Fiction feature films - competition 2005
Feature fiction films
Walk on water
Chodzic po wodzie
dir. Eytan Fox, Israel/Germany, 2002, 104`
A hit man for Mossad is given the mission to track down the very old Alfred Himmelman, an ex Nazi officer, who might be still alive. Pretending to be a tourist guide he befriends his grandson Axel, in Israel to visit his sister. He wants to convince her to come back to Germany for their Fathers birthday party.The two men set out on an extended tour of the country during which, Axel's frank and open attitude challenges Eyal's rigid, clichéd values. Their friendship grows until he learns of Axel's homosexuality. With this final straw he leaves.To finish his mission Eyal has to go to Germany. He meets Axel once more and succeeds in being invited to the family party where secrets will be revealed.
Almost Peaceful/Un Monde Presque
Cisza po burzy
dir. Michel Deville, France, 2002, 90`
August 1946. A ladies' garment workshop in the Jewish tailors' district of Paris.In the workshop amidst sewing machines, cutting and finishing tables, and bolts of cloth - and in the street in a café, a hotel room or an apartment that suddenly seems too large - four women, five men and their children learn to live again. Devastated but determined, hardened but joyful, they opt for life.Ordinary people; extraordinary people.Almost peaceful is about hope.
dir. Paul Morrison, UK 2002, 106`
London, 1960, and sleepy 11-year-old David Wiseman is only interested in one thing: cricket. The problem is, he's not very good at the game, and on the school team he has been relegated to lowly role of scorekeeper. Then, to the horror of the neighbourhood, a Jamaican family moves in next door and David's life suddenly changes. An engrossing, insightful look at race relations, racism and the plight of immigrants, Jewish and Black, recently arrived in an intolerant land. Wondrous Oblivion avoids cliches in its deft sketching of a memorable time and place. From Paul Morrison, director of Solomon and Geanor [TJFF 2000].
Go for Zucker- An Unorthodox comedy? / Alles auf Zucker
Dawaj Pan Panie Zucker dir. Dani Levy, Germany 2004, 90`
Jaeckie Zucker id up to his ears in debt, again. This time it's worse than usual for the roguish, wisecracking, hard-dring Berlin pool shark formerly known as Jakob Zuckermann. Jaeckie happily left everything Jewish behind him decades ago, when his mother and brother fled to the West just before the Berlin Wall was built. When word comes that his mother has died and left him a sizeable inheritance, it's a stroke of luck… but there's a catch: Jaeckie must first reconcile with his long - estranged brother Samuel, who has become on Ortodox Jew in Frankfurt and is arriving, family in tow, for a traditional funeral and shiva and Jaeckie's house. The madcap adventure that follows finds Jaeckie and his equally irreligious wife desperately trying to "pass" as observant, while Jaeckie attempts to ditch the family so he can play in high - stakes pool tournament.Berlin - based director Dani Levy [Without Me, SFJFF 1994, Meschugge, SFJFF 1999], himself a Swiss Jew, brings together a brilliant and funny cast including German superstar Hannelore Elsner as the unflappable wife who must bone up on all things Jewish, and Golda Tencer, the doyenne of Polish Jewish theater, as the sister - in - law.
Good morning Mr. Shlomi / Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi
Dzien dobry Panie Shlomi dir. Shemi Zahrin, Israel 2003, 93`
BONJOUR MONSIEUR SHLOMI is a heartening family comedy, a surprising love story, which focuses on the captivating character of one boy blessed with extraordinary cooking talents, who discovers through the power of love that the sky is the limit. Shlomi takes care of everyone. He feeds his grandfather, bathes him and listens to his fictitious stories from World War II. He reminds his older brother to take his medication on time and intently listens to his pornographic thoughts. He calms his quick-tempered mother and mediates between her and his hypochondriac father who was thrown out of the house after cheating on her. He looks after his older sister`s twins and makes sure she keeps going back to her husband who can`t tell between the identical babies. And most of all, Shlomi makes sure to make everyone happy by cooking their favorite dishes. Shlomi knows - they'll eat and calm down. Because his home is a battlefield and Shlomi runs around between everyone, making peace.
