT Greek Radio Television, YES. With: Reoven Vardi, Pierluigi Rotili. Gentle, wryly humorous observational docu "Paris Return," from Israeli helmer Yossi Aviram, depicts the tender relationship of an aging gay couple as ill health starts to slow the elder partner (the director's uncle) and make him think of returning to his native land. More poignant than profound, the film will appeal to Jewish and gay-interest festival before segueing to broadcast. Variety Magazine says, “Now retired, 75-year-old architect Reoven Vardi left Israel more than 50 years earlier, settling in Paris with his domestic partner of three-plus decades, sixtysomething Italian-born designer Pierluigi Rotili, in a gorgeous art-and-antique-filled apartment overlooking the Louvre. Grumpy Vardi has reached the stage where getting to bed early is one of the things he looks forward to most, and wants to be rid of once-loved possessions. Meanwhile, cheerful Rotili patiently waits on him at home and waits for him at museums, shops and doctors' offices. While Aviram tries to explore what might happen if Vardi were to return permanently to Israel, it's clear the attractions of Paris are too strong. As projected in HD at screening caught, low-grade tech package looked no better than that of a typical homemovie.” Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival, June 2010, Running time: 71 MIN.

Belle Epine

TITLE: Belle Epine
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Rebecca Zlotowski / Frederic Jouve, Frederic Niedermayer
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 80
SOURCE: Pyramide Intnl, Paris
TEXT: With: Lea Seydoux, Anais Demoustier, Agathe Schlenker, Johan Libereau, Anna Sigalevitch, Guillaume Gouix, Marie Matherson, Nicholas Maury, Marina Tome, Carlo Brandt, Michael Abiteboul. The death of a Parisian girl's mother drives the numbed teen to explore her dark side. Variety review, “Unfolding with the disjointed logic of a bad dream, the pic never catches emotional fire -- though not for lack of trying by fast-rising young star Lea Seydoux, who shows her range in a defiantly unglamorous performance. Likely to find more critical than popular support, item will reach more viewers in ancillary. First shown as she's strip-searched for shoplifting, schoolgirl Prudence Friedmann (Seydoux) seeks out fellow offender Maryline (Agathe Schlenker), who introduces her to the illegal motorbike race circuit at Rungis. Apart from the fact that Prudence is lonely (her father's out of the country and her older sister has ankled her custodial responsibilities), it's not completely clear why she is attracted to these leather-wearing lower class youths who gun their engines and talk endlessly of bike parts and oil spills, except that they, too, go a little too far. The Rungis scene registers in stark contrast to Prudence's Jewish bourgeois background, embodied by her friend Sonia (Anais Demoustier) and the rest of the Cohen family. But in a trance-like abandonment of who she is and where she comes from, Prudence allows her new acquaintances to wreck the Friedmann apartment and even sleeps with Franck (Johan Libereau), a rough lad who guts fish for a living, until another tragedy finally wakes her to her loss and her emotions. An uneasy mix of subject matter that avoids introspection, the screenplay by Zlotowski and Gaelle Mace has the prickly feeling of unprocessed material brought out in therapy. This sensation of a past nightmare recalled is furthered by the production design's lack of specific historic or geographic references, as well as pic's many nighttime scenes. On the plus side, however, Seydoux (appearing in three Cannes official selection titles) shows the goods that make her among France's most sought-after young actresses, and strong craft credits exert an almost hypnotic spell.” Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival May 2010. Running time: 80 MIN.

The Names of Love/ Le Noms des Gens

TITLE: The Names of Love
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Michel Leclerc / Antoine Rein, Fabrice Goldstein, Caroline Adrian
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 84
SOURCE: TFM Distribution, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
TEXT: With: Jacques Gamblin, Sara Forestier, Zinedine Soualem, Carole Franck, Jacques Boudet, Michele Moretti, Zakariya Gouram, Julia Vaidis-Bogard, Lionel Jospin. Variety writes, “A racy and racial French comedy, Michel Leclerc's "The Names of Love" can be called many names, but "conventional" definitely isn't one of them. That said, this wacky tale about a Jewish scientist who falls for a flamboyant and sexy Algerian (an ecstatic Sara Forestier) half his age is too giddy about its own nonconformism to keep the laughs going from start to finish. But as a sort of contempo satire, one that will appeal to Francophone auds or those obsessed with domestic Gallic issues, this Cannes Critics' Week opener should raise eyebrows without really raising the roof. If talking about politics is France's national pastime, then arguing about them may be its No. 1 combat sport. For outspoken twentysomething Bahia Benmahmoud (Forestier) -- the daughter of an Algerian refugee (Zinedine Soualem) and a bourgeois rebel girl (Carole Franck) -- the fight has been taken to a whole different battleground: A self-proclaimed "political whore," Bahia plans to sleep with as many right-wingers as possible and convert them (by whispering liberal mantras during coitus). When the film kicks off, Bahia has stormed a radio talkshow to interrupt the ramblings of tight-lipped avian flu expert Arthur Martin (Jacques Gamblin), a sheltered fortysomething whose maternal Greek-Jewish grandparents were killed in Auschwitz. Bahia jumps at the occasion to take Arthur to bed, this despite the fact that he's a fervent supporter of the Socialist Party, and especially of fallen 2002 candidate Lionel Jospin (who, in one of the pic's more trying moments, makes a bizarre cameo). Though the romance seems improbable, first-timer Leclerc and co-scribe Baya Kasmi's scenario explains that two characters whose families were afflicted by some of the worst disasters in recent French history (the Vichy regime for the Martins, the Algerian War for the Benmahmouds) are destined to form a perfect couple. And while Bahia's desire to pursue her political goals tends to complicate (though only slightly) the new relationship, the real dilemma -- as in any classic romantic comedy -- is about how to get along with your in-laws. To make things watchable, Leclerc employs a host of methods that includes flashbacks in black-and-white, soliloquies in which the characters address the camera, and visual gags that poke fun at the Martins' backwards lifestyle. But just as his script overdoes itself in trying to cover such hot-button topics as head scarves and anti-Semitism, the bombardment of narrative techniques makes it feel as if the helmer is trying too hard to be outlandish, while never being consistently funny.
If there's one effect that's used to its fullest, it's clearly Forestier. Or, more precisely, her body, since the young actress seems to play at least a quarter of her scenes topless and several others with nothing on but a pair of reading glasses. Luckily, she also revives the type of feisty street girl that marked her breakthrough performance in Abdellatif Kechiche's "Games of Love and Chance," and her machine-gun dialogue delivery provides a marked contrast to Gamblin's ("Bellamy") monotone academic muttering.
Secondary roles tend to feel more like caricatures, with the exception of Soualem's excessively generous Mohamed, who serves as a smart reminder that not all Arabs are religious, nor are they in France only to bilk the system.



Vidal Sassoon the Movie

TITLE: Vidal Sassoon the Movie
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Craig Teper / Michael Gordon, Jackie Bauer. And (EP) Jim Czarnecki.
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 94
SOURCE: Shown at Tribeca Fest
TEXT: Documentary. With: Vidal Sassoon, Michael Gordon, Mary Quant, John Frieda, Peggy Moffit, Ronnie Sassoon, Beverly Sassoon. For a film about a master of minimalism, "Vidal Sassoon the Movie" trades in excess. There's overdone praise, overdone dips into black-and-white lensing, overdone artsy geometric graphics and too much focus on producer Michael Gordon's coffee-table book on his hairstylist idol. The tome's layout and assemblage lend Craig Teper's docu a nominal structure (and Gordon with pre-publication publicity), as multiple archival artifacts amply illustrate this account of the maestro's career. But Teper buries his material in gimcrack mod trappings that trivialize rather than celebrate Sassoon's accomplishments. Pic waxes strongest when Sassoon talks about his childhood as a poor Jewish kid in London's East End, the camera following him through key locations of his youth: the orphanage where he was sent after his father split; the synagogue where he sang in the choir; the streets where he fought against Oswald Mosley and his followers in their postwar fascist rallies. Sassoon's career resulted not from personal obsession (his passion was architecture) but from his mother's prophetic dream, which inspired her to apprentice him to a hairdresser. Next, in time-honored biodoc tradition, his perfectionism made his early working years a study in frustration as he searched for his signature style. Once he found it, as numerous interviewees explain, it revolutionized hairdressing, fashion and the look of the '60s, as well as the way women viewed themselves. A lovely verbal pas de deux pairs Sassoon and seminal designer Mary Quant (one of the first to sport a Sassoon five-point cut) enthusiastically recollecting the swinging '60s. But such spontaneity is rare. More typically, parades of Sassoon employees and colleagues, each artificially posed against a dead white wall (presumably in homage to the famous black-and-white photos of his distinctive cuts), heap generalized plaudits upon their deity. Never can they be seen at work (or even at ease), and never are they allowed to illustrate what they are talking about with, say, a practice wig and a pair of scissors. Pic sinks lowest when it attempts to correlate Sassoon's creations with the ongoing reinvention of form that surrounded him. Instead of actually tracing similarities between Sassoon's geometric tendencies and his contemporaneous architecture, Teper throws in an indifferent shot of the Guggenheim that suggests the dreaded beehive more than it suggests any sassy Sassoon cut. Sassoon's global success and attendant celebrity spawned a treasure trove of imagery; his unforgettable "If you don't look good, we don't look good" ads, the daily TV show he co-hosted with his wife, and his guest appearances demonstrating exercise routines are all excerpted here. But Teper lacks the necessary distance from his subject to give his material shape and coherence. The helmer's own attempts to visually trumpet Sassoon's greatness with special effects, far from arising organically from his subject's accomplishments, unfold in a void as Sassoon strides, heroically undistorted, through a sea of computer-fudged faces.


I Miss You / Te Extrano

TITLE: I Miss You / Te Extrano
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Fabian Hofman / abian Hofman, Cristian Pauls, Eduardo Yedlin. EP Juan Carlos Restrepo
COUNTRY: Mexico Argentina
LANGUAGE: Spanish with English ST
TIME: 95
SOURCE: LatinoFusion, Guadalajara Mexico
TEXT: With: Fermin Volcoff, Martin Slipak, Luis Ziembrowski, Susana Pampin, Alvaro Guerrero, Carmen Beato, Isela Vega, Sofia Espinosa, Amelia Zapata, Santiago Pedrero, Mariano Bertolini, Ana Ofelia Murguia. Variety writes, “An Argentinian teen needs help coping with his charismatic brother's disappearance following the country's 1976 military coup in Fabian Hofman's atmospheric but sketchy sophomore drama, "I Miss You." There remain thousands of moving stories about the junta's appalling record and its effect on the average citizen, and while the helmer subtly reps family dynamics, he never quite rises to the challenge of depicting a developing young man's struggle to assert his personality in such turbulent times. The script's lack of incisiveness is likely to relegate the pic to fests and showcases south of the U.S. border.
High schooler Javier (Fermin Volcoff) looks up to older brother Adrian (Martin Slipak), who leads a small band of young political dissidents while also serving in the army. Everyone always asks about Adrian, and even their grandma (Ana Ofelia Murguia), in the early stages of Alzheimer's, confuses Javier with her favorite grandson.
Following the military takeover, dad Renan (Luis Ziembrowski) and mom Natalia (Susana Pampin) brace themselves for difficult times, hoping that a low profile will get the family through the coming difficulties. While it's casually inserted, the family's Jewish heritage means there's an undercurrent in which memories of the Holocaust, just over 30 years earlier, form an unspoken but ever-present reminder of past catastrophes.
When Adrian disappears, Javier is sent away to relatives in Mexico (the scene in which the usually tightly wound Renan says goodbye is one of the most effective). Apparently (and inexplicably), Javier isn't enrolled in school, so he whiles away his days doing nothing and feeling even more like an observer than he did in Buenos Aires, where his brother took the spotlight. A chance meeting with Adrian's cohorts Oscar (Santiago Pedrero) and Marti (Mariano Bertolini) brings a comforting familiarity while also reminding him that his brother's popularity and value to the cause diminish his own feelings of self-worth.
Unfortunately, build-up and tension are relatively lacking, and the addition of a couple of scenes in which Javier discovers sex fail to develop a sense of the multifarious pressures of the midteen years. Javier's situation is eminently worthy of empathy, and it's painful to watch when his grandmother excitedly embraces him thinking he's Adrian, but too many sequences lack drive or import, and the passage of time, especially in Mexico, is poorly signaled.
Thesping is uniformly strong and visuals are the pic's most notable element, with Alberto Anaya's initially nervous handheld lensing moving to calmer, more contemplative shots. The slightly muddled textures resulting from the Super 16 blow-up to 35mm add to the sense of period, properly evoked both via art design and darkened tonalities.
Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival

Phyllis and Harold

TITLE: Phyllis and Harold
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Cindy Kleine / Andre Gregory and Cindy Kleine
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 84
SOURCE: Rainbow Releasing.
TEXT: Documentary. VARIETY WRITES: With: Phyllis Kleine, Harold Kleine, Erica Kleine, Annie McCarter, Cindy Kleine. Cultural anthropology in one's own backyard yields skeletons aplenty in "Phyllis and Harold," Cindy Kleine's exhumation of her parents' 59-year marriage. Evocatively fleshed out with surprisingly iconic homemovies, passionate love letters and well-chosen pop tunes, Kleine's homegrown Jewish "Madame Bovary" escapes the navel-gazing boundaries of the personal-diary docu by the sheer force of its evocation of bygone sensuality. As Andrew Jarecki's "Capturing the Friedmans" amply demonstrated, dredged-up forbidden secrets in a suburban context reps definite box office appeal. Docu reprises the dueling his-and-hers interviews of Kleine's 1998 short about her parents, "Til Death Do Us Part," and recasts them in light of a hitherto unrevealed adulterous affair. "All my life I've tried to figure out who these people are and what they're doing together," Kleine confides directly to the camera, in tight closeup that deliberately underlines her intrusion into the film. At other times, animated cutouts of herself at various ages bop around inside the frame, a distancing device that both acknowledges and denaturalizes the filmmaker's own stake in the proceedings. Mostly, though, Kleine allows her parents to speak for themselves, juxtaposing father Harold's reminiscences of his "golden years" of wedded bliss and rise to success as a Long Island dentist with mother Phyllis' fecund tale of frustrated desires and mismatched dreams. The absurdist "Rashomon"-style disparity between the differing accounts is further layered by the distance between past and present. Sitting her septuagenarian parents side by side, the camera panning to frame first one and then the other, Kleine makes them read aloud, to their own increasing incredulity, the outpourings of ardent yearning expressed in gushy love letters they wrote to each other half a century earlier. Ultimately, however, the film belongs to Phyllis as the holder of the secret that rewrites family history. Her highly romanticized liaison with a married man, beginning before her marriage and lingering in her imagination long after their daily assignations ended, became her brief glimpse into the existence she was born for. This and other revelations might be consigned to the sensational or merely sociological were it not for Phyllis' exceptional physicality and the narcissistic, restless sexuality that peeks out from the hundreds of color photographs and homemovie images strewn throughout the docu. Pensively reclining amid long grasses like Rousseau's lion, dolled up in opulent outfits she designed herself, or posed against exotic backdrops from her travels with Harold, her thirst for something more fulfilling than Long Island suburbia seems equaled only by the poverty of the options she envisions.

Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades - Les commandos de la mort

TITLE: Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Michael Prazan / Michel Rotman
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French, English, German, Russian, Latvian, Ukranian, Lithuanian, Hebrew dialogue with English Subtitles
TIME: 180
SOURCE: Carrimages, Paris
TEXT: VARIETY WRITES: The harrowing two-part, three-hour docu "Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades" exhaustively chronicles the lethal work of an SS band charged with exterminating Jews in Russia and the Baltic states before the establishment of the death camps. The Einsatzgruppen (literally, "intervention groups") were responsible for the deaths of a million and a half people, piled up and shot by the hundreds in mass graves. The campaign was so horrifyingly successful that, by 1941's end, the entire region was declared "Jew-free."?Difficult, essential viewing, the docu abounds in hitherto unseen images of the killings and offers numerous present-day interviews with survivors, eyewitnesses, and even executioners. The docu's first section, titled "The Mass Graves," covers the period from June to December, 1941. The mobile death squads, divided into four sections that spread over Eastern Europe -- each under highly cultured, educated leadership -- coordinated and oversaw the carnage, leaving most of the actual slaughter to the locals or to Soviet POWs, themselves also targeted for execution. The mission escalated gradually. At first the Einsatzgruppen incited neighborhood pogroms, watching and filming as everyday Ukrainian and Latvian citizens beat Jews to death. This footage, long inaccessible behind the Iron Curtain, is here unspooled in all its banal savagery. With native volunteers well established, the Germans were able to delegate mass shootings, first of men and later of women and children, while the SS troops themselves patrolled perimeters and shot the occasional survivor. This account of wholesale murder, broken down in component parts and still imprinted on the memories of witnesses, appears all the more horrific for having been being repeated in town after town. While the first part of Michael Prazan's docu fills little-known gaps in the history of Holocaust atrocities, the second part, "Funeral Pyres,"?deals with the bizarre aftermath of that first stage. In 1943, the remains of thousands of executed Polish officers were unearthed in the Katyn Forest (recently dramatized in Andrzej Wajda's "Katyn"), the Germans blaming the Russians for the murders and vice versa. In fact, it was Stalin who ordered the killings, but high-ranking Nazis, spooked by the loud public outcry that followed the discovery, apparently rethought their disregard of historical accountability. The Einsatzgruppen were then dispatched anew, this time to erase all traces of the earlier acts. They ordered crews of prisoners to revisit every mass grave site, exhume the bodies (removing anything of value, however grisly), burn the cadavers and grind the bones. The crews, in turn, suffered the same fate. The docu theorizes that the almost inconceivable brutality of the Einsatzgruppen experience led directly to one aspect of the death camps: Many Einsatzgruppen officers suffered traumatic reactions that made them unfit for duty; the mechanical efficiency of gas chambers and crematoria thus salvaged "fragile" SS sensibilities.

Within The Whirlwind

TITLE: Within The Whirlwind
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Marleen Gorris / Christine Ruppert
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 97
SOURCE:
TEXT: A Tatfilm production in co-production with Yeti Films, Sagafilm, Lorival, with the collaboration of ARD Degeto, Polish TV, WDR/Arte, in association with Motion Investment Group, supported by Filmstitung NRW, Polish Film Institute, Eurimages, Media Programme of the European Community, Deutschen Filmforderfonds. (International sales: Telepool/Cinepool, Munich.) Produced by Christine Ruppert. Executive producers, Priscilla Cohen, Nancy Larson, Vincent Macheras. Co-producers, Piotr Mularuk, Hubert Toint. Directed by Marleen Gorris. Screenplay, Nancy Larson, based on the memoir by Evgenia Ginzburg. VARIETY WRITES: Like "Antonia's Line" and "Mrs. Dalloway," Dutch helmer Marleen Gorris' latest cinematic paean to female fortitude places a strong woman at the flashpoint of historical change. Based on Evgenia Ginzburg's memoirs, "Within the Whirlwind" chronicles the high-ranking professor's fall from grace during the Stalinist purges and her subsequent 10-year incarceration in Soviet gulags. If Gorris never quite liberates her narrative from its biopic-driven adherence to a single, heroic p.o.v., Emily Watson's stunning, all-consuming perf sweeps all before it in a virtuoso interpretation of courage under fire. A Jewish fest fave, this English-language pic's distinctly nonsectarian slant spells crossover potential. Watson's Ginzburg, a leading intellectual and true believer in the brave new communist world, only slowly comprehends the profound changes wrought by Stalin's ascension to power. Invigorated by classes where her lively wit and intense engagement win the loyalty of students, and privately reveling with her fellow-traveler hubby (Benjamin Sadler) and two young sons, she naively assumes that the party bosses know what they're doing. Gorris skillfully builds tension between Ginzburg's self-confident belief in logic and justice and the growing cravenness and urge for self-preservation among those around her. Her refusal to kowtow to bullies and philistines (rising in the ranks under Stalin's paranoid regime) stems as much from pride as from conviction, as evidenced by her glee at getting her teaching prohibition temporarily lifted. Indeed her inability (or unwillingness) to entirely suppress a triumphant little smile when crossing the path of a KGB-type nemesis (a wonderfully hateful Ian Hart) leads to more severe charges being filed. Soon she is shivering in a prison cell, keeping sane by reciting verse (Gorris and co-scripter Nancy Larson thread poetry as an alternate discourse throughout). When, after months of privation, she still refuses to sign a confession, Ginzburg is tried in a kangaroo court, Watson's eyes straying in shocked disbelief from the legal proceedings to a nearby clock as her guilt is decided in six minutes flat.
The pic is at its most strikingly idiosyncratic when exploring this surreal gap between the heroine's intellectual individualism and the Kafkaesque rationale of the state. Once Ginzburg is sent to the gulags, however, "Whirlwind" shifts into a less dialectic mode as victimization takes a more physical form.
Beaten by guards and harassed by criminal inmates, Ginzburg rallies the political detainees around her in tableaux of feminist solidarity. The pic tips toward melodrama when Ginzburg, learning of her family's fate, sinks into suicidal depression, the women closing ranks to protect her until the possibility of romance with a compassionate German doctor (the excellent Ulrich Tukur) gives her the will to survive.
Gorris' gulag interludes never lapse into mere cliche, the helmer even managing to spice up the love story with over-the-top touches. But the prison setting gives Gorris' historical sense and savvy political irony (doubtless what attracted her to Ginzburg's story in the first place) little to work with. Watson retains flashes of her character's sarcastic flair but, lacking a foil to give it full sway, soon finds herself absorbed in the timelessness of heroism.
New York Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 2010. Running time: 97

The Queen

TITLE: The Queen
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Christina Choe
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English with a little subtitled Korean
TIME: 8 minutes
SOURCE: notoriousfilms at yahoo dot com
TEXT: Short. Jewish? Well one of the characters is Jewish. The film opens at a small dry cleaning store. A mother is speaking to her son in Korean. She is prodding him to apply to Columbia or an Ivy league college, like the children of her friends. The son would rather just stay silent and draw a cartoon of a super hero. The son is shy, quiet, and shuffles through life. The high school prom queen thinks he is a perfect match for the type of shy kid who comes to school of shoots everyone. Mom leaves and tells her son to lock up and hurry home. He needs to join some extracurricular activities to help his college applications. Then there is a knock at the door. The dry cleaning store is closed and a prom queen needs her dress hemmed ASAP. Our star will not unlock the door until the blonde's cute Jewish boyfriend appears at the door with his tux, which also needs to be hemmed. The door is unlocked. They are his classmates, although they don't even realize it, since they rarely ever noticed him. Cue the hilarious dream sequence... an audience favorite. Cast: Kay Choe, Tamir Kapelian, Erika Helen Smith, Sean Tarjoto

AND ON THE THIRD DAY / UBA’YOM HA’SHLISHI

TITLE: AND ON THE THIRD DAY / UBA’YOM HA’SHLISHI
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Moshe Ivgi / Chilik Michaeli, Avraham Pirchi, Tami Leon
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 118
SOURCE: UCM Films, Tel Aviv
TEXT: W.: Hila Feldman, Sharon Alexander, Efrat Ben Zur, Alit Kreis, Gal Salomon, Icho Avital. Written by Moshe Igvi. And on the Third Day portrays a future Israel as a country far beyond identity crises, where violence is rampant, social and political anarchy rules, and where perverse sexual satisfactions are the common norm. The chaos represented in this film shows a reality ruled by verbal, spiritual, and physical violence as well as political and institutional corruption, sexual harassment, and rape. Within the chaos of this pathological urban reality, five different characters pave their scattered life, searching for meaning, fighting the violence and injustices they encounter, and desperately yearning for intimacy even if only for a fraction of a moment.

Adante

TITLE: Adante
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Assaf Tager / Lihu Roter
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 104
SOURCE: Tinstar Creative Pool LTD., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Sarah Adler, Didi Fire, Liron Levo, Nicole Veronica. The men and women of Andante’s society have lost the physiological ability to dream in their sleep, and consequently, the means of achieving deep and meaningful sleep in itself. In the belly of a factory of sorts, an old man is fast asleep in his bed – he is the last person who can still dream. The factory has the technological means to extract signals produced by the old man’s brain and project his dreams onto a screen used for public screenings as a synthetic substitute for the lost ability to dream. The plot takes place during a single night when the old man is expected to pass away, and follows Sarah – a young woman who has begun dreaming again. As a replacement for the dying old “Mr. Coma” is desperately sought, Sarah undergoes various technological and symbolic induction procedures, as she takes on the role of eternal sleep.

Gei-Oni

TITLE: Gei-Oni
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Dan Wolman / Gal Greenspan
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Romanian, Turkish, Yiddish with English and Hebrew ST
TIME: 105
SOURCE: Dan Wolman Productions, LTD., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Based on the novel by: Shulamit Lapid. With: Tamat Alkan, Zion Ashkenazi, Levana Finkelstein, Yaacov Bodo, Ezra Dagan, Eric Yischkov, Rottem Zisman. Special Guest Star: Yavuz Hekim The story of “Gey Oni” is an historical epic which interweaves the story of the first wave of Jewish European migration to Palestine, at the end of the 19th century, with an unusual love story between Fania, a young Russian immigrant, and Yechiel, a native Jew. Seventeen-year-old Fania, her baby daughter, elderly uncle, and her emotionally impered brother arrive at the port of Jaffa, having survived a pogrom, in which all other members of their family were killed. Having no real choice, Fania marries Yechiel, a widower whose wife died of malaria, leaving him to care for their two children himself. The two set out to a small settlement near Saffed, where Yechiel and a few other daring settlers are trying to cultivate the barren lands which they bought from local Arabs. Fania is burdened by a harrowing secret she is unable to share with anyone else. But, without sharing her secret with her husband Yechiel, their marriage cannot be consummated.

Infiltration / Hitganvut Yehidim

TITLE: Infiltration / Hitganvut Yehidim
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Dover Kosashvili / Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir, Michael Rozenbaum, Sophie Dulac, Michel Zana
COUNTRY: Israel / France
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 120
SOURCE: Transfax Productions, Tel Aviv and Sophie Dulac Productions, France
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Based on a novel by: Yehoshua Kenaz W.: Oz Zehavi, Gay Adler, Assaf Ben Shimon, Michael Aloni, Benny Edlar, Liel Denir. The early 1950s, a few years after the War of Independence and the establishment of the State of Israel. Immigration is at its peak, transit camps are scattered throughout the country, security is unstable. This is the story of one platoon at Training Base 4, a three-month boot camp for non-combatants. The platoon consists of soldiers from cooperative settlements, kibbutzim, towns, Ashkenazim, new immigrants from North Africa and Europe, holocaust survivors, secular and religious men. All the platoon members suffer from afflictions, are physically unfit, or mentally disabled. They find themselves on the extreme margins of society. The film deals with people at the bottom of the social ladder who dream of ascending to the top. Common precepts such as “melting pot,” “team spirit,” and “one for all and all for one,” remain unfulfilled. This is a battle for the individual’s survival, a war for status, identity, and independence. A battle to attain the loftiest dreams, a war waged by individuals against their destiny.

Intimate Grammar / HA’DIKDUK HA’PNIMI

TITLE: Intimate Grammar
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Nir Bergman / Assaf Amir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 110
SOURCE: Libretto Films & Norma Productions LTD., Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Based on a novel by: David Grossman. W.: Orly Zilbershatz, Yehuda Almagor, Roee Elsberg, Rivka Gur, Yael Sgerski, Evelyn Kaplun. The early 1960s. A dreary housing project located in the midst of a desolate expanse. For three years, eleven-year-old Aaron Kleinfeld has not grown a single inch. Perhaps, one of his glands is impaired, delaying his puberty. Perhaps, it is the result of his unwillingness to follow in his parents’ footsteps. They are a vulgar, loveless couple for whom sex is something dirty and disgusting. Aaron, on the verge of puberty, is afraid he might turn into the unemotional machine that they are. Perhaps, it is his artistic soul which refuses to obey the collective wake-up call to grow up. Or maybe, he is just a late bloomer, in need of a little more time. It will probably start any day now, if only the world would be patient. But nobody has the time to wait...

Revolution 101 / HA’MADRICH LA’MAHAPECHA

TITLE: Revolution 101
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Doron Tsabari / Ori Inbar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 85
SOURCE: Source: Ha’Krav Al Ha’Agra, Haifa
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Written by Yossi Madmoni, Ari Folman, Inbar, Doron Tsabari. Revolution 101, outlines the path to civil revolution. The film combines material that is both documentary and fictional and focuses upon a film director’s struggle to restore Israeli public broadcasting to its rightful owner—the public. The film accompanies Doron Tsabari and Ori Inbar, its protagonists, during their seven years of tenacious struggle against corruption, deterioration, and inflexibility, until a new law is legislated that will guarantee well-managed public broadcasting. Doron and Ori, together with their supporters, embark on a journey into the world of Israeli politics and discover how decisions are made in the public administration, the government, and the Knesset.

Sea Salt / Melech Yam

TITLE: Sea Salt
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Itai Lev
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 80
SOURCE: Itai Lev, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Liat Glik, Yael Reich, Yiftach Klein, Lior Miller, Hen Yanni, Omer Barnea, Zvulun Moshiashvili, Lev. Danni is an Israeli actress who just made a controversial film entitled The Death of Sunrise. Opening night was set to take place in a hotel by the Dead Sea. She invites her best friend, Tamara, over for the weekend. It’s Danni’s birthday as well. Lior is Danni’s boyfriend. He is a frustrated director doing commercials. He is not at all happy with Tamara’s visit. Tamara has been living in Berlin for the past two years. One day, she just packed her bags and disappeared. She didn’t keep in touch with Danni and Lior. At the time, Tamara was Lior’s girlfriend and while she was away Danni or Lior became a couple. Danni thinks she’s pregnant. She thinks it’s a good opportunity to meet and solve matters. Tamara accepts the invitation and changes everyone’s plans.

The Wanderer / Ha'Meshotet

TITLE: The Wanderer
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Avishai Sivan / Keren Michael, Shai Goldman, Redi Sivan, Avishai Sivan
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 96 minutes
SOURCE: The Mouth Agape Productions, Or Yehuda
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Omri Fuhrer, Ali Nassar, Ronit Peled, Shani Ben-Haim, Rinat Matatov, Tzahi Grad. Web Site: www.hameshotet.com Isaac, a young yeshiva student, is an only child to born-again Orthodox Jewish parents. Trapped in a dysfunctional family and a failing body, Isaac finds refuge in wandering. Tormented by his newfound infertility, Isaac looks for answers in his father’s dubious past. Wandering through the backstreets of the city, he seeks deliverance.

443

TITLE: 443
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Erez Miller / Osnat Trabelsi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 52
SOURCE: Trabelsi Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Documentary. Route 443 begins on the shore and ends in Jerusalem. It has always been a main axis, important in terms of geography, security, and spirituality. As far back as the days of the Old Testament, this land was the site of many battles. The film before us focuses on the small moments that make up life surrounding the highway. Quaint stories form one gentle, threadlike, elusive narrative.

77 Steps

TITLE: 77 Steps
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Ibtisam Mara’ana / Ibtisam Salh Mara’ana
COUNTRY: Israel / Palestine
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Arabic and English with English ST
TIME: 56
SOURCE: Ibtisam Films, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. This is the personal journey of the director who leaves her Arab-Muslim village and moves to Tel Aviv. While searching for an apartment, she encounters discrimination by most landlords because of her Arab origins. She finally finds an apartment, and meets her neighbor – Jonathan, a Jewish-Canadian man who immigrated to Israel. A love story ensues. Ibtisam joins a left-wing political party (Meretz) and runs for the Knesset. On New Year’s Eve 2009, Israel invades Gaza. Hundreds are killed. Ibtisam resigns from her party because of its support of the War. She struggles over her Palestinian identity, but does not relinquish her relationship with Jonathan. Yet something has gone sour. Jonathan’s family refuses to meet his girlfriend. Jonathan says: “They can’t forgo their image of their future daughter-in-law - Jewish, white and English-speaking.” Ibtisam is also unable to reveal her relationship to her mother. One day, Jonathan’s grandfather comes from Canada on a nostalgic trip to Kibbutz Ein-Dor, which he helped found in 1948. Ibtisam and Jonathan join him. It becomes an individual journey for each one of them – one that takes them back in time and into the unknown, to memories and dreams, Nakba and independence, love and hate, longing and loss.

Interrupted Streams / Zramim Ktu'im

TITLE: Interrupted Streams
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Guy Davidi, Alexandre Goetschmann / Alexandre Goetschmann, Guy Davidi
COUNTRY: Israel / Switzerland
LANGUAGE: Arabic and Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 73
SOURCE: Guy Davidi, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Web Site: sites.google.com/site/interruptedstreams10/ Different paths intercept in one village in the West Bank. Along the broken water pipelines, villagers walk toward an indefinite future. Israel controls the water, supplies only a small amount of water, and when the water stream is not guaranteed, nothing can evolve. The control over the water pressure not only dominates every aspect of life, but also, dominates the spirit. Bil’in (literally meaning “without water”), is one of the first villages in the West Bank to set up a modern water infrastructure. Many villagers have taken this as a sign of progress, others, as a source of bitterness. The newly-installed pipelines have has been used to influence the villagers to cooperate with Israel’s intelligence. As a result, the village has been divided into two opposing camps. Returning to the ancient technique of digging wells to collect rainwater could allow the village to express its independence, but the relations between villagers may not survive.


Jeremiah / Yermiyahu

TITLE: Jeremiah / Yermiyahu
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Eran Paz / Ilan Moskovitch
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Russian w/ Subtitles: Hebrew, English
TIME: 54
SOURCE: Yermiyahu Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. A piece of stretched cloth and a few planks of plywood are all that separate Yermiyahu’s home from the bustling streets in the Shapira neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv. The streets are filled with all kinds of people: immigrants, foreign workers, Sudanese refugees, Palestinian collaborators. Among them are quite a few junkies, prostitutes, and alcoholics; a different image than the one expected when hearing the words: “Tel Aviv.” Yermiyahu, his wife, and two children don’t live alone. In one of the rooms lives Velra, an alcoholic. In the storage room lives Gora, Yermiyahu’s cousin and a drug addict. Misha, a former boxer, needs a place to stay and is willing to sleep in the yard. Yermiyahu accepts him without thinking twice. In honor of his new “housemates,” Misha makes an effort to stop drinking. Yermiyahu and his family are about to leave the neighborhood; Misha makes no secret of wanting to join them in Be’er Sheva. He quits drinking, cleans, cooks, and does everything in his power to gain acceptance by Yermiyahu’s family. Yermiyahu, the neighborhood “sheriff,” collects his belongings and moves. The Shapira neighborhood seems the same, only it is missing one of its residents. As a result, several people must return to their lonely existence.

Local Story / Ma Nishma Kiryat Gat

TITLE: Local Story / Ma Nishma Kiryat Gat / What's Up Kiryat Gat
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Avishag Leibovic, Matan Peled / Assaf Amir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 53
SOURCE: Norma Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Local Story follows local newspaper Ma’Nishma Kiryat Gat over the course of one year. Tamar and her two children, Ovad and Adi, write, edit, and distribute the paper. Their daily routine includes long expeditions throughout the city, carrying a notepad and a camera, in search of the next big news item. Between a story about laid off factory employees and coverage of a local dance competition, the three must cope with significant financial debt from the past that threatens the paper’s future. They struggle with all their might to save the paper, because for them, Ma Nishma is not just a business, but also comprises the living space where the family meets, chats, fights, and laughs; thanks to the paper, they have one common goal: to publish a new issue of Ma Nisham Kiryat Gat every week.

Precious Life / HAIM YEKARIM

TITLE: Precious Life / HAIM YEKARIM
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Shlomi Eldar / Ehud Bleiberg, Yoav Ze’evi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, English, Arabic with Subtitles: Hebrew, English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Bleiberg Entertainment, Ramat Gan
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Music by Yehuda Poliker. After Raida Abu-Mustafa is told she may have to bury her newborn child next to her two daughters, who died from a genetic disease in Gaza, Dr. Raz Somech, a young pediatrician at Tel Hashomer Medical Center, joins the fight to save the baby’s life. Raida's other children have died, so she expected this one to die as well. He turns to the film director and Arab affairs correspondent, Shlomi Eldar, and asks him to broadcast a story about the “bubble boy” with no immune system, and the harsh dilemma he faces: he could save the child with a bone marrow transplant, but is unable to raise funds for a baby from the Gaza Strip while Qassam rockets are being fired into Israel. Eldar had no interest in this story as he walked into the hospital. He thought it would go nowhere. Little did he know hwo it would consume his life. Following a broadcast on the news, a bereaved Jewish father donates $55,000 and shakes the mother’s perception that “the enemy” is using her story as propaganda. The Jewish father donated the money he had saved for his own child who is now dead. Slowly, an extraordinary relationship is forged between mother, doctor, and film director, who vows to find a genetically suitable donor in the Gaza Strip. The complex reality and the echoes of war fracture the bubble and force the mother to choose between her child and her reputation in her community. This is a story of a possible friendship in an impossible reality.

Some extra background information. He went to see her at twilight on a Friday, finding his way through the labyrinth that is the parking lot of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. She was waiting for him upstairs - a woman in despair, holding an infant close to death in her arms. But Shlomi Eldar, the Gaza correspondent for Channel 10 News, did not hurry. He delayed his entry into the depressing neon-lit corridors. Already in the opening scene of his documentary, "Precious Life," he admits he did not want to come - that it all happened by chance, because of circumstances over which he had no control. In Sheba's pediatric hemato-oncology department was Mohammed Abu Mustafa, a four-and-a-half-month-old Palestinian infant. Protruding from his tiny body were pipes attached to big machines. His breathing was labored. "His days may be numbered. He is suffering from a genetic defect that is causing the failure of his immune system," said the baby's mother, Raida, from the Gaza Strip, when she emerged from the isolation room. "I had two daughters in Gaza," she continued, her black eyes shimmering. "Both died because of immune deficiency. In Gaza I was told all the time that there is no treatment for this and that he is doomed to die. The problem now is how to pay for the [bone marrow] transplant. There is no funding."
Now, two years later in his home in Nes Tziona, near Rehovot, Eldar recalls the moments that led him to make a searing, full-length documentary film, which premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival on July 10, 2010. "I came to the hospital to do a report on her for the news," he relates. "This was after Gaza was closed to me. I had entered and left Gaza for more than two decades - it always excited me with its turbulence and wildness. Then, one day they closed it, closed my place of work. That really shook me. I got up in the morning and had nowhere to go."
With the frankness that is his hallmark, Eldar does not hide the fact that when he received the report about the Palestinian infant in need of a financial donation to save his life, he felt no urge to rush to the scene. "Just a week earlier I did a report about a Palestinian woman who gave birth to twins in Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon just as a Grad missile struck the hospital," he relates. "I just didn't have the patience for it. But I felt a need to do another piece - to prove to the news department that I was still working. So I went to Sheba that day, even though I didn't really feel like it. When I went upstairs, I looked out toward the horizon, in the direction of Gaza, and I remember myself saying to Gaza, 'So long,' and wondering if I were now doomed to be a hospital reporter."
Without him knowing it, from that moment everything began to change. In short order Eldar was confronted with a saga involving a breathtaking race to save the life of an unfortunate infant. Author Yoram Kaniuk, who saw the film two weeks ago at a screening for the Israeli Film and Television Academy, says he was enthralled by it. "You don't feel that the film was made about something, rather that it evolves in front of your eyes," he says. "You can't guess what the next step will be. The events altered and created the reality that Shlomi describes with such power and beauty. And sadness. It was strange: I watched the film and felt it constituted a kind of lament for our situation - for this lovely baby that was going to die."
Kaniuk says he felt he was watching "a tragedy with hope," as he puts it. "Above all, there was something very human in the film. It's tragic, even grotesque, but that is our life. For example, the Israeli physician, Dr. Raz Somech, who treats the infant so empathetically and devotedly, is called up for reserve duty while the film is being shot and goes off to war in Gaza. Every moment, large or small, is fraught with meaning. Shlomi knows how to capture those moments. There was one moment, when a relative from Gaza comes to the hospital and calls the grass she is walking on 'plants.' She simply does not know what grass is."
Kaniuk does not spare the compliments: "I can tell you that it's one of the best documentaries I have seen. It's a very dramatic experience for the viewers. After it was over, people just sat there, not moving, in a state of shock. The movie got into their gut. Mine, too. And four minutes later they started to applaud."
Eldar is embarrassed by such praise. He would rather talk about the first days of shooting, when he still had no idea that he would spend the next eight months caught up in the story of a young mother fighting to save her dying son. On the contrary: He thought the baby would be buried alongside his sisters in the Khan Yunis cemetery...

Secret Kingdom / Mamlehet Ha'Sod

TITLE: Secret Kingdom / Mamlehet Ha'Sod
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Nir Toib
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 65
SOURCE: GN Communications, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010.
The incredible story of the Yatza Affair — an affair in which Brigadier General (Res.) Yitzhak Yaacov, a member of the Palmach and Deputy Commander of Gush Etzion during the War of Independence, Head of Warfare Development in the IDF and the State of Israel’s first Head Scientist, was charged with severe espionage against the State of Israel. Yatza, who lived for the last 30 years in New York, returned to Israel to celebrate his 75th birthday. Instead of a birthday celebration, and as an alternative to the Israel Prize, senior defense officials and high-tech executives organized a tribute event in his honor. The following day, at Ben Gurion Airport, he was clandestinely arrested and detained in a holding cell at the National Unit for International Investigations. At the end of the interrogation, he found himself behind bars for 18 months; during this time, his trial took place behind closed doors. For the first time in a feature film, the long arm of the “Secret Kingdom” of the Israeli defense system, which is unleashed on anyone it considers an enemy, is revealed. This is a journey into the most primeval fears of Israeli citizens.

Skate of Mind /

TITLE: Skate of Mind
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Karin Kainer / Erez Heiman, Shaul Betser, Lihi Segev
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 63
SOURCE: Karin Kainer, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. A short glance at the city. Modern, historic, gray, we look at her from above. But there is a large underground culture that is living on the sidelines, at the edge of the concrete, and looking at the city from below – Skateboarders. They have no religion, no country, no boundaries. These concrete kids refuse to commit and take responsibility (they don’t go to the army); they live together in spite of their backgrounds and have their own language and religion – Skateboard. One of these skaters is Mohammed Kahil, an Arab-Israeli skateboarding champion. This is his story. A modern Romeo and Juliet love story, between him and Alina Fine, an Israeli Jew, their struggle to love and live in times of war, and the disapproval of their parents.

The Acting Teacher / HA’MORE LE MISHAK

TITLE: The Acting Teacher / HA’MORE LE MISHAK
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Shlomo Hayun / Renen Schorr, Shlomo Hayun
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 68
SOURCE: Blues Productions & Hana Bi Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Documentary. Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. The Acting Teacher – A Cinematic Biography of Nissan Nativ. Nissan Nativ, winner of the Israel Prize for Theater, passed away in April 2008, at the age of 86, with no relatives, three weeks before receiving the Prize. In his will, he chose to bequeath one of the items from his art collection to 21 individuals who were dear to his heart, including graduates of the acting studio he established. Through these very heirs, the film follows Nativ’s contradictory personality as of one of the main figures of modern Israeli theatre, a cultural hero who sought to be an actor and a teacher, who was rejected by the establishment, and who paid a personal and physical price for the alternative vision of the world he envisioned.

Israeli Shorts from Jerusalem 2010


ISRAELI SHORTS 2010 at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010
http://www.jff.org.il/?CategoryID=746&ArticleID=883
See some on Youtube

STITCHES
Israel / 2010
Dana Keidar
Hebrew, Arabic
Subtitles: Hebrew, English
W.: Arub Hamed, Jonathan Porat, Lan Zrik
Nadin is engaged to be married. While her mother sews her wedding dress, Nadin embarks on a forbidden love affair with Shachar, her Jewish foreman.
The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Jerusalem
24 minutes


LAVAN
Israel / 2010
Guilhad Emilio Schenker
Hebrew
W.: Tomer Ben David, Razia Israeli, Sigal Rosh
Gioza is one of guards at the “White Torture” prison. When she falls into an obsessive love affair with Nick, the prisoner, she must choose between her love and obedience to the prison’s rules.
Tel Aviv University Department of Film & Television
28 minutes


PRIVATE ROOMS
Israel / 2010
Dan Kastoriano
Hebrew
W.: Michael Mushonov, Orly Narkiss, Sharon Friedman
Eddie and Caroline are living their intimate routine that sometimes leads one to confuse reality and illusion. With Nicola’s arrival, the delicate balance starts defusing. Lust, fantasy, and fidelity are now standing between the three.
27 minutes


KEEPER OF THE COVENANT
Israel / 2010
Yosef Nobel
Hebrew
W.: Yaniv Shavit, Avi Pnini, Eliana Shechter
Matan’s bar mitzvah is two days away. For the past few months, he has been disturbed by erotic dreams. Matters are made worse when Matan turns to a Web Site for advice.
Ma’aleh School of Television, Film & the Arts, Jerusalem
19 minutes



KORKI
Israel / 2010
Marsha Alamork
Hebrew
W.: Feneta Ashata, Habtam Deres, Zigereda
The friendship between twelve-year-old Mimi and Cadest reaches a critical point when Cadest breaks their mutual pledge to fix their hair in the same traditional braids.
The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Jerusalem
13 minutes



ROCK AND ROLL’EM
Israel / 2010
Nelli Guy
Hebrew
W.: Lior Darel, Assaf Orlev, Sheer Aviram
Lior and Assaf are two bums. They wake up one morning after a party, start smoking a bit in order to wake up, and prepare for their daily task - to seduce another woman.
Sapir College
18 minutes



Israeli Short Animation from Jerusalem 2010


Anat Pirchi Award for Israeli Animation Film
The Jerusalem Intnl Film Festival, July 2010

Animation
AUTOMATION
Israel / 2010
Nati Meir
Hebrew
Source: Sapir College
Every time Haim hears a rocket fire alarm, he is stricken by panic attacks and hallucinations. It is only after he hears the explosion, that he can resume his routine. One day, Haim doesn’t hear the sound of the explosion. He is trapped in a world of madness.
8 minutes


Animation
DOORS
Israel / 2010
Or First
Hebrew
Source: Minshar for Art
A character in a coma undergoes an outer body experience. He sees himself arriving into a world he never saw before his own inner world.
5 minutes


Animation
ELVES IN THE ATTIC AND BATS IN THE BELFRY
Israel / 2010
Dror Shifman, Roie Levi
Hebrew
Source: Sapir College
A strange dialogue between two people in a proctologist’s waiting room. Interpretation of an existing monologue based on a lecture by Terence McKenna, a cultural affairs critic and psychedelic guru.
2 minutes


Animation
HENRY LE COOKING
Israel / 2010
Arik Ben-Ari, Avichai Yeyni, Yaniv Ben-Dor, Rotem Aharon
Hebrew
Source: Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem
Martin, a frustrated cooking show director, may loose his job. Luckily, he discovers a way to help the rating. But then things start spinning out of control.
6 minutes


Animation
LEAVE A MARK
Israel / 2010
Maria Vigdof, Shani Hlavim
Hebrew
Source: Sapir College
A man who lost his daughter is in an inner maze. He hears her voice and tries desperately to reach her. When he thinks he has reached the light at the end of the tunnel, he discovers the maze is endless.
2 minutes


Animation
MIRACLE LADY
Israel / 2010
Michal Abulafia, Moran Somer
Hebrew
Source: Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem
Fortuna is an old lady who waits in her wedding gown for her late husband to return home. Her next-door neighbor, Marcela Merkada, the servant of the mean Rabbi Toledano, awaits death to come and take her away. When their fates connect, they are both miraculously freed.
10 minutes


Animation
STAIRS
Israel / 2010
Inbar Rotstein, Tom Madar, Emlly Noy
Hebrew
Subtitles: Hebrew
Source: Sapir College
A dead son in the womb and a mother trying to find her identity within the loss.
9 minutes


Animation
TIM
Israel / 2010
Matan Kohn
Hebrew
Young Tim Bloom is interested in everything unusual, but those close to him find it difficult to accept his strange habits. Will he choose to live according to society’s norms or will he be true to himself?
7 minutes


Animation
VOYAGE
Israel / 2010
Olga Komosko
Hebrew
Source: Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem
Experimental animation of a train voyage inside an apartment.
3 minutes


Animation
WAY OF THE LAND
Israel / 2010
Dotan Goldwaser
Hebrew
Source: Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem
Sleep child, sleep. So sings a mother to her child in the early days of the settlement in Israel. The song, a well-known lullaby by Natan Alterman, tells of three horsemen who ride out into the night; two get killed and one returns. He who lived does not remember your name, so sleep child, sleep.
3 minutes


Animation
WHITE TAPE
Israel / 2010
Michal Kranot, Uri Kranot
Hebrew
Subtitles: Hebrew
White Tape is based on 5 seconds of footage from the “shooting back” project, established by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem and giving Palestinians video cameras to document life under occupation.
2 minutes


Animation
WORDS GOLDSMITH
Israel / 2010
Noy Konforty
Hebrew
Source: Hasifa School
Music animation clip for musician Yohanan Kressel. A “word goldsmith” makes a necklace for his loved one. The necklace undergoes various humoristic hardships and is ruined by different characters, until it eventually reaches the guitar case of street musician, Yohanan Kressel himself.
5 minutes



2048

TITLE: 2048
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Limor Pinhasov & Yaron Kaftori / Uri Sabag “Z.L., Pinhasov, Emanuael Mayer
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 50
SOURCE: Cicero Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Gila Almagor, Dorit Bar Or, Shlomo Bar Shavit, Loutof Nousser, Oded Kotler, Ilan Rozenfeld. A drama constructed out of monologues as told by Israeli refugees in 2048.