The first time I was twenty
Kiedy bede miala 20 lat
dir. Lorrain Levy, France, 2004, 93`
Hannah is 16 years old, smarter and spunkier than most of her classmates and her two pretty sisters, and plays a mean upright bass. But in her conventional suburb in mid-1960s France, none of that counts. She's not interested in dating, it seems, and the famous school jazz band that she desperately wants to join is traditionally all-male and refuses to budge. Hannah's adolescence is turning out to be no pique-nique--especially when pranks aimed at her turn from gentle hazing to being outright anti-Semitic adapted from Susie Morgenstern's book for younger readers by Lorraine Levy, whose directorial debut is immensely enjoyable for teens and adults alike.
Fateless / Sorstalangsag
dir. Lajos Koltai, Hungary 2003-05, 104`
Köves is an ordinary adolescent Jewish boy living an ordinary life in Budapest in 1944. Not long after his father is deported to a forced labour camp, while Köves is also arrested and put on a cattle truck of a train on-route for Auschwitz, and then to Buchenwald. Köves does not rebel against his fate, he is not surprised, and does not look for a way out. He makes passing friendships as he finds himself next to adults and children; some are already burnt-out, terrified or compliant, while others are tough characters, who then drift away from him. He merely observes the scenes unravelling before him, until he gets back home after a long series of accidents, lucky and unlucky twists and turns of fate. There is nothing, no matter how absurd, that people cannot survive… This film is based on a novel by Imre Kertész, which received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and is the major achievement in the writer's life's work.
dir. Danny Verete, Israel/Canada/Germany, 2004, 91`
Metallic Blues - Danny Verete 2004.Touching, amazing road-movie, about two Israeli car dealers Siso and Shmuel, who risk it all in search of a better life. They invest US $5,000 in a vintage 1985 Lincoln Continental Limousine and plan to sell it in Germany for Eur 50,000. In Hamburg their nightmare begins. Meanwhile, Shmuel experiences a very disturbing hallucination. The family stories of the Holocaust are taking over his mind. A film about friendship and reconciliation surrounded with the memories of the dark days in the history of Germany and Israel.
dir. Keren Yedaya, France/Israel 2004, 94`
Ruthie and Or, a mother and her daughter, live in a small Tel Aviv flat. Ruthie has been a prostitute for the last twenty years. Or has tried many times to have her quit working the street, but without success.The daily routine of the 18 year-old Or is an endless succession of petty jobs : washing dishes in a restaurant, cleaning staircases and collecting deposit bottles while attending high school whenever she can. Ruthie's health is worsening. After an umpteenth visit to her mother at the hospital, Or decides that this time, things must change for good.Winner of Camera d'Or, Cannes 2004, Winner of the grand prix- Semaine de la Critique- Cannes 2004; Wolgin award for Best Film, Best Actress, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2004; Bronze Palm, Special jury mention- female actresses- Valencia Film Festival 2004; Best film - Bratislava IFF 2004 ;Best film- Tursak IFF, Turkey 2004; Best Actress, Mexico IFF 2005; Best Film, Dortmund IFF Germany 2005
dir. Lina and Slava Chaplin, Israel, 2003, 98`
Russian-Israeli husband-and-wife team Lina and Slava Chaplin (A Trumpet in the Wadi, BJFF 2002) direct this feature film about the wildly tempestuous affair between the Russian-born theatre actress Hanna Rovina and her younger lover, Alexander Penn, a brilliant, self-destructive, anarchist poet-drunkard. Rovina was a founding member of the Russian theater troupe that ultimately became Habimah, Israel's national theater company. She established herself as Israel's leading actress, the "Queen of the Jews," and her image as Leah'le in the Habima production of "The Dybbuk" has become a symbol of Jewish and Israeli theater. But even this great love, cannot withstand the growing gap between two artistic egos. The Chaplins evoke the feel of bohemian Tel Aviv in the 1930s when actors, novelists, painters, and poets began creating a café society and struggled to construct a new Hebrew culture of their own.
Perlasca: An Italian Hero
Perlasca: Wloski bohater
dir. Alberto Negrin, Italy /Hungary 2002, 93`
This drama portrays Giorgio Perlasca's selfless courage in saving more than 3,500 Hungarian Jews during World War II. Perlasca becomes consumed by a sense of humanitarian duty after witnessing the persecution of Jews in Budapest. Passing himself off as a Spanish Consul, he tricks the Nazis in a series of ingenious capers.