Dissolution / Hitparkut

TITLE: Dissolution / Hitparkut
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Nina Menkes / Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir (Israel), Michael Huffington (Los Angeles)
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 85
SOURCE: Transfax, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Hitparkut (Dissolution) combines an almost surreal fairytale energy with brutal black and white realism to explore the violence which permeates contemporary Israeli society. Shot in Jaffa (the predominantly Arab area of Tel Aviv), in summer 2009, the movie follows the moral collapse and first glimmer of redemption, of a young, morose Israeli Jew, played brilliantly by non-actor Didi Fire.

In The Prime of Her Life / Bidmei Yameiha

TITLE: In The Prime of Her Life / Bidmei Yameiha
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Lena Chaplin, Slava Chaplin / Yehuda Bitton
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Russian and Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 58
SOURCE: Yehuda Biton Production Ltd., Mevasseret Tzion
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. Based on a story by: S.Y. Agnon. W.: Tzak Berkman, Sivan Levy, Moris Cohen, Yana Gur, Ruth Farhi. This modern adaptation of S.Y. Agnon’s story takes place in a small city at the edge of the desert. In this barren landscape, Tirza, a young woman who lives alone with her father, becomes entranced by Akaviah Mazal, a lecturer at the college where she is studying. As she gets lost in the secrets of their entwined past, enchantment turns to obsession and Tirza does everything in her power to get Mazal’s attention and win his heart. Despite the warnings and fears of those closest to her, Tirza pursues her dangerous quest for love. Will she succeed in righting the injustices of the past and break the tragic cycle of fate, or will she simply perpetuate it?

Hazman havarod

TITLE: Hazman Havarod
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yair Qedar / Assaf Amir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary on gay adoption in Israel. In 1985, there were three gays who were out of the closet in Israel. By 1998, there were 3,000. In this short, intensive and dramatic period, Israel came out of the closet in one of the quickest and most colorful revolutions of the end of the 20th century. There was no bloodshed in this revolution, but a rare cooperation between academics, prostitutes, transsexuals, singers, hairdressers and military officers. The director, Yair Qedar, documented this revolution in his gay Israeli newspaper, The Pink Times. Using rare archival materials, personal stories and touching scenes, and via his own personal diary, the film tells the untold story of the GLBT revolution in Israel in an energetic, bittersweet musical collage.
Features Michal Eden, Ellyot (who also did the music), Yossi Even-Kama(who was thrown out by his family for being a gay teen and taken in my two gay men as his foster family, who after 15 years were finally granted the legal right to adopt him. Now 30, Yossi became famous at the Shenkar School of Design for a art project he envisioned a religious theocracy called the State of Judea in a futuristic Israel), Uzi Even, Amit Kama (as in Even – kama), Eytan Fox (filmmaker, tv director), Gal Uchovsky, and Amalia Ziv

The Concert

TITLE: The Concert
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Radu Mihaileanu
COUNTRY: Romania / France / Belgium / Italy
LANGUAGE: English Subtitles
TIME: 90
SOURCE:
TEXT: Starring Alexei Guskov, Dmitry Nazarov, Melanie Laurent, Francois Berleand, Miou Miou, Valeri Barinov. A comic drama has the names of many European nations stamped on its underside. The French, the Belgians, the Italians and the Romanians all take credit for its production. Alexei Guskov stars as Andrei, a talented conductor who, after being blacklisted for assisting Jewish dissidents, now works as a cleaner in the Bolshoi in Moscow. One fateful day, he intercepts a fax from a French promoter offering the Bolshoi’s orchestra a concert at a prestigious Paris venue. A mad idea strikes Andrei. Enlisting the support of a former tormentor from the KGB, now fallen on hard times, he gathers together several equally destitute colleagues and informs them that they are to impersonate the Bolshoi. They will travel to France and – for a weekend at least – revel in the good life they have hitherto been denied. A subplot involving the orchestra’s star soloist (played by Inglourious Basterds’ Melanie Laurent) stomps its way into the spotlight

Finding Bliss

TITLE: Finding Bliss
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Julie Davis
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 95
SOURCE: FindingBlissTheMovie.com
TEXT: Dartmouth grad Jody Balaban (Leelee Sobieski) has just finished her masters in filmmaking at NYU and is headed west to launch her Hollywood career. The only directing job she manages to land in L.A. is directing traffic, so, against her better judgment, she decides to accept a position in the porn industry as a director, on such films as Charlie's Anals (not Angels). She wants to use the porn studios after hours to make her own legitimate film also. But then she falls for the boss, Jeff, and she gets less uptight about sex. What will become of Jeff and Jody? Will they squander their NYU degrees? Will they find bliss? Is porn better than med school?

Life During Wartime

TITLE: Life During Wartime
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Todd Solondz
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 98
SOURCE:
TEXT: From the director of Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, another film. In is ten years later, the characters are the same but the actors are different. Timmy prepares for his Bar Mitzvah (Dylan Riley Snyder). He assumed his father has been dead for quite some time. But a classmate informs him that his father isn't dead. His father is merely in prison. He was convicted of pedophilia. Allison Janney plays Timmy's mother, Trish. She doesn't know that her husband has been released from jail and that he is trying to get in touch with their older son, Bill, who is in college. Trish moved the family to Florida, and hoped that she had escaped the crap that occurred In New Jersey. Plus she is dating Harvey, a nice mensch, active in shul and pro Israel. The sisters are oblivious to the war. The kids notice the war. And who arrives early for the bar mitzvah? Trish's sister, JOY, who is fleeing her husband and the ghost of a suicidal suitor. Is he haunting her out of love or terrorizing ger (Paul Rubens). Ally Sheedy plays their other sister Helen.
Probably the best review of this film is by David Edelstein of NPR and NYMag
Located at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128851573
I think he called it the FEEL BAD FILM OF THE YEAR.

Ivan

TITLE: Ivan
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Anton Chikishev / Ekaterina Boguslavsky
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Russian with Hebrew and English ST
TIME: 35 minutes
SOURCE: Ekaterina Boguslavsky, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Zachar Frolov, Maria Miroshnichenko. Thirteen-year-old Ivan is a street kid in the big city. He lives with his mother, who is still traumatized by his birth, and has only cares for her dogs. After Ivan was born, his father moved to the other side of Russia, but Ivan is certain that he will soon come back. Ivan tries to find comfort in the few family friends left from better times, but none are willing to take responsibility. Convinced that the only way he can find solace is by being with his father, he embarks on a journey to reach him.

The Decision Maker / MEKABEL HA’HACHLATOT

TITLE: The Decision Maker / MEKABEL HA’HACHLATOT
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Danny Yagil / Ziv Even Tzur
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 38 minutes
SOURCE: Hilltop Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. With: Oded Teomi, Gadi Yagil, Tamar Keynan. Israeli Prime Minister, Gideon Harel, participates in a TV election debate. He takes a break from the preparations to wander the corridors of the TV studio. In the studio archive, he finds a tape with a report that summarizes his life and career, being prepared for broadcast in case he passes away. Watching the report will change him and lead him to embark upon a new path

Medium Rare

TITLE: Medium Rare
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Bazi Gete / Mali Kehati
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 52
SOURCE: www.medium-rare.co.il Gooltosh Productions, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Michael Hanegbi, Orian Levy, Shlomo Chasanovich, Galit Jean, Rony Gammer. Web Site: www.medium-rare.co.il On his way back from work at a high-tech company, Asaf, a thirty-year-old single man in Tel Aviv, encounters a horrific sight—several people beating a man to death. At that moment, Asaf, who until then lived a lonely and alienated life, undergoes a significant change. The act of violence reignites his extinguished soul, awakening within him a cry of protest against the bourgeois and estranged world in which he lives. He leaves his job, buys a gun, and plunges into his inner world, following people and observing them. Asaf battles his ravaged soul.

Qassamba

TITLE: Qassamba
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yair Orbach / Anat Lavi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 40
SOURCE: Sapir College - www.qassamba.TK
TEXT: Shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2010. W.: Jonathan Barak, Adi Elharrar, Tal Levy, Morad Hasan, Tomer Karni, Esam Abu-Sahab. Yossi and Michal, students at Sapir Academic College, meet in a shelter during a “Code Red” alarm. Yossi falls in love. But Michal, a graphic arts student, rarely visits Yossi’s campus. Yossi realizes that he will only be able to see her again if he arranges a “Code Red” alarm during Michal’s visits, so Yossi and his roommate Simon contact two Hamas activists. Together, they fund Qassamba Productions, providing Qassam rockets for a variety of occasions, and contributing to an upside down reality where Qassams are used for positive means. Yossi and Michal meet in the shelter again and start dating. Unfortunately for Yossi, Michal is responsible for the “Code Red” operation’s success. Both Yossi and Michal wish to continue carrying out their responsibilities, but don’t realize that the enemy is also the lover. In the meanwhile, a sentimental suicide bomber is afraid of Qassams, a love story between Simon and a Hamas activist ensues, an academic executive becomes greedy, and more. The relationship between Michal and Yossi faces a major challenge when each of them need to give up what they desire most, but even that is not enough.

If These Knishes Could Talk

TITLE: If These Knishes Could Talk
YEAR: 2012
DIR/PROD: Heather Quinlan
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English, New York accented English
TIME:
SOURCE: http://newyorkaccentfilm.com/
TEXT: Documentary. Documentary on NYC accents. Features Amy Heckerling Pat Cooper Pete Hamill Joe Franklin Nick Raio James McBride Dom Ferrara Barbara Mensch Kevin Albinder Philip Fraboliso Kianna McRae-Stephen and more

In Search of Memory / Auf der Suche nach dem Gedächtnis)

TITLE: In Search of Memory / Auf der Suche nach dem Gedächtnis)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Petra Seeger
COUNTRY: Austria
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 95
SOURCE: Icarus Films http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKg79cNCVzw
TEXT: Documentary. You probably know him from the Charlie Rose series and his bowtie. The Columbia University professor, Nobel Laureate, who, as a young Jewish man, escaped Nazism and settled in America, is a specialist on the brain. Memory is everything. Without it we are nothing, says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brains storage of memories. As he explains, memory is the glue that binds our mental life together and provides a sense of continuity in our lives. In revisiting the people, places and objects of Kandel's lifetime experiences, IN SEARCH OF MEMORY reveals how everything we undergo changes the brain, even our genetic make-up, and can determine the focus of a life's work.
http://icarusfilms.com/new2009/mem.html
IN SEARCH OF MEMORY is a compelling blend of autobiography and history that recounts the life of one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century and illuminates scientific developments in our understanding of the brain's role in recording and preserving memory. In addition to archival footage and dramatic re-creations of Kandel's childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Vienna and his formative years as an emigrant in New York, the film features discussions with Kandel, friends and family, as well as his public lectures in Vienna and New York, which explore both his professional and personal life, especially his emotional ties to Judaism. Both through its personal journey into the memory of this amazingly spry and witty 79-year old, especially his traumatic experiences during the Holocaust, and a visit to his Columbia University laboratory, where Kandel and his colleagues demonstrate their experimental research, IN SEARCH OF MEMORY examines how the brain stores memories, the difference between short-term and long-term memory, Alzheimer's and age-related memory loss, and structural modifications to the brain that enhance memory. In revisiting the people, places and objects of Kandel's lifetime experiences, IN SEARCH OF MEMORY reveals how everything we undergo changes the brain, even our genetic make-up, and can determine the focus of a life's work.

Black Swan

TITLE: Black Swan
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Darren Aronofsky
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 103 minutes
SOURCE: Venice FF 2010
TEXT: In this psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, Nina is a ballerina whose life is completely dedicated to her art. Suffocated by her controlling, former dancer mother, Nina needs to leap to a new stage in her career but finds herself struggling with professional competition as well as inner demons. The aging star of the ballet is about to retire, and artistic director Thomas Leroy is looking for a new prima ballerina for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake. Nina would be the natural choice, but a new dancer, Lily has caught the eye of the director as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play the purity and grace of the White Swan as well as the sensual, deceiving qualities of the Black Swan. I am adding this only since it is directed by Darren Aronofsky and it stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, (Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey), and Winona Ryder.

Hitparzet X (Naomi)

TITLE: Hitparzut X (Naomi)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Eitan Zur
COUNTRY: Israel / France
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 102 minutes
SOURCE: Venice Film Festival 2010
TEXT: Stars Yossi Pollak, Melanie Peres, Orna Porat, Suheil Haddad, Rami Heuberger. Dark in tone, 60-something, overweight, astrophysicist Ilan Ben-Natanist is married to blonde, beautiful 28-year-old book illustrator, Naomi -- how that marriage happened in the first place is not clear. Of course she cheats on him. Ilan becomes obsessed with jealousy and turns to his 80-something mother for advice, who tells him that is what he gets for marrying eye-candy, and to let the affair play itself out. Instead of heeding his mother, Ilan murders his wife's lover with his bare hands, and turns again to Mom for advice. "No corpse, no crime," she advises, and takes the stereotypical self-sacrificing Jewish mother to new heights with her solution.

Barney's Version

TITLE: Barney's Version
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Richard J. Lewis / Robert Lantos and Mark Musselman
COUNTRY: Canada, Italy
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 132 minutes
SOURCE: Toronto Intnl Film Festival, September 2010
TEXT: From producer Robert Lantos, Barney’s Version is a film based on Mordecai Richler's prize-winning comic novel. Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) is a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. Barney’s candid confessional spans four decades and two continents, and includes three wives (Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver and Rachelle Lefevre), one outrageous father (Dustin Hoffman) and a charmingly dissolute best friend (Scott Speedman). Barry Panofsky is one of the great comic characters of modern literature. Mordecai Richler gave him life as an impulsive, romantic, politically incorrect and fearlessly blunt creature subject to his impulses. And now, Paul Giamatti adds flesh and blood, and a vast emotional range in this immensely enjoyable adaptation directed by Richard J. Lewis.
Shifting seamlessly between the highs and lows of his life in Montreal as an adult philanderer, and his coming of age in seventies Italy, Barney’s Version follows its hero as he seeks solace through marriage and professional success. His first wife, Clara (Rachelle Lefevre), is an unstable free spirit Barney meets through his best friend, the promising but self-destructive novelist, Boogie (Scott Speedman). When his relationship with Clara ends in tragedy, Barney returns to Montreal, establishes himself as a successful television producer running Totally Unnecessary Productions, and marries into society through the good graces and welcoming charms of The Second Mrs. P (Minnie Driver). But Barney never knows when to leave well enough alone. At his wedding to Mrs P., he meets and falls madly for the true love of his life, Miriam (Rosamund Pike), who is destined to become his third wife. His dad (Dustin Hoffman) gives him a gun as a wedding present and, well, no need to spoil the plot, but when Barney is implicated in Boogie’s mysterious disappearance, the spectre of the past raises its ugly head. Richler’s acclaimed novel has found its ideal champion in Canadian producer Robert Lantos, who devoted the last twelve years to shaping this film. And in Paul Giamatti –whose Barney is equal parts sour and tender, vicious and vulnerable – the film has its ideal star. Beautifully supported by a stellar cast and Lewis’s crisp direction, this is a Barney Panofsky Richler would have been proud of: a man with a huge appetite for life, searching for love and running from death.

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

TITLE: Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Alex Gibney
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 117
SOURCE: Toronto Intnl Film Fest 2010
TEXT: Producer: Alex Gibney, Todd Wider, Jedd Wider, Maiken Baird. Executive Producer: Jedd Wider, Todd Wider, Molly Thompson. Eliot Spitzer does not actually identify as Jewish personally, but grew up in a family of Jewish heritage and everyone assume he is Jewish, so I am adding this film. Investigating the sex scandal that forced New York’s Governor to resign, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney gains revelatory interviews from Spitzer, his most frequent escort and his Wall Street enemies that bring new perspective on his downfall. Wall Street never faced a tougher crusader in the twenty-first century than Eliot Spitzer. As New York State Attorney General, he displayed fearlessness at prosecuting esteemed firms such as AIG and Bank of America. After being elected as New York State Governor by a landslide vote, he seemed poised to become America’s first Jewish President. But that trajectory came to an abrupt halt in March 2008 when the FBI prosecuted the Emperors Club escort agency and supplied a detailed description of Client #9, revealed by the press to be Spitzer. The scandal played out for as long as it would sell papers, but some of the most important questions went unanswered. Did politics play a role in the FBI investigation? Was the media misled in its focus? And what the hell was Spitzer thinking? Renewing their collaboration from Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, director Alex Gibney and author Peter Elkind succeed at bringing fresh insight to Spitzer’s story. Combining their research, Gibney focused on the film while Elkind wrote the book Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Other journalists have based the majority of their evidence on the experience of Ashley Dupre, an escort whom Spitzer met with only once. For a more comprehensive perspective, Gibney uncovered the governor’s frequent companion, “Angelina,” and persuaded her to talk for the first time. Gibney’s tenacity also secured an intrepid interview with Spitzer and with several of his harshest political enemies. Sex is only one layer of this story. The film supplies a valuable examination of the power dynamics between finance and politics. Spitzer is a riveting personality; he displays the qualities that make him both a brilliant lawyer and a flawed human being. When the banking crisis hit in the fall of 2008, just months after his forced resignation, the financial world suffered for want of Spitzer’s watchdog expertise. Spitzer recently ventured back into the public arena and will soon be hosting a new CNN talk show. After this accountof his rise and fall, no one should count out his chances to rise again.

The Debt

TITLE: The Debt
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: John Madden
COUNTRY: United Kindom
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 104
SOURCE: Miramax
TEXT: Producer: Matthew Vaughn, Kris Thykier, Eitan Evan, Eduardo Rossoff. Executive Producer: Tarquin Park. Screenplay: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan. Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain and Sam Worthington star in this thriller about three Israeli Mossad agents on a 1965 mission to capture a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, secrets about the case emerge. Helen Mirren leads a stellar cast in this cracking political thriller. Directed with crisp, confident strokes by John Madden (Shakespearein Love), it offers all the pleasures of tight plotting and international intrigue, but grounds them in conflicts that have been urgent for sixty years. The stakes here are life, death and the honour of a nation. In 1997, three veterans of Israel’s secret service, the Mossad, return to a hero’s welcome. Rachel Singer (Mirren) is the lone woman. Her daughter has just written a book about the threesome’s most famous exploit: a 1965 operation that saw them hunt down and terminate a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin. The book brings the episode back into the spotlight, but the attention makes Rachel’s fellow agent David (Ciarán Hinds) uneasy. In one shocking scene, he takes a decisive action that suddenly puts the other agents at risk, and opens whole new questions. Madden shifts briskly between these scenes and the time of the original assassination, when the young agents snuck into East Berlin to track down the war criminal. They aim to bring him back to justice in Israel, but the situation proves more volatile than planned. Still, the mission catapults them to hero status back home. But, decades later, cracks appear in the official story. A man in Ukraine surfaces, claiming to be the target of their original mission, still alive and ready to talk. Although her spy days are long behind her, Rachel is pressed into service to complete the operation. Madden allows his characters not just rough edges but hard ones. Worthington and rising star Jessica Chastain do wonderful work as the young David and Rachel. Tom Wilkinson is pure pleasure to watch as the ruthless spymaster. But it is Mirren, giving full range both to Rachel’s icy discipline and the conflicted emotions of a mother, who stands out. The Debt is as polished and professional as its secret agent characters, pulsing along at a thrilling clip. But there is a substantial moral dilemma at the heart of this film: should the truth ever be sacrificed for a story that inspires a nation?

Everywhere Was The Same

TITLE: Everywhere Was The Same
YEAR: 2007
DIR/PROD: Basma Al Sharif
COUNTRY: USA, Palestine
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 12
SOURCE: Shown at Toronto Intnl Film Festival, September 2010
TEXT: A slideshow depicting abandoned houses develops into a pre-apocalyptic paradise for the state of Palestine. Basma Al-Sharif’s Everywhere was the Same recounts an innocence lost, a city mired and mutilated. With slideshow images of abandoned homes and an apocalyptic tale inspired by a massacre in Gaza in 2006, the Palestinian struggle comes to the fore in cryptic nodes. director bio Basma Al-Sharif works in film, photography and electronic media and has had multiple exhibitions shown internationally. Everywhere was the Same (10) is her filmmaking debut.

The Human Resources Manager/ Shlichuto Shel HaMemune Al Mashabei Enosh

TITLE: The Human Resources Manager/ Shlichuto Shel HaMemune Al Mashabei Enosh
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Eran Riklis
COUNTRY: Israel, Germany, France, Romania
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, English, Romanian with English ST
TIME: 103
SOURCE: www.filmmovement.com/
TEXT: Producer: Haim Mecklberg, Estee Yacov-Mecklberg, Elie Meirovitz, Thanassis Karathanos, Tudor Giurgiu, Talia Kleinhendler, Karl Baumgarten. Executive Producer: Moshe Edery, Leon edery, Ygal Mograbi. A tragi-comedy centered on the HR manager of Israel's largest industrial bakery, who sets out to save the reputation of his business and prevent the publication of a defamatory article. A Human Resources manager at Israel’s largest bakery finds himself the unlikely chaperone of the body of a young Russian woman in this touching tragic-comedy. Eran Riklis, the acclaimed director of The Lemon Tree and The Syrian Bride, brings a poignant and personal approach to a story that speaks to the ever-present threat of violence in Jerusalem and the increasing sense of social dislocation. The characters in The Human Resource Manager have no names; they are unhappy people known solely by their professional roles, until the young woman’s tragic death –she’s been the victim of a suicide bombing – forces them to find comfort in each other and in life. The Human Resources Manager (Mark Ivanir) is a well-meaning but selfish man, putting his career in front of his family and constantly breaking promises to his daughter. His reputation is threatened when he is scapegoated by his employer and blamed for not noticing that one of their employees is missing. When the deceased employee, Yulia, is traced back to the bakery, the Human Resources manager atones for his oversight by escorting the young woman’s coffin to her hometown in Russia. The result is a quirky, transnational road trip. Eccentric characters like The Israeli Consul and her husband, The Vice Consul, help the Human Resources manager along the way. Yulia’s unhappy and estranged family, particularly her son, provides the Human Resources manager with the opportunity to make amends for his once self-centered ways and learn how to better support those around him. An obnoxious reporter and a bizarre hearse bring comic relief to this often tragic tale. Beautiful panoramas of the Russian countryside in winter offer visual delight. Riklis’s talent lies in his light touch and in his insistence that, though the world may be dark, there is always room to laugh and to hope.
Eran Riklis was born in Israel and graduated from the Beaconsfield National Film School in England. His work has been popular in Israel and critically acclaimed worldwide. His feature films include On a Clear Day You Can See Damascus (1984), Zohar (1993), Volcano Junction (1999), The Syrian Bride (2004), The Lemon Tree (2008) and The Human Resources Manager(2010).

The Matchmaker / Pa'am ha'yi'ti

TITLE: The Matchmaker / Pa'am ha'yi'ti
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Avi Nesher
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 118
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFSyfeHBkY Menemsha Films neilf@menemshafilms.com www.menemshafilms.com
TEXT: Producer: David Silber, Chilick Michaeli, Avi Nesher, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, Avraham Pirchi, Tamar Leon, Natan Caspi. Executive Producer: Shlomo Mugrabi, Rami Damari, Eviatar Dotan, Ishay Mor. Screenplay: Avi Nesher. In 1968 Haifa, a teenage boy gets a summer job with a Holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages and smuggling goods. Throughout the summer, the mysterious matchmaker takes the boy on a dangerous coming of age ride into the deepest underbelly of Haifa. Set in Haifa in the summer of 1968, The Matchmaker is a tender story of love, loss and survival in the aftermath of the Second World War. Director Avi Nesher plumbs a fascinating juncture in Israeli history, where an embryonic society still reeling from the memory of trauma is beset by the cultural-sexual upheaval of the sixties. More than just an exploration of a fledgling country finding its feet, The Matchmaker is an enchanting coming-of-age story about the manifold incarnations of friendship and love. Sixteen-year-old Arik is at loose ends one summer when he gets a job offer from a mysterious old friend of his father’s named Yankele Bride. Bride, a Holocaust survivor, makes his living as a matchmaker, uniting luckless souls. He hires Arik to scout potential clients throughout the bustling port city. Arik is intrigued by Brides’s line of work. The diverse characters he meets on the job open his eyes to a world of wonder, pain and longing, offering him glimpses into unspeakable darkness and the depths of human love. There is Clara, a beautiful, fragile woman whom Bride loves from afar; Sylvia, a survivor of Josef Mengele’s Nazi experiments who yearns for a husband; and Meir (Dror Kenen from last year’s Five Hours from Paris) a librarian, whose search for love leads him to commit an extraordinary act of malice. Even Arik falls in love for the first time, a development that brings surprising consequences. Based on the novel When Heroes Fly by award-winning writer Amir Gutfreund (Our Holocaust), The Matchmaker interweaves various personal struggles with remarkable emotional energy. These characters are survivors of one of history’s great tragedies; they cling to their secrets and despairs while trying to reconceptualize the value of the present. Each forms a special attachment to the naïve and spirited Arik and this, more than anything, symbolizes their inherent belief in the future.
Avi Nesher was born in Israel and studied at Ramaz yeshiva and Columbia University. He made his feature film debut with The Troupe (1978), followed by Dizengoff 99 (1979) and Rage and Glory (1985). He then worked as a director and screenwriter in Hollywood before returning to Israel to make Turn Left at the End of the World (04). His other films include Raw Nerve (00), Ritual (01), Oriental (04), The Secrets (07) and The Matchmaker (10).

Miral

TITLE: Miral
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Julian Schnabel
COUNTRY: United Kingdom, Israel, France
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 113
SOURCE: Harvey Weinstein
TEXT: Producer: Jon Kilik. Executive Producer: Francois-Xavier Decraene. Screenplay: Rula Jebreal. From the director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls and Basquiat, comes Miral, the visceral, first-person diary of a young girl growing up in East Jerusalem as she confronts the effects of occupation and war in every corner of her life. Schnabel pieces together momentary fragments of Miral’s world – how she was formed, who influenced her, all that she experiences in her tumultuous early years – to create a raw, moving, poetic portrait of a woman whose small, personal story is inextricably woven into the bigger history unfolding all around her.
“Miral is a red flower. It grows on the side of the road. You’ve probably seen millions of them.” Those words open Miral, which is also the name of the last of four women at the centre of Julian Schnabel’s passionate new film.Those words, with their vivid imagery, their resonance and their ability to act as description,lament and warning all at once, sum up the nuances of this remarkable drama. The setting is Israel and Palestine, from 1948 to the mid-nineties. The tales may not be new,but the telling is. The first of the four women is Hind Husseini (a real-life figure played by Hiam Abbass). After the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of Israel, Hind happens upon fifty-five newly orphaned children in the streets of Jerusalem. All heart, she takes them in and founds an orphanage for girls that soon houses thousands.
The second woman is Nadia (Yasmine Elmasri), who fled her home after being abused by her father. When a Jewish woman on a bus calls her an “Arab whore,” Nadia bloodies the woman’s nose before being hauled away by the police. In prison she meets the third woman, Fatima who was convicted of planting a bomb in a theatre.The explosive never went off, but Fatima was given two life sentences for the act,and another for not standing politely in the courtroom. Fatima introduces Nadia to her brother, (Alexander Siddiq), who eventually proposes. Together, they have a lovely daughter named Miral (Freida Pinto) – the fourth woman.
In Basquiat, Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Schnabel proved himself adept at extraordinary portraits of subjective experiences. Miral is imbued with the exquisite camera and sound work he’s become known for, but the portraiture is more precise than expressionist,matching an emotional arc with apolitical one. As each of these four women face progressively harsher circumstances,they craft increasingly engaged responses.

Peep World

TITLE: Peep World
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Barry Blaustein
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 89
SOURCE: Occupant Films
TEXT: Producer: Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino, Keith Calder. Screenplay: Peter Himmelstein. On the day of their father’s 70th birthday party, four siblings come to terms with the publication of a novel written by the youngest sibling that exposes the family’s most intimate secrets. The film stars Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji Henson, Lesley Ann Warren and Ron Rifkin. Dysfunctional families are a well-worn subject at the movies, but the raucous relatives in Barry W. Blaustein’s dark comedy Peep World are a whole different breed of eccentric.
On the seventieth birthday of their hard charging businessman father (Ron Rifkin), four siblings and their extended relatives make plans to reunite for dinner to celebrate the momentous occasion, despite an unshakable animosity towards one another that’s about to come to a blistering boil. The youngest sibling, Nathan (Ben Schwarz), has just published a bestselling and revealing exposé about their family’s most intimate and shameful exploits, and no one is happy about it except himself.
In spite of his insurmountable financial woes, Jack (Michael C. Hall) is a semi-responsible husband and hard-working professional who is starting to feel the choke hold of his impending fatherhood. His brother Joel (Rainn Wilson) is doing the best he can to stay alive in the face of perpetual unemployment and a pair of loan sharks following his every move. Their sister Cheri (Sarah Silverman) is just plain pissed off at everyone, especially Nathan, who, along with his book, has become the lightning rod for her every neurotic complaint. Making matters worse, the movie adaptation of Nathan’s book is currently in the works, and their father’s new girlfriend (Alicia Witt) has been cast in the role of Cheri. In addition to Peep World’s talented ensemble cast, the film also features a slew of stars in supporting roles; Judy Greer, Stephen Tobolowsky, Taraji P. Henson and Kate Mara are the much better-mannered significant others to these four flawed siblings, while Lesley Ann Warner is note-perfect in her role as the clan’s beleaguered matriarch.
In the vein of The Royal Tenenbaums, Peep World paints what initially seems like a familiar family portrait, but deftly transforms into an engaging, unpredictable and darkly hilarious day in the life of a group of would-be adults.

Precious Life / Chaim Yakarim

TITLE: Precious Life / Chaim Yakarim
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Shlomi Elder / Ehud Bleiberg, Yoav Ze'Evi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Arabic with English ST
TIME: 86
SOURCE: Origami Entertainment
TEXT: Toronto International Film Festival, September 2010. With the help of a prominent Israeli journalist, Precious Life chronicles the struggle of an Israeli pediatrician and a Palestinian mother to get treatment for her baby, who suffers from an incurable genetic disease. Each must face their most profound biases as they inch towards a possible friendship in an impossible reality. Born without an immune system, four-month-old Palestinian boy Mohammad Abu Mustafa will die without a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that can only be done in an Israeli hospital. A desperate plea from his doctor to save Mohammad’s life leads Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar to document this complex and emotional story. As Israeli and Palestinian doctors put aside their differences to protect the child, we are forced to confront the more personal ramifications of the embargo of Gaza. A powerful appeal for peace, Precious Life explores the challenges and prejudices that must be overcome when officials from conflicting nations attempt to put aside their differences for a noble cause. But even the legitimacy of that cause is called into question due to the complex circumstances at play. Mohammad’s mother, Raida, struggles to address both her desperate desire to protect her son and harsh criticisms from her Gazan community. Her friends and family believe that allowing Jewish doctors, reporters and donors to help her baby marks an affront to their religion. To complicate matters further, Raida fully endorses the use of suicide bombing as a legitimate tool of Palestinian resistance. This forces Eldar – and we as the audience – to grapple with the intricate moral dilemma of saving a child who, later in life, may very well be encouraged to sacrifice his life to kill others. A film about hope for peace in the Middle East, Precious Life also conveys the universal desire to protect our children and improve their quality of life. Eldar, who witnessed a shocking amount of bloodshed as a war correspondent on the Gaza strip, indicts the region’s violent status quo. While deeply controversial – particularly in Israel, where Precious Life premiered at this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival – the film has won acclaim for its raw depiction of courage and the fight for the safety of a family, regardless of religion and politics.
Shlomi Edlar is a war correspondent and journalist for Israel's Channel 10 News who has covered the Gaza Strip for nearly twenty years. He has a master's degree in Middle East Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and wrote the book Eyeless in Gaza. In 2007 he received the Sokolov Prize, Israel's most prestigious media award. Precious Life (10) is his first feature documentary.