The first letter / Abjad
dir. Abolfazi Jalili, France /Iran 2003, 104`
This fictionalized autobiographical coming-of-age story by established Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili (Delbaran) takes place in pre-revolutionary 1970s Iran, when Jews made up 15 percent of the population and some Jewish parents sent their children to Koranic schools. Jalili's alter ego is Emkan, an outgoing 16-year-old student whose Koran study class begins with the Abjad, or ritual recital of the alphabet. Next to him sits Maassoum, a Jewish girl whose father owns the local cinema. The religious authorities and his father condemn all the subjects that Emkan loves - calligraphy, music, photography, and film - while the neighbors, and his family, scorn his affection for Maassoum. The film offers a rare portrayal of Jews in pre-revolutionary.
dir. Andor Szilagyi, Hungary/Italy 2002, 90`
Autumn 1944. Yellow stars, ghettos, the terror of the Hungarian Nazis.The Jewish population of the Hungarian capital await the fulfilment of their tragic fate with helpless resignation. Despite the tangible horrors of the streets there is a beam of hope in the sky - if only for a moment - above the garden of a city villa. What happens but for a few moments lends strength to the hearts of those hiding here, and from day to day the embers of hope are kept burning in their harrowed souls.This mysterious strength comes from a song, which every evening resonates from the turret room of the villa. It is the belief of Géza Halász, one of the villa residents, that no Jew needs fear as long as the owner of the voice producing this song - Imre Rózsa, who is himself a Jew and a world renowned opera singer - remains in Budapest, despite his American, British, Swiss, Swedish and Vatican connections, which would allow him to flee whenever he chose. Every evening at seven, Halász pays a visit to the singer bringing with him a bag full of food, and they dine together.
James` journey to Jerusalem / Massa`ot James Be`eretz Hakodesh
Podróż Jakuba do Jerozolimy
dir. Ra `anan Alexadrowicz, Israel, 2003, 86`
In the imaginary village, the young James is chosen to undertake a mission - a pilgrimage to Holy Jerusalem. But Israel is no longer the Holy Land that James and his people imagined. At the airport, James is suspected of trying to infiltrate the country in order to work illegally. Inside the dark cell, as James prays to God to allow him to complete his mission, a miracle occurs. A mysterious stranger posts bail for him. But it soon becomes clear that James' freedom has come at a price - his savior is a manpower agent, who rescues illegal migrant workers in exchange for employing them in hard labor jobs.From then on, James' journey to Jerusalem turns into an unpredictable journey through the cruel heart of our economic system.
The Rashevski's Tango
dir. Sam Garbarski, Belgium/France/Luxemburg 2003, 90`
Collection of stories about a liberal Jewish family the concerns love, friendship, brotherhood and couples, which functions as a puzzle where each part is also a painting in itself.
The great role / Le Grand Role
dir. Steve Suissa, France 2003, 90`
Maurice Kurtz will be forty soon. He loves his wife Perla from the bottom of his heart.He has four old and great friends: Sami, Simon, Elie and Edouard.They are all actors.They often work together, but still didn't get famous.One day, they happen to know that Grichenberg, the famous American director, is in Paris to shoot Shakespeare Merchant of Venise in Yiddish and looks for his Shylock, the leading part.All of them five are going to be cast and Maurice gets the part.He comes back home to tell Perla the good news. She will be so proud of him.Unfortunately, their love and happiness can not be so pure and they will have to go through an ordeal.
dir. Amos Gitai, Israel 2005, 90`
Rebecca (Natalie Portman), an American who has been living in Jerusalem for a few months now, has just broken off her engagement. She gets into a cab driven by Hanna (Hanna Laslo), an Israeli. But Hanna is on her way to Jordan, to the Free Zone, to pick up a large sum of money that "the American", her husband's partner, owes them. Rebecca persuades Hanna to take her along. When they reach the Free Zone, Leila (Hiam Abbass), a Palestinian, explains that the American isn't there andthat the money has vanished....
dir. Shahar Rozen, Israel, 2003, 91`
Frustrated with her ilfe, 40-year-old bus driver Nurit decides to take a break from her perpetually unemployed husband. She packs up her two kids and leaves the small northern town of Qiryat Shemona for a new start in a neglected Tel Aviv neighbourhood. There, she falls into a relationship with Mushidi, the Nigerian nanny she's hired to watch her children. Beautifully acted and strikingly director, Round Trip will hold you in thrall.