Sarah's Key / Elle s'appelait Sarah

TITLE: Sarah's Key / Elle s'appelait Sarah
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Gilles Paquet-Brenner / Stéphane Marsil
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 113 minutes
SOURCE: Kinology
TEXT: While researching an article on the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 France, Julia, an American journalist stumbles across the story of Sarah, a ten year old Jewish girl who desperately tried to save her younger brother from the police by locking him in a cupboard. Through her research, Julia comes across a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah and change the way she sees the world.
It is July, 1942 in Paris, and ten-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance) knows something is wrong. There is a panic spreading through the city. The French gendarmes, supposedly under order from the Vichy government and Nazi occupiers, are going door-to-door arresting Jewish families and imprisoning them in the Vélodrome d'Hiver. Little does Sarah know that, after the imprisonment, they will be sent to Nazi death camps. In a final attempt to save her family, she locks her four-year-old brother, Michel in a bedroom cupboard – their secret hiding place. She promises to return for him, but she and her parents are dragged from their home forever.
Sixty years later, journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) is assigned to write a cover story on the Vel’d’Hiv roundup of 1942. American by birth, Julia has been living in Paris for more than twenty years, and is married to Bertrand Tézac (Frédéric Pierrot), an unfaithful man from an old French bloodline. What begins as research for her article becomes more personal when Julia discovers that she and Sarah have something in common, prompting her to change her outlook on her husband, her adopted nation and herself. Julia discovers that the apartment owned by Bertrand’s family was acquired when the former Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported sixty years before.
Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestselling novel of the same name, Elle s'appelait Sarah is a fictionalized account of the actual roundups in Paris that sentenced thousands of Jewish families to their deaths. Harrowing, emotionally complex and filled with pathos, the film is a moving tale of a terrible period of French history. Scott Thomas is pitch-perfect as Julia, as she comes to terms with the terrible secrets that have lain hidden for so many years.
Gilles Paquet-Brenner has made the films 13 dans la vie Josh et Anna (98), Le marquis (00), Pretty Things (01), Payoff (03), UV (07), Gomez & Tavarès, la suite (07), Walled In (09) and Elle s’appelait Sarah (10). Principal Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy, Dominique Frot, Natasha Mashkevich, Gisèle Casadesus, Aidan Quinn.

Tears of Gaza / Gazas Tårer

TITLE: Tears of Gaza / Gazas Tårer
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Vibeke Løkkeberg / Terje Kristiansen
COUNTRY: Norway
LANGUAGE: Arabic with English ST
TIME: 83 minutes
SOURCE: Norway Film Institute
TEXT: Documentary. Toronto Intnl Film Festival 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5-mhBWBfDg&feature=player_embedded
A powerful and emotionally devastating record of the impact the 2008-2009 bombings of Gaza had on the civilian population. Disturbing, powerful and emotionally devastating, Tears of Gaza is less a conventional documentary than a record – presented with minimal gloss – of the 2008 to 2009 bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military. Photographed by several Palestinian cameramen both during and after the offensive, this powerful film by director Vibeke Løkkeberg focuses on the impact of the attacks on the civilian population. The film shuttles between the actual bombings and the aftermath on the streets and in the hospitals. The footage of the bombs landing is indelible and horrifying, but it is on par with much of the explicit imagery on hand. White phosphorous bombs rain over families and children, leaving bodies too charred to be identified. The footage here is extremely graphic and includes children’s bodies being pulled from ruins. Recounting the horrors she has witnessed, one young girl collapses and sinks out of the frame. Years of economic embargo have left the area deprived of resources and have strained an already impoverished infrastructure. The wounded are carried to hospital for lack of ambulances, and an absence of fire trucks leaves home owners to put out fires on their own. What’s immediately apparent is that decades of military activity have made the population angry, nihilistic and vengeful. As one young boy says, “Even if they give us the world, we will not forget.” Løkkeberg contrasts these scenes with footage of bachelor parties, weddings and visits to the beach – social activities that epitomize daily life in Gaza during more peaceful times. Tears of Gaza makes no overriding speeches or analyses. The situation leading up to the incursion is never mentioned. While this strategy may antagonize some, it’s a useful method for highlighting the effects of the violence on the civilian population. Similar events certainly occurred in Dresden, Tokyo, Baghdad and Sarajevo, but of course Gaza isn’t those places. Tears of Gaza demands that we examine the costs of war on a civilian populace. The result is horrifying, gut-wrenching and unforgettable.
Vibeke Løkkeberg was born in Norway. She is an actor, director, screenwriter and author. She has directed several features, including The Revelation (77), Betrayal (81), Hud (86), which screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, Måker (91), Der gudene er døde (93), and Tears of Gaza (10).

100 Voices: A Journey Home

TITLE: 100 Voices – A Journey Home
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Matthew Asner and Danny Gold
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 91 minutes
SOURCE: Mod Three Productions
TEXT: Limited release in Fall 2010 to qualify for Oscar Documentary awards. According to The New York Times: “Directed by Danny Gold and Matthew Asner, this documentary, which follows a group of cantors who travel to Poland to sing and to mend cultural fences, is most interesting and original when it sticks to the history of the cantorial tradition and to these cantors’ stories. But “100 Voices,” which combines interviews with the singers with footage of their performances in Warsaw and Krakow, wanders. It tries to cover too much ground, sketching in the history of Jewish culture in Poland and its near-complete eradication during the Holocaust.... That loss, of course, is the impetus for the cantors’ trip and what gives their mission its poignancy. Still, that history has been better told elsewhere and its poignancy is a given. This is a sentimental journey, and the filmmakers sometimes seem clumsily sentimental in how they present it.... The strength of “100 Voices” lies precisely in its voices: those of the cantors, many of whom are excellent and moving raconteurs. They provide all the history and poignancy the film needs.”

Nuremberg – It's Lesson for Today

TITLE: Nuremberg
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Sandra Schulberg
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: minutes
SOURCE: Nurembergfilm.org
TEXT: Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today depicts the most famous courtroom drama in modern times, and the first to make extensive use of film as evidence. It was also the first trial to be extensively documented, aurally and visually. All of the proceedings, which lasted for nearly 11 months, were recorded. And though the trial was filmed while it was happening, strict limits were placed on the Army Signal Corps cameramen by the Office of Criminal Counsel. In the end, they were permitted to film only about 25 hours over the entire course of the trial. This was to prove a great impediment for writer/director Stuart Schulberg, and his editor Joseph Zigman, when they were engaged to make the official film about the trial, in 1946, shortly after its conclusion. The film has been completed and restored by Sandra, the daughter of the original writer/directer. She is also the niece of Budd Schulberg.
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today follows the structure of the trial, using the four counts of the indictment as its organizing principle. While much of the film is set in the courtroom, Nuremberg reconstructs the prosecution’s case and rebuts the defendants’ assertions by relying on the Nazis’ own films. Nuremberg therefore cuts back and forth to these films.

Max Manus

TITLE: Max Manus
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
COUNTRY: Norway Denmark Germany
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 118
SOURCE: http://www.maxmanus.ca/
TEXT: A film based on the life of Max Manus (Maximo Guillermo Manus) (9 December 1914, Bergen – 20 September 1996, Bærum) who was a Norwegian resistance fighter during World War II. Manus was born to a Norwegian father and a Danish mother in the Norwegian city of Bergen. After fighting as a volunteer for Finland in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War of 1939–1940, he returned to Norway on the day of the German invasion of Norway, 9 April 1940. He was a pioneer of the Norwegian resistance movement and was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941. He was famous for being one of the most brilliant saboteurs during World War II, and after the war he wrote several books about his adventures. After the war, he started the successful office supply company Max Manus AS.
Now for the FILM: 2008 film, release in 2010 in US/Canada After fighting the communists in Finland, Max Manus returns to Norway, currently occupied by the Nazis. He joins with the Norwegian resistance movement in their fight against the Germans but is arrested. He manages to escape to Scotland where he receives training before being sent back to Norway to carry out various sabotage missions against the occupational force. Returning to Norway with his friend Gregers Gram, his first mission is an attack on German supply ships. He is spectacularly successful, and soon he becomes a special target for the Gestapo commander Siegfried Wolfgang Fehmer. Manus, however, avoids capture, and with Gram and Gunnar Sønsteby he forms the so-called "Oslo-group". Stockholm becomes a meeting point for Norwegians in allied military service. Here Gram introduces Manus to Tikken, who works as a Norwegian contact for the British consulate. The two soon develop a special relationship. As the war becomes more and more brutal, many of Manus' friends lose their lives in the struggle against the Germans, and he starts to blame himself for being the one who survives. In a meeting with Fehmer he realizes that everybody is a victim of the meaninglessness of war.

Cycles - Les Murs Poteurs

TITLE: Cycles – Les Murs Poteurs
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Cyril Gelblat / Caroline Adrian, Antoine Rein, Ruth Waldburger, Christoph Hahnheiser
COUNTRY: France / Germany / Switzerland
LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles
TIME: 88 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Empty-nest syndrome packs a double whammy for Judith. Just as her son is ready to head off on his own, her Holocaust-survivor mother begins slipping into Alzheimer's. This incisive and tender first feature follows three generations of Parisian Jews as they come to grips with change — and the cycles of life.
Principal Cast: Miou-Miou, Charles Berling, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Shulamit Adar Filmography: Debut Feature World Sales: Media Luna. Washington DC JFF; Palm Springs Film Festival

Surrogate

TITLE: Surrogate
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Tali Shalom Ezer
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 57 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m04UEFbcqhM
TEXT: Eli is a 32 year old man who has problems with relationships with women. Hagar is a surrogate, an alternative partner for practical, sexual therapy. They meet once a week and practice a relationship and intimacy in laboratory conditions. The fictitious relationship between them exposes them both physically and emotionally and brings to surface repressed fears from the real world. The changes Eli goes through during the therapy, along with the secrets revealed, not only shake his own life, but also the life of his family. Between clinic walls, due to an "artificial" process, Eli learns how to love for the first time. Cast: Amir Wolf, Lana Etinger, Rosina Kambus, Liat Glick, Yonatan Swirski, Lasha Shimshoni, Michal Kalman.

Filmed By Yitzhak / Tzulam Al Yedey Itzhak

TITLE: Filmed by Yitzhak / Tzulam Al Yedey Itzhak
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Limor Pinhasov
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nQXd_7AKUk
TEXT: An old box is opened. Dust spreads all over. Inside are dozens of small yellow boxes, all with "Yitzhak" handwritten on them. They are 8mm films from a different and forgotten world–the sixties captured by Yitzhak Rabin before he became the country's beloved Prime Minister. Friends, intimate family moments, the faces and empty landscapes of a newly-born Israel, first trips overseas with the Queen of England riding her horse, even places and people from his years as Ambassador in Washington, DC. What connections are there between one man's filmmaking hobby and his lifelong endeavors for conciliation and peace?

Hello My Name is Herman

TITLE: Hello My Name is Herman
YEAR: 2007
DIR/PROD: Karine Silverwoman
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 10 minutes - short
SOURCE: http://www.frameline.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=1307
TEXT: A warmhearted award winning documentary look at the relationship between a 91 year old Jewish man, his lesbian granddaughter and her girlfriend.

Adama

TITLE: Adama
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Roni Bleier
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: OtherIsrael.ORG
TEXT: The stories of three generations of one family of farmers in a financial crisis, struggling to keep their land in the south of Israel. Starring Mohammad Bakri as Moshe, the Jewish Moroccan head of the family, with Lior Ashkenazi, Menashe Noy, and Yael Abecassis. Seen at OtherIsrael.org in November 2010.

Back and Forth

TITLE: Back and Forth
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Uri Rosenwaks & Various Directors
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Made up of four short films, all of which are directed by Bedouin directors in their debut as film makers, this unique film is an unprecedented authentic self-portrait of current life in Bedouin society. Portraying the struggle for progress that in many ways is held back by the traditions of the nomadic past. "Back and Forth" is the second documentary feature produced in the independent cinematic project in Rahat guided by Uri Rosenwaks, the first was "The Film Class", Seen at OtherIsrael.org in November 2010.

Blood Relation

TITLE: Blood Relation
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Noa Ben Hagai / Edna Kowarsky
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 75 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: DOCUMENTARY. On a hot summer day in 1943, 14 year old Pnina left her home in the Galilee province of Yavniel and disappeared. 24 years later she sends a letter, revealing that she now lives in the Askar al Jadid refugee camp near Nablus, married to a Muslim and mother of eight. The director, granddaughter to Pnina's sister, tracks the family secret and finds that Pnina's children, who live in a refugee camp, only half an hour away from her home in Tel Aviv, have been waiting for their Jewish relatives to call for years. Renewing the contact between the families leads to unpredictable events (cousin Colonel E. Shmuel was in charge of IDF West Bank intelligence) that take place in front of the camera over the course of three years in both Israel and Nablus. Can they be a family? Do they want to be a family?
Seen at OtherIsrael.org in November 2010.

Coffee: Between reality and Imagination

TITLE: Coffee: Between reality and Imagination
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: various
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and Arabic with English ST
TIME: 68 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers embarked on a journey to create short films, fiction or documentary, inspired by Coffee, which takes part in Middle East cultural identity and social reality. Coffee creates a connection between different people, no matter who they are. Each film gives a personal and courageous point of view on the reality in which we live in. Seen at OtherIsrael.org in November 2010.

I'm Not Filipina

TITLE: I'm Not Filipina
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Anat Tel
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 51 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. A six-year-old blind girl of Filipino origin who was born in Israel is adopted by a loving Filipino worker. Together they try to bridge the gaps of language and mentality in a country in which one of them regards as her homeland and the other still feels like a stranger.

ID Blues – Jewish and Democratic

TITLE: ID Blues – Jewish and Democratic
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Haim Yavin
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Henrew with English ST
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. The final and most controversial part in Haim Yavin’s travelogue, examining different aspects of daily lives and struggles facing Arab citizens in Israeli society.

Lod Detour / Okef Lod

TITLE: Lod Detour
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Orna Raviv
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 60 minutes
SOURCE: Israel Film Institute
TEXT: Documentary. Amal High School in Lod is the last opportunity for students who failed other educational frameworks to complete their high school education. We follow three students' stories through the eyes of the school's principal, who is determined that his students will succeed against all odds.
'Amal 1 High School'' in Lod is the last opportunity for students who failed other educational frameworks to complete their high school education.
The film follows three students'' stories through the eyes of the school''s principal Ilan Hakary.
Menachem: Ethiopian immigrant and a born leader. He was suspended from all schools, spending his time on the streets. Ilan tries to teach Menachem how to study. A crisis in their relationship triggers the change that Ilan hoped for. Hulud: An Arab girl, who is split between her Arab identity and her family''s loyalty to Israel. Her delinquent boyfriend Muhammed, promises to change for her, but makes her leave school. The fact that the school doesn''t give up on her, makes her reach the right decisions. Danit: Her parents separated, and her mother moved with her new boyfriend to Ashkelon. Danit remained alone and stopped going to school. On her first day at school, it was doubtful that she''d complete her high school education. But Ilan didn''t give up. When Danit started missing school, Ilan picked her up everyday so she wouldn''t roam the streets. At the end of the film Danit receives her first matriculation results.

Lone Samaritan

TITLE: Lone Samaritan
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Barak Heymann
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.ruthfilms.com/lone-samaritan.html
TEXT: Documentary. The tiny sect of Samaritans date back to the first temple in Israel and are constantly in danger of extinction. The Samaritans hold their traditions sacred, and do not assimilate. After TV star Sophie Tzdaka and her three sisters leave this closed community, the family becomes subject to terrible harassment by sect members.

The Office - Ha'Misrad

TITLE: The Office - Ha'Misrad
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Eitan Tzur
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: In the Israeli adaptation of the world famous British (and USA) television comedy, the office is a microcosm of Israeli society, where an orthodox woman, Arab man, Russian immigrant, and gay man work under one roof with a useless, non-pc boss / office manager. Based upon the original series produced for the BBC, and created, written and devised by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

The Weekly Portion - Parashat ha'Shavua

TITLE: The Weekly Portion - Parashat ha'Shavua
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Rani Bleier
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: This hit Israeli TV show follows the drama of four families from different social and economic `backgrounds in Israeli society. Love, hate, friendships and secrets mix together when the families connect. Starring Keren Mor, Menashe Noy, Clara Khoury, Kais Nashef and more.

There Must Be Another Way

TITLE: There Must Be Another Way
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yaric Mozer
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 70 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Follows the Jewish-Arab duo: NOA, a world-renowned Jewish-Israeli singer, and Arab singer Mira Awad, on their journey to represent Israel at the European song competition, following the military operation in Gaza and despite resistance from left and right.

World Class Kids

TITLE: World Class Kids
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Netta Loevy
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 54 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. An Arab, a Jew, a Chinese, and a Philippine walk to school one morning…”—sounds like the beginning of an old joke, but that’s not the case. These are some of the second-grade pupils attending the Tel Nordau Elementary School, in the heart of Tel Aviv. The film follows the pupils’ interactions among themselves and with Meirav, their teacher. Meirav has to adapt the ill-suited educational materials, which are in contradiction with the needs of her classroom’s post-modern melting pot. The film follows the class throughout one school year, which becomes volatile as the Gaza War upsets the social dynamics in the classroom.

Zahara

TITLE: Zahara
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Mohammad Bakri
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 60 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. With touching personal style and breathtaking cinematography, Director Mohammad Bakri tells the story of his 78 year old aunt Zahara, from the times of pre-state Palestine to present, leading the family with love and wisdom through the many trials of life.

Anita

TITLE: Anita
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Marcos Carnevale
COUNTRY: Argentina
LANGUAGE: Spanish with English ST
TIME: 105 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: http://www.menemshafilms.com/anita.html
TEXT: In this poignant drama, Anita Feldman (an extraordinary debut by Alejandra Manzo) is a young woman with Down Syndrome. Lovingly cared for by her mother (Oscar® nominee Norma Aleandro), Anita helps run her small stationery store in their Buenos Aires Jewish neighborhood. Everything changes on July 18, 1994, when a car bomb explodes outside the AMIA Jewish community center, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. Disoriented, Anita wanders the city for days – trusting to chance and deeply affecting everyone she meets. Boston Jewish Film Festival, November 2010

Army of Crime (L'Armée du crime)

TITLE: Army of Crime (L'Armée du crime)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Robert Guediguian
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French German with English ST
TIME: 139 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: http://www.lorberfilms.com/army-of-crime/
TEXT: The year: 1943. The place: Occupied France. A cell of partisan guerilla fighters successfully organizes to bring down high-ranking Nazi officials. Missak Manouchian, a French poet who lost his family in the Armenian genocide, leads 23 Jewish and Communist saboteurs, many of them members of the MOI (Immigrant Workforce Movement). Director Robert Guédiguian’s suspenseful telling of this legendary chapter in the French resistance contrasts the devoted love between Missak and his wife Mélinée with how we choose violence: reluctantly, impulsively and chillingly. Shown at the Boston Jewish Film Festival in November 2010 with community Partners: The Armenian Film Festival of Boston; The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film; and Generations After, Inc.

Bena

TITLE: Bena
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Niv Klainer
COUNTRY: France, Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 84 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: http://www.transfax.co.il/?CategoryID=217
TEXT: In this explosive story, Amos (Shmuel Vilozni) is a mental health worker and widower who protects his schizophrenic teenage son Yurik (Michael Moshonov, Lebanon) from hospitalization. When Amos discovers Bena (Rachel Santillon), an illegal Thai, working as a caregiver, he brings her home to tend to his increasingly fragile son. Yurik’s jealousy is aroused by his father’s warm relationship with Bena. With her husband – also an illegal immigrant – missing, Bena feels trapped by Yurik’s unwanted attentions. Director Niv Klainer’s first feature drama is a stunner. Actor Michael Moshonov just won the Israeli Academy Award (Ophir) for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Mabul (The Flood), directed by Guy Nativ

Five Brothers (Comme les cinq doigts de la main)

TITLE: Five Brothers (Comme les cinq doigts de la main)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Alexandre Arcady
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 117 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.arpselection.com/info_film.asp?t01id=159
TEXT: A handsome young man speeding his Audi around mountainous curves overlooking the Mediterranean; a single cufflink; a leather bag filled with bills. Four brothers in Paris gather every Shabbat for dinner at their widowed mother’s home. What’s the link? Director Alexandre Arcady jumps from Marseille to Paris before we can connect the dots, as the fifth brother, long estranged from his family, breaks out of prison and flees the mob. Stars in this fast-paced thriller include Patrick Bruel, Vincent Elbaz, Eric Caravaca, Françoise Fabian, and Michel Aumont.

Five Hours from Paris (Hamesh Shaot me'Pariz)

TITLE: Five Hours from Paris (Hamesh Shaot me'Pariz)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Leon Prudovsky
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.go2films.com/film_info.asp?id=144&title=
TEXT: Pensive, chanson-loving cabbie Yigal (Dror Keren, nominated for an Israeli Film Academy Award) falls for Lina (Elena Yaralova), his son’s music teacher, who happens to be a Russian beauty and former concert pianist. But nothing is easy for Yigal: Lina turns out to have a husband, Grisha (Vladimir Freedman), who’s gone to Canada to take his medical boards. Yigal’s fear of flying complicates their relationship as it plays out to a panoply of musical styles in this Chekhovian romantic comedy, set in working-class Tel Aviv.

The Girl from A Reading Primer (Ala z Elementarza)

TITLE: The Girl from A Reading Primer (Ala z Elementarza)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Edyta Wroblewska
COUNTRY: Poland
LANGUAGE: Polish with English ST
TIME: 28 minute short video format
SOURCE: http://www.kalejdoskop.art.pl/en/production-of-a-project-ala-from-the-reading-primer.html
TEXT: When author Marian Falski met little Alina Margolis, she made Alina a character in Poland’s most popular reading primer. Filmmaker Edyta Wróblewska now tells the rest of Alina’s extraordinary story. After serving as a nurse in the Warsaw Ghetto, Alina married Marek Edelman, a leader in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. With her children, she left Poland in 1968 for France, and became an early participant in Doctors Without Borders. The reading primer’s pages illustrate this portrait of a remarkable woman

Hasan Everywhere

TITLE: Hasan Everywhere
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Andrew Kavanagh
COUNTRY: Ireland
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 7 minute short video
SOURCE: http://www.kavaleer.com/babies_hasan.htm
TEXT: During the cold New York winter of 2003, they were young, talented free spirits. Dorit Rabinyan was a rising star among Israeli novelists; Hassan Hourani was a gifted Palestinian artist. A passionate friendship flourished between these exiles abroad on Bayridge Avenue in Brooklyn that would be impossible at home in Ramallah or Tel Aviv. Hassan’s colorful artwork is the catalyst for the film’s animation, and Dorit’s written account of their all-too-brief friendship sets the narrative tone.


Hidden Children (Une Enfance volée: L'Affaire Finaly)

TITLE: Hidden Children (Une Enfance volée: L'Affaire Finaly)
YEAR: 2008
DIR/PROD: Fabrice Genestal
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.ab-international.com/catalogue_2006/detail_en.asp?Code=2273
TEXT: With their parents rounded up in Occupied France and transported to concentration camps, the Finaly brothers, aged one and two, are sheltered by Antoinette Brun, a deeply religious French Catholic woman. Once the war ends, Madame Brun refuses to comply with their parents’ wishes to turn the children over to an aunt in Palestine. Madame Brun rushes to have the boys baptized, thereby engaging the Church in the battle for their custody. The legal case that informed this drama made headlines throughout France

I Miss You (Te extraño)

TITLE: I Miss You (Te extraño)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Fabian Hofman
COUNTRY: Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay
LANGUAGE: Spanish with English ST
TIME: 96 minutes
SOURCE: http://latinofusion.com.mx/lang/en/2010/02/02/peliculasfilms/novedadesnew-releases/te-extranoi-miss-you-2/
TEXT: Fabián Hofman’s moving, semi-autobiographical story depicts one Jewish family caught in Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s. When teenaged Adrian “disappears,” his parents send his younger brother Javier to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in Mexico. Everyone misses Adrian – even his old friends, who have somehow managed to land in Mexico City, too. In this sensitively drawn coming-of-age story, Javier decides that going home is the only way to rebuild his fractured family’s future.

I Was There In Color

TITLE: I Was There in Color
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Avishai Kfir
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 55 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Fred Monosson died in 1974. He was a Boston Jewish businessman who purchased one of the first privately-owned portable color movie cameras in the 1940s, then traveled to Europe and Israel to record the formation of the State of Israel in something other than the usual black-and-white. Filmmaker Avishai Kfir uncovers and narrates Fred Monosson’s colorful philanthropic epic. From the liberation of Auschwitz to the eras of Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan; from building kibbutzim to dedicating monuments; an ebullient Fred always takes center frame, a carnation in his lapel.

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story

TITLE: Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Peter Miller
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 91 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.7thart.com/films/Jews-and-Baseball-An-American-Love-Story
TEXT: Renowned sports writer Ira Berkow hits one out of the park with Jews and Baseball. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, this documentary highlights the contributions of Jewish major leaguers to America’s favorite pastime, while exploring baseball’s special place in the hearts of American Jews. The Boston Jewish Film Festival followed this film with famed area sportswriters and broadcasters

Just Like Home / K'mo BaBayit

TITLE: Just Like Home / K'mo BaBayit
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Alexander Gentelev / Sasha Klein and Maya Zinshtein - S.M.S. Productions
COUNTRY: Israel, Russia
LANGUAGE: Russian with English ST
TIME: 58 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.ruthfilms.com/just-like-home.html
TEXT: Documentary. Svetlana and Raphael Khakhiashvili manage Moscow’s Jewish Orphanage as loving adults to the thirty children in their care. This documentary narrates the small crises and triumphs that make up daily life in the sprawling house where they all live. “Teacher Sveta” and “Papa Rafi” offer expert guidance to both young children who speak candidly of their painful pasts and young adults who have moved on to make lives for themselves in Israel. Sadly, Raphael died in 2010.

Little Rose (Ró?yczka)

TITLE: Little Rose (Ró?yczka)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Jan Kidawa-B?o?ski
COUNTRY: Poland
LANGUAGE: Polish with English ST
TIME: 118 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.pisf.pl/en/polish-films/films-from-a-to-z/rozyczka
TEXT: Passions ignite this thriller set in Poland in spring 1968, when the government’s anti-Semitic campaign puts citizens on edge. Security policeman Roz?k sends his lover to investigate whether a well-known dissident writer is Jewish. As her assignment progresses, she wins not only the writer’s trust but also his love. Based on the character of Polish writer Pawel Jasienica, with powerful performances by Poland’s legendary Andrzej Seweryn (the films of Andrzej Wajda, Schindler’s List), Robert Wiecki?wicz as the policeman, and Magdalena Boczarska as secret agent “Little Rose."

The Lives and Times of Abraham Kahn

TITLE: The Lives and Times of Abraham Kahn
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yaron Dahan
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 18 minutes short
SOURCE: BJFF.org
TEXT: Abraham Kahn was born at the side of a dirt road in a nameless small town in Silesia on December 25, 1899 and died on the same day, one century later. The quintessential wandering Jew, he flew with the Red Baron, fought alongside the International Brigades, and even blasted off into space. He lived through five wars, several revolutions, and three marriages. An intriguing photo-novel recounting the history of an entire continent on the basis of one restless man’s recollections

Louise's Diary 1942 (Les Amours secrètes)

TITLE: Louise's Diary 1942 (Les Amours secrètes)
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Franck Phelizon
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with ST
TIME: 85 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.lesamourssecretes.com/
TEXT: During the German Occupation of France, Sarah Rosenblum was young, beautiful, and in love – with an SS officer who provides false identity papers to Jews. Sarah lives under the protection of Huguette, a generous cabaret singer and resistance worker. In her house, this unlikely couple can give free rein to their love affair. Unwittingly, they awaken the jealousy of another resident: Robert, a 16-year-old voyeur. Meanwhile, the Nazis are tightening security. This thriller is based upon a true story of love and betrayal

Maya

TITLE: Maya
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Michael Bat-Adam
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with Sbtitles
TIME: 89 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.israelifilms.co.il/40420/Maya
TEXT: Renowned Israeli actress and director Michal Bat-Adam's latest release features a play within a movie. When a young actress wins the lead role in a new play by a well-known director, she wrestles with his suggestion that she spend time at a local mental hospital to understand her role as a traumatized young woman. Simultaneously, she thinks about accepting the director’s advances. Maya's deepened knowledge of her character changes herself, the play, and the power play between actress and director

Me and the Jewish Thing (Mig og Jøderiet)

TITLE: Me and the Jewish Thing (Mig og Jøderiet)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Ulrik Gutkin
COUNTRY: Denmark
LANGUAGE: Danish with English ST
TIME: 43 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.meandthejewishthing.com/
TEXT: Ulrik Gutkin didn’t really feel Jewish until his son Felix was born. Now he wants to pass on the connection – but how? His Danish Christian wife doesn’t want their son to be raised Jewish or Christian and is resolutely against circumcision. Ulrik can trace his Jewish Danish ancestors four generations back. This likeable interfaith couple will not rest with easy answers as they struggle to define their young family.

Michal, Matthias and the Unborn Child

TITLE: Michal, Matthias and the Unborn Child
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Michal Oppenheim
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: English German and Hebrew with subtitles
TIME: 12 minute short
SOURCE:
TEXT: Michal has decided to leave Israel and live with Matthias in Berlin. Before the big move, knowing that Matthias wants to start a family, Michal takes a trip expressly to explore the city’s Jewish high school and to visit with an Israeli family raising their children in Berlin. Michal’s fears are similar to those of other Jews entering into a mixed marriage: What will happen to my Jewish identity? To that of my children? But, in Berlin, those concerns become highly charged

My Life With Carlos / Mi Vida con Carlos

TITLE: My Life With Carlos / Mi Vida con Carlos
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: German Berger-Hertz
COUNTRY: Chile, Spain, Germany
LANGUAGE: Spanish with subtitles
TIME: 83 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.mividaconcarlos.com/
TEXT: Carlos Berger Guralnik’s death at age 30, at the hands of Chile’s Pinochet regime, shattered the lives of his surviving family members: his parents, three brothers, wife and infant son. Germán Berger-Hertz, Carlos’ son, searches for the memory of his father’s life. This beautifully shot documentary “breaks the silence” in a country that does not wish to remember its shadowy past.


My So-Called Enemy

TITLE: My So-Called Enemy
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Lisa Gossels
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic, English with subtitles
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.mysocalledenemy.com/
TEXT: Documentary. Emmy Award-winning Lisa Gossels (The Children of Chabannes, 1999 Festival) returns with My So-Called Enemy. This Wayland native follows six young Palestinian and Israeli women who meet as teens in a 2002 U.S. women’s leadership program, Building Bridges for Peace. Their experience dramatically complicates the next seven years of their lives. Gal, a Jewish Israeli, and Rezan, a Christian Palestinian, find their friendship especially challenged when Gal enters the Israeli army. My So-Called Enemy depicts the painstaking effort behind even the smallest steps toward peace.

Oh, What a Mess! (So ein Schlamassel)

TITLE: Oh, What a Mess! (So ein Schlamassel)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Dirk Regel
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: German with English ST
TIME: 89 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: This comedy of manners turns on Jill, a single, 30-something Jewish tax preparer in contemporary Berlin who falls for Mark, a landscape architect, and a nice German boy. Her close, extended family zealously wishes her married but forbids her to marry a non-Jew. So, when Jill brings Mark home for Shabbat dinner she urges him to pretend to be Jewish. He “passes” with flying colors. One thing leads to another --- until Mark’s cover is blown, and Jill must make a decision about her happiness.