Długometrażowe filmy dokumentalne
The Joel files
dir. Beate Thalberg, Austria 2001, 60`
This is the history of the family of rock legend Billy Joel - their escape from Nazi Germany and Austria and their return to discover the past. Billy Joel'sb grandfather's company was “aryanized” in 1938 and became a great success under the new owner. The bitter entanglement of two families and the third generation's eventual attempt at reconciliation from the basis of this powerful film.
Berga: Soldiers of Another War
Berga: Żolnierze innej wojny
dir. Charles Guggenheim, USA 2003, 85`
Charles Guggenheim dedicated the last six months of his life to finishing this film. This is a story about his fellow American infantrymen, who were captured during the Battle of the Bulge, then sent to a Nazi slave labor camp where many of them died. Berga: Soldiers of Another War is a documentary about American Prisoners of War caught in the tragedy of the Holocaust. Until now, their story has remained untold, lost in the trauma of the Second World War.Berga: Soldiers of Another War, will be the first film, in fifty years of directing and producing, in which Guggenheim included himself in the telling of the story. Many of the American soldiers sent over to fight in the Battle of the Bulge were from his 106th Infantry Division. He could have shared their fate if he were not injured in basic training. AFI Silver Docs - Tribute Screening 2003CINE - Golden Eagle Award 2003Columbus International Film and Video Festival - Best of Festival 2003Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Tribute Screening 2003IDA - Pare Lorentz Award 2003.
Statslos / Stateless
dir. Jacob Kofler, Denmark 2004, 44`
English soon: Metaforyczna podróz ojca i syna, obywateli Danii, do Polski, która byla kiedys ojczystym domem dla jednego z nich. Po burzliwym roku 1968, w którym premiera DZIADÓW Kazimierza Dejmka z glówna rola Gustawa Holoubka (material archiwalny w filmie) dala impuls do wystapien przeciw ustrojowi, konsekwencja tego staly sie dzialania antysemickie w spoleczenstwie Polskim. W trakcie pobytu w Polsce, syn próbuje odkryc prawde o przyczynach tych haniebnych wydarzen.
The price of life
dir. Ks.dr hab. Andrzej Baczynski, Poland 2004, 45`
Ordinary, but still unordinary. The Ulms, a family of 6 from Markowa are all killed by the Hitler soldiers for hiding 8 Jews. The proof of people's kindness.
Columbia the tragic loss
dir. Naftaly Gliksberg, Israel, 2004, 60`
Two months following the tragic loss of the Columbia, the personal diary of Ilan Ramon, an experienced F-16 pilot, where he wrote all his thoughts and experiences during his journey in space, was found at one of the crash sites. The diary was sent to the Israeli police that, in cooperation with the Israel Museum, had managed to reconstruct the partly erased handwriting. The participating artists bring us the various faces of Jerusalem, as seen through their cameras' lenses. Each filmmaker presents his or her own Jerusalem, both in content and in genre, from animation to personal documentary. They invite the viewer on a journey to Jerusalem: Jerusalem the sublime, Jerusalem the earthly, the old border, the Western Wall, the market, the soccer field, the alleyway, the Old City and the new city, the zoo and even the hairdresser.
dir. Maurice Dores, France 2003, 83`
This film intends to show several encounters with Africans and Black Americans who live in the Jewish community. They are Jews by birth or conversion. Others came to Israel in order to work or study. In Dimona, in the Neguev desert, 2 to 3 thousands Black Americans live under the law of their leader and Messiah Carter Ben Ami. They call themselves the Hebrew Israelites and practise Judaic customs.In USA, thousands of Black Jews form distinct groups. Others joined traditional Jewish communities. These men and women affirm their identity without forgetting their African origins and culture. Each one, in their own way, expresses a Black Jewishness, which finds its place within the diversity of Judaism.
The Danish Solution: The rescue of the Jews in Denmark
Dunskie rozwiazanie: Ratunek dla Zydów w Danii
dir. Karen Cantor & Camilla Kjaerulff, USA/Denmark 2003, 60`
Sixty years ago the Final Solution was attempted in Denmark. It never happened there - over 95 percent of the country's Jewish population survived the war. How and why Jews escaped the German plans for their extermination is the subject of an appealing new documentary film. Through the very-human testimony of survivors, this story of the Danish rescue is told with clarity, empathy and humor. Although the Danish rescue has taken on legendary proportions, the filmmakers have chosen to draw a historically accurate portrait, separating the truths from the many myths - such as the Danish King wearing the Yellow Star.In addition to the survivors' stories, the filmmakers have interviewed Danish eye-witnesses and scholars. From members of the resistance to ordinary people who helped when they saw a need - viewers will be introduced to several people who took action to save their threatened compatriots. From very religious Jews to those who were Jewish by heritage only - the film presents the experiences of people whose very existence was threatened. This character-driven film points out the reasons why the Danish Jews did not suffer the same fate as many other European Jews. This story is a fascinating chapter of Holocaust history.
And who are we?
I kim my jestesmy?
dir. Barbara Schuch & Sophie Sensier, France, 2004 , 57`
English soon: Dokument o tozsamosci Zydów, stawia pytanie, ,,Jak to jest byc zydem we wspólczesnym swiecie? Na stawiane pytanie próbuje odpowiedziec: Marek Edelman, Konstanty Gebert i wielu innych gosci. Film przenosi w nas w rózne miejsca Polski, z róznych powodów, znaczace dla spolecznosci zydowskiej.
My Fantasia / Fantasie Sheli
dir. Duki Dror, Israel 2001, 54`
The three Darwish brothers, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 50's, established the family factory "Fantasia" - a menorah factory. For a time period of 50 years they designed, manufactured and shipped Chanukah menorahs for the entire world and now…the family factory is about to close down.From this point in time, the director, who is the son of the youngest brother, is starting to embark on a journey that unravels the history of his family, going back 100 years. The story weaves memories from Iraq and Israel - two homelands, two languages, two identities, two enemies. The director is trying to reconstruct the narrative of his family, a narrative that has disappeared in the silence and shame that followed the family move to Israel. The father's silence is finally broken by the director's relentless inquiries, which reveal a story about 5 lost years of his father in the Iraqi prison.It is a diary film shot over a period of 10 years.
Maiden, Nave of the World / Meidani
dir. Dato Janelidze, Netherlands/Georgia 2004, 52`
Georgians are proud of their ancient society were for many centuries different religions and peoples live together in MEIDAN square. Society is in upheaval, does it stand a chance in our times? MAIDAN square originated around hot springs. It's the oldest part of Tbilisi, an trading place for tapestry, precious stones, silk and stories. Here east and west do meet. Moslems, Jews, Sun worshippers and Christians speak each others languages. Here you'll find a synagogue, a mosque, an Armenian church and a Georgian church. Speaking with the dwellers on MAIDAN square reminds you characters from a Fellini film. The world of MAIDAN is disappearing. The Jewish presence in Georgia dates back to biblical times. It is dwindling due to continuing emigration. The relations between Russians and Georgians are stressed. Kurds are more marginalized than ever as a result of post-soviet economic hardship. The trust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis is under attack ever since the bloody conflict between their nation states exploded. Georgian nationalism is growing. Half a mile away from the modern centre, MAIDAN is still the place where very different peolple meet. Could it be that these differences are the basis of any meeting, of any square, any town, and any society?
Love The Neighbour
Miluj blizniego swego
dir. Dusan Hidac, Slovakia/Israel, 2004, 84`
On 24 September 1945, a couple months after the end of World War II, there was an anti Jewish pogrom in the town of Topolcany, Slovakia. It was prepared beforehand by an influential and numerous group of Aryanizers. They founded allegedly a secret organization with the only aim: to rid the town of the Jews who survived the Holocaust. Just as the Jews were beginning to recover from the trauma of the past, they were struck by another disaster: they again became victims of their own people expelled by the neighbours. Violence of such a dimension in Topolcany had not occurred ever in the era of the worst fascist persecution during the World War II. In the Jewish families the pogrom had left strong psychical shock. They tried daily and systematically to ignore this trauma in order to be able to live henceforce in the town. The anti-Jewish pogrom had a major share on the fact that today there lives no single Jewish citzen in Topolcany. Great and significant Jewish community in the town is only remembered by the cemetery on Krusovska Road… The film reveals a theme of irrational hatred against the Jews lasting up to the present.
Izrael momenty z 2005 roku
dir. Micha Shagrir, Israel, 2005, 60`
English soon: Wspólpracujacy artysci, portretuja rózne twarze Jerozolimy, widziane okiem kamery. Kazdy z 15 twórców przedstawia swoja Jerozolime w formie fabuly, animacji lub osobistego dokumentu. Zapraszaja widza w podróz po Jerozolimie. Odwiedzamy zachodni mur, bazar, stare miasto, nowe miasto, zoo, jak równiez salon fryzjerski.
dir. James Kent, UK/Canada/Germany, 2005, 90` - pokaz konkursowy
A music film to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in memory of those murdered in the Nazi genocide.Amidst the horrors of Auschwitz, music was a part of daily life. There were several orchestras and bands in the two camps, made up entirely of inmates. Marches were played at the camp gates as the labour gangs were led out to work each morning and musicians were called upon at all times of the day and night to perform for the SS and Nazi officers. For those incarcerated music was, in Primo Levi's words, "the perceptible expression of the camp's madness". For the surviving orchestra players, music was their salvation.In a unique tribute to the millions who died in the Nazi genocide, and for the first time in its history, the Museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau has allowed a number of leading musicians from around the world to come to the camps and perform in a 90-minute film shot entirely on location.
Not in my name
Nie w moim imieniu
dir. Igal Hecht, Israel 2005, 104`
Toronto filmmaker Igal Hecht's latest documentary Not In My Name, which had its world premiere last Saturday at the 17th annual Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, raises disturbing questions about the far left of the spectrum of Jewish political opinion in Israel and the Diaspora.The ideas they represent - of a two-state solution and an end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or of a bi-national state from the river to the sea - are a legitimate part of the mainstream of political discourse in Israel's vital democracy. Yet many of the people who espouse these ideas have another agenda, according to the sub-text of Hecht's 104- minute film, which he co-produced with Talia Klein.To be blunt, Not In My Name shows that many of the radical Jewish leftists who attack Israel have confused identities or psychological issues that spill over to their radical political views. Many are homosexuals or lesbians seemingly acting out their angst against the Jewish community that rejected them by attacking Israel.
You will never understand this / Du wirst das nie vesrtehen
Nigdy tego nie zrozumiesz
dir. Anja Saramonowitz, Austria 2003, 52`
Personal narratives of three elder women in the filmmaker's Austrian family offer starkly different visions of the Nazi era. One is Auschwitz survivor, another a socialist, the third a tacit, and perhaps complicit, bystander. Subtle yet unflichting confrontation by a new generation of woman builds an enthralling, visually elegant documentary.
Mutherland of Reich Ranicki
Przenosna Ojczyzna Reicha Ranickiego
dir. Jadwiga Wolska, Poland 2005, 45`
”Moje zycie”.Marcel Reich-Ranicki is remarkable for both his unlikely life story and his brilliant career as the "pope of German letters. When Reich-Ranicki returned to Germany in 1958, his rise was meteoric. In short order, he claimed national celebrity and notoriety as the head of the literary section of the leading newspaper and host of his own television program. He frequently flabbergasted viewers with his bold pronouncements and flexed his power to make or break a writer's career. His list of friends and enemies rapidly expanded to include every influential player on the German literary scene, including Grass and Heinrich Böll. This, together with his keen critical instincts, makes his memoir an indispensable guide to contemporary German culture as well as an absorbing eyewitness history of some of the twentieth century's most important events".
dir. Romi Kaplan, Republic of South Afica / France 2003, 47`
Purim Safari: Frederic Brenner's Journey amongst the Jews of South Africa.French photographer Frederic Brenner roams South Africa to unearth the various facets of its changing Jewish community. From an ostrich farmer to a trasvestive performance artist to a woman who runs a soup kitchen for her Black neighbors, Purim Safari blends humour and pathos to provocative effect. It's quirkly and unique trip.
dir. Zbigniew Gajzler, Poland 2005, 50`
”Sarid” means “miraculously saved” in Hebrew. This documentary with elements of fiction tells a story of saving a boy whose whole family have been murdered. Aleksander Barta-Bicz lives in Tel Aviv today, together with his wife from Lodz, Aviva Radoszycka. The film was made both in Poland and in Israel.
Sugihara: Concpiracy of kidness
Sugihara: konspiracja dobroci
dir. Robert Kirk, USA, 2001, 83`
In the fall of 1939, Hitler's murderous wave was sweeping through Eastern Europe. In the face of the Nazi onslaught, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara set about saving thousands of lives. But his struggle was not fought on the battlefields or in war rooms. He used his power as a diplomat to rescue fleeing Jewish refugeesSugihara is the definitive telling of this moving story and a monument to a true hero - a man who, with no possible hope of reward and every likelihood of suffering, had the courage to act on his innermost beliefs, to save the lives of thousands. His extraordinary acts of kindness continue to reverberate the world over.
Sleeping with the enemy
Sypiajac z wrogiem
dir. Dir. Dov Gil - Har, Israel, 52`
During pre-Intifada optimistic days, a group of twenty "Young Leaders" from Israel and the Palestinian Authority find that only 10,000 km from their homes, in Japan - they can overcome their turbulent past and create grounds for trust. Benny Herness, the Israeli west bank police officer, knew Palestinians from roadblocks and interrogation rooms. Palestinian journalist Adnan Joulani planned as a child to stab Israeli soldiers. After 10 days in Japan, they find themselves bridging gaps of 100 years of conflict, and even share the same Tatami bed.
Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust
Swiadectwo na ekranie: Hollywood i Holocaust
dir. Daniel Anker, USA 2004, 92`
Imaginary witness chronicles the American film industry's response to the horrors of Nazi Germany. This fascinating documentary pairs footage from landmark Hollywood films-including The Mortal Storm, The Grat Dictator, The diary of Anne Frank and Schindler's List - with first-hand accounts by filmmakers and actors including Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Gene Hackman. A unique chronicle of Hollywood's cinematic reaction to the rise and fall of the Nazis, Imaginary Witness examines politically charged films that range from schockinglyn complicit to radically subversive.
Escape to Shanghai / Flucht nach Schanghai
Ucieczka do Szanghaju
dir. Dietmar Schulz, Germany 2005, 45` - ZDF presents
Although not the first book on the Jewish ghetto in Shanghai, as the publisher claims (the first was the recent Shanghai Refuge by Ernest Heppner), this one nevertheless offers a compelling account of the 20,000 Jews living under Japanese rule in Shanghai during World War II. Shanghai was the only city that would accept stateless Jews without visas, and the Japanese permitted Jewish immigration there until 1941, when the last exit routes from Europe were sealed off. Ross interviewed about 200 survivors and traced down letters and documents in a dozen archives before writing the book. He recounts the lives of four of the survivors: an Austrian doctor, a young man from East Prussia, a boy from Berlin, and a rabbi's daughter from Neukolln, Germany. When Allied bombing raids begin, conditions in the ghetto reached the point where some Jews turned to begging and prostitution. But many of the refugees helped the Allied cause by passing on information about Japanese troop movements and about the damage from American air raids. Escape to Shanghai lacks the intimacy of a firsthand account, but Ross has faithfully recorded the privations, indignities, anxieties, and horrors that make up this little-known chapter in the suffering of the Jews. George Cohen.
Channels of Rage - 2 rappers 1 land
Ujscia gniewu: 2 raperów 1 kraj
dir. Anat Halachmi, Israel 2003, 72`
Ruth Diskin Films Ltd.
"Blood is spilled and it spills more blood…I am dying to live but living to die." Subliminal is a proud Zionist rapper who, with fellow artist MC Tamer, a pro-Palestinian Arab, seeks co-existence in the underground Israeli rap scene. Their belief that the language of hip hop can traverse the political tensions of the region to reunite their people is soon shattered as lyrical battles begin to spill onto the streets. This explosive and dynamic documentary explores the tensions between the patriotism of Subliminal's rhymes and Tamer's Palestinian nationalism to create a unique commentary on the broader political conflicts within the Middle East.
dir. Duki Dror, Israel 2002, 67`
A small news item in the back-pages of a local Israeli newspaper reported: a world champion boxer, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, defeated only by the flags he has waved upon victory (first Israeli, then Palestinian) is trying to make a comeback in the Middle East.Curiosity led director Duki Dror all the way to a horse ranch in Eastern Tennessee to meet the man behind the story: Johar Abu Lashin. Immediately, Dror was struck by Abu Lashin's inner contradictions-sensitive and vulnerable yet tough and volatile, exuding repressed pain and not-so-repressed anger. Johar Abu Lashin was consumed by drama: in his personal life, in his public life, in his past, and it wasn't hard to guess back then-in his future.Raging Dove is first of all the story of an individual, a man's trajectory: his ups and downs, his struggle to overcome, triumph, succeed, or at least not fail. But it is also representative of the larger predicament in which the 1 million Palestinian Israeli citizens find themselves. The descendents of those who, having lost their homeland in 1948, remained within the confines of a newly