Paris Return (Kol Erev)

TITLE: Paris Return (Kol Erev)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Yossi Aviram
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew and French with English subtitles
TIME: 70 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.belfilms.co.il/CurrentFilmsDetails.asp?id=7&path=current
TEXT: Successful architects Reoven and Pierluigi have lived together in Paris for decades. Scenes from a marriage portray their shared love of art, antiques, fashion, fine food – and a close bond sustained by joking and bickering. At seventy-five, Reoven wants to return home to Israel for his final days, but Pierluigi, who is ten years younger, doesn’t want to leave their charmed life in Paris. In this documentary made by Reoven’s nephew, the camera frames the architecture of Paris and the couple’s exquisite apartment.


Religion.com

TITLE: Religion.com
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Yohai Hakak, Ron Ofer
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with ST
TIME: 50 minutes
SOURCE: http://haredimfilm.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39&Itemid=36
TEXT: For Yigal Revach, the internet is a lively oasis in an ultra-Orthodox Haredi society that restricts freedom of expression. His advertising agency in the religiously observant city of B’nei Brak bustles with energy as Yigal attempts to gain rabbinic approval for an internet service. For Rabbi Micha Rothschild, the internet is a Trojan horse set on ruining the Haredi community. Rothschild fervently warns web providers and posts anti-internet leaflets in religious neighborhoods. Two very Jewish men; two “business models” for a world in flux

Saviors in the Night (Unter Bauern - Retter in der Nacht)

TITLE: Saviors in the Night (Unter Bauern - Retter in der Nacht)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Ludi Boeken
COUNTRY: Germany, France
LANGUAGE: German, French, English with subtitles
TIME: 95 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.menemshafilms.com/saviors-in-the-night.html
TEXT: Dutch director and producer Ludi Boeken’s newest feature depicts farmers in Germany’s Westphalia who hid Marga Spiegel, her husband Menne and their daughter Karin from 1943 until 1945. The farmers humbly hid the family members, without a sense of their own bravery, even as the growing Nazi Youth Movement increased their risk. Marga Spiegel’s 1965 memoir helped memorialize them as Righteous Gentiles in Yad VaShem Living Holocaust Memorial. Well-known German actors Veronica Ferres and Margarita Broich give powerful performances

The “Socalled” Movie

TITLE: The “Socalled” Movie
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Garry Beitel
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 86 minutes
SOURCE: http://blog.nfb.ca/socalled/
TEXT: This ingenious documentary unmasks the performer known as Socalled. The director showcases Socalled’s unique hybrid of Klezmer and Hip-hop and his quirky, lovable personality. There’s lots of live concert footage, including a cruise down the Dnieper River in the Ukraine and a gig at Harlem’s Apollo Theater with noted funk artist Fred Wesley and breakthrough Klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. Benjamin Steiger Levine, the brains behind Socalled’s hit music video Never Alone, gives us a backstage tour.

Tango, a Story with Jews (Tango, una historia con judíos)

TITLE: Tango, a Story with Jews (Tango, una historia con judíos)
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Gabriel Pomeraniec
COUNTRY: Argentina
LANGUAGE: Spanish with ST
TIME: 70 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.jewishtango.com.ar/
TEXT: Documentary. Argentinean filmmaker Gabriel Pomeraniec’s first feature documentary tells the story of how Jewish musicians, who fled Russia for Buenos Aires at the end of the nineteenth century, contributed to the romance of tango music. Family memories and seductive historic recordings bring the figures in this little-known story of cultural and artistic fusion to life. The film includes footage illuminating tango’s revival among young Argentineans today. The film is based upon the book of same title, written by journalist and historian José Judkovski, who also does voiceover. When the Boston Jewish Film Festival screened this in November 2010 they had a musician and dancers speak and perform, etc.

Tell Them Anything You Want

TITLE: Tell Them Anything You Want
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 39 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.oscilloscope.net/shop/view_film.php?ID=21&r=gallery
TEXT: One of the most cherished and controversial figures in children’s literature lets us know what it’s like to be Maurice Sendak, a tortured man with a cantankerous shell and a soft heart. This collaboration between veteran filmmaker Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze, who directed the film version of Where the Wild Things Are, is a moving tribute to a man whose creativity matches his obsession with death, and whose homosexuality was hidden for years because of his work as a children’s book author

The Trotsky

TITLE: The Trotsky
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Jacob Tierney
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 113 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: http://www.thetrotskymovie.com/
TEXT: Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Knocked Up) is not your average Montreal West high school student: he claims to be the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. When his father (Saul Rubinek) sends Leon to public school as punishment for starting a hunger strike at Papa’s clothing factory, Leon quickly lends new meaning to the term “student union,” determined as he is to change the world. A comedy starring Jay Baruchel (not Jewish, but Canadian), a staple of the Judd Apatow gang, The Trotsky serves smart jokes laced with cultural commentary. Included in the Discovery section of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Shown at Boston Jewish Film Festival in November 2010. Nice touch that the principal looks like Lenin.

Vidal Sassoon The Movie: How One Man Changed the World with a Pair of Scissors

TITLE: Vidal Sassoon The Movie: How One Man Changed the World with a Pair of Scissors
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Craig Teper
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 93 minutes
SOURCE: http://vidalsassoonthemovie.com/
TEXT: Documentary. Born in 1928, Vidal Sassoon spent six years of his impoverished London childhood in a Jewish orphanage. Beginning as a shampoo boy at age 14, Vidal eventually became the most influential hairdresser in the world. This documentary, produced by Bumble and Bumble founder Michael Gordon, is a trip to Carnaby Street, Mary Quant’s mod look, the invention of the mini-skirt, geometric haircuts, and more. Why not take the afternoon off and come as your 60s self? And bring your favorite hairdresser while you’re at it. Boston Jewish Film Festival, November 2010. Tribeca Film Festival NYC 2010.

Wrong Side of the Bus

TITLE: Wrong Side of the Bus
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Rod Freedman
COUNTRY: Australia
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 56 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: What’s the price of being a bystander to injustice? Sidney Bloch is an internationally recognized professor of psychiatry, loving father, singer and author of books on mental health. This Jewish man, comfortably settled in Australia, is troubled by his past complicity in South Africa’s apartheid system. In this film, Sid attends his Cape Town medical school reunion, determined to resolve the guilt that has haunted him for forty years. His teenage son, Aaron, an astute critic and ardent supporter, accompanies Sid on his journey.


Nora's Will / Cinco Dias Sin Nora

TITLE: Nora's Will / Cinco Dias Sin Nora
YEAR: 2010
DIR/PROD: Mariana Chenillo
COUNTRY: Mexico
LANGUAGE: Spanish with English ST
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.menemshafilms.com/noras-will.html
TEXT: Winners of several (7) Ariel (Mexican “Oscars”) Awards in 2010. A very personal story by the director based on the suicide of her grandmother and its affect on her grandfather (who was divorced for many years from her). On its basic terms, it is the story of a woman's last wishes, and her ex-husband who tries not to carry them out and subvert them. Nora had a plan. She is meticulous and strong willed. It would bring her ex-husband, Jose, and the rest of their family together for a magnificent Passover feast. But there is a flaw in her plan- a mysterious photograph from the past, hidden under the bed, which leads Jose to to reexamine their relationship and rediscover their undying love for each other.
Her ex-husband Jose (Ariel winner Fernando Luján) has been divorced from Nora for decades but still living in an apartment across the street, Jose is lured into Nora's place by an elaborate stratagem only to find that his ex-wife has taken an overdose of sleeping pills and, in her 15th attempt in 30 years, finally succeeded in killing herself. Nora has not only carefully arranged for her death — she left her cat with a neighbor by pretending to be on vacation — she also has plans for the next few days. By committing suicide on the eve of Passover, she has ensured that she can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery for four days, especially because her son Ruben (Ari Brickman) and daughter-in-law Barbara (Cecilia Suárez) are out of town and want time to return. More than that, Nora has filled her refrigerator with food ready to be cooked for that Seder, labeling every container with Post-its and leaving an entire book of instructions for her faithful maid, Fabiana (the wonderful Angelina Peláez, also an Ariel winner), to execute. Clearly Nora, with the aid of strategically placed dry ice, wants to be in the apartment while her family celebrates a last holiday meal together
Cast includes: Fernando Luján / José Cecilia Suárez / Bárbara Ari Brickman / Rubén Verónica Langer / Aunt Leah Enrique Arreola / Moisés\ Angelina Peláez / Fabiana Silvia Mariscal / Nora Marina de Tavira / Young Nora Juan Pablo Medina / Young José Juan Carlos Colombo / Dr. Nurko Martin LaSalle / Rabbi Kolatch Max Kerlow / Rabbi Jackowitz

The Yankles

TITLE: The Yankles
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: David R. Brooks
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 115 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.drbrooksphoto.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieIaCsox6pY
TEXT: A sports film … Charlie Jones, a washed up, ex major league ballplayer, gets a second chance at life and love by managing a Jewish, orthodox yeshiva baseball team. Director: David R. Brooks Writers: David and Zev Brooks. Stars: Brian Wimmer, Bart Johnson and Don Most. The Yankles is about Charlie Jones, a professional baseball player who was released from the Los Angeles Spirits because of a drinking problem. Upon being paroled from prison after serving time for his third drunk driving conviction, Charlie endeavors to serve 192 hours mandatory community service by coaching baseball. To Charlie's dismay, however, he is shunned by mainstream society because of the controversy surrounding his early parole and prior convictions. Charlie soon discovers that the only people willing to give him a second chance are a group of Jewish, orthodox, yeshiva students who formed an upstart baseball team called The Yankles. Fortunately for Charlie, The Yankles are as desperate for a coach as he is for community service. After a rough start, Charlie finds a home with The Yankles. With Charlie's help, The Yankles strive for success on the field,

Rafting to Bombay

TITLE: Rafting to Bombay
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Erez Laufer
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 70 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.erezlauferfilms.com
TEXT: Documentary. While visiting Mumbai to document his father's story of how he found refuge in India during World War II, Israeli director Erez Laufer (Darien Dilemma) is caught in the worst terror attack the city has ever experienced. As the drama of the terrorist takeover of both Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel and Chabad House unfolds, the Laufer family recounts the tale of their escape from Poland and treacherous journey down the Tigris River. Past and present collide in RAFTING TO BOMBAY as the family's history is echoed in the contemporary tragedy and the little-known tale of Jewish refugees who found safe haven in Bombay emerges.

Seven Minutes in Heaven / Sheva dakot be gan eden

TITLE: Seven Minutes in Heaven
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Omri Givon / Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir, Elie Meirovitz, Michael Rozenbaum, Ferenc Pusztai
COUNTRY: Israel-France-Hungary
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 94 minutes
SOURCE: Transfax, Tel Aviv
TEXT: Stars: Reymond Amsalem, Eldad Fribas, Nadav Nates, Benjamin Jagendorf. Part transcendental love story, part gritty psychological thriller, Israeli writer-helmer Omri Givon's impressive feature debut, "Seven Minutes in Heaven," handles a difficult subject with imagination and emotional veracity. Boasting strong perfs, riveting hyper-real cinematography and sensitive editing, the intricately structured narrative follows a young Jerusalem woman, the survivor of a suicide bus bombing, as she struggles to reclaim her memory of that horrific day. Named best feature at the Haifa Film Festival, it's a natural for further fest action and could suit niche arthouse and broadcast slots.
Cleverly constructed so that auds learn more about the bombing along with protag Galia (Reymond Amsalem) through her investigations, hallucinations and fragmented flashbacks, the pic becomes increasingly tense and involving as it progresses. However, this style of storytelling (indebted to Krzysztof Kieslowski's "The Double Life of Veronique") requires patience and attentiveness from viewers who won't immediately be able to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.
Pic's title is backgrounded when Galia visits Itzik (Benjamin Jagendorf), a first responder at the bombing scene, at his Gates of Heaven seminary and learns she was unconscious for seven minutes and considered clinically dead. He shares a mystical tale about souls that rise up to heaven but are incomplete, telling her, "Our creator gives these souls a chance to observe the life they'll live if they choose to return." Although Galia scoffs, Itzik notes that a soul choosing to return might be able to change its destiny at the moment it reunites with the body. With her extensive burns healing more quickly than her mental trauma, Galia initially resists the soothing attentions of new acquaintance Boaz (Eldad Fribas). But as their relationship deepens and her memory returns, the startling final act puts a poignant metaphysical spin on all that has come before.
Close scrutiny reveals that Givon's complex script plants clues for the ending twist. Meanwhile, his confident direction keeps the story grounded in the complicated realities of Israeli life.
In her first leading role, unconventionally attractive Amsalem is at her best in a bold, teasing or flirtatious mode, transmitting power and strength. Striking sparks with Amsalem, sexy, sympathetic Fribas makes an impression that by far outlasts than his screen time.
Nitay Netzer's vivid, beautifully composed widescreen uses HD lensing. Among the unforgettable images: Galia's eyes locking with those of the bomber, and the burned hulk of the destroyed bus.

Among Farmers: Saviors in the Night / Unter Bauern/

TITLE: Among Farmers: Saviors in the Night
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Ludi Boeken / Joachim von Mengershausen, Karl Baumgartner, Werner Wirsing
COUNTRY: Germany
LANGUAGE: English subtitles
TIME: 88 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.menemshafilms.com/saviors-in-the-night.html
TEXT: Saviors in the Night (Unter Bauern) is based on the memories of Marga Spiegel. In her narrative, published in 1965, she describes how courageous farmers in southern Münsterland hid her, her husband Siegfried {named Menne} and their little daughter Karin from 1943 until 1945, thus saving them from deportation to the extermination camps in the East. The film tells this story of survival with a sense for the absurd in daily life and not without the typical Westphalian humor. Without reservation, the farmers offer the refugees their protection. That this turns them into heroes would never occur to them. They are used to weathering even dangerous situations somehow, guided only by their instinct and century-old code of ethics. They risk their own lives, and, if necessary, even that of their families. There is never a discussion about friendship, reliability, humanity. In Yad Vashem the farmers’ names are immortalized: Heinrich Aschoff, Hubert Pentrop, Bernhard Südfeld, Heinrich Silkenböhmer, Bernhard Sickmann. Saviors in the Night wants to create a memorial in honor of these silent heroes.

Jaffa – A Clockwork’s Orange

TITLE: Jaffa - A Clockwork’s Orange
YEAR: 2009
DIR/PROD: Eyal Sivan
COUNTRY: Belgium, Gemany, France, Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic, English, French w/ English ST
TIME: 88 minutes
SOURCE: www.eyalsivan.info
TEXT: Using extraordinary archive footage, Eyal Sivan´s documentary shows the Arab-Jewish life in Palestine before the founding of Israel in 1948, how the cooperation in growing and exporting the Jaffa orange was seen as a symbol of positive Arab-Jewish relations. But while the Jaffa orange became the symbol of the State of Israel and of Zionist enterprise, for Palestinians it symbolises the loss and destruction of their homeland. The film offers a joint narrative by both intellectual and non-intellectual Israelis and Palestinians: for example: businessmen and workers from the citrus industry - poet, journalist, curator, historian and artist. They remember and reflect by carefully looking at unique archive material with us, the audience: old photos, early film-footage, commercials, political posters, and art incorporating the orange. Slowly and thoroughly, the film explores and analyses Jewish-Arab life in Palestine before 1948, colonial jealousy and intervention, visual marketing propaganda and Western Christian Zionist myths about the Holy Land and the Orient and at the same time, how a legend was systematically created. Eyal Sivan, is a documentary filmmaker and essayist, who is currently co-leader of the MA program in Film, video and new media at the school of Humanities and social sciences, at the University of East London (UEL). Born 1964 in Haifa, Israel, he grew up in Jerusalem, and after working as a professional fashion photographer in Tel-Aviv he left Israel in 1985 and settled in Paris. Since then he worked in Europe and in Israel. Sivan directed more then ten worldwide awarded political documentaries and produced many others. Sivan publishes and lectures on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, documentary filmmaking and ethics, political crimes representation, political use of memory, as well as genocide and representation. Sivan is the founder and editor-in-chief of "South Cinema Notebooks" - a journal of cinema and political critic edited by the Sapir academic college in Israel and member of the editorial board of the Paris-based publishing house "La Fabrique" as well as of the French social and political studies journal De l´autre Côté".















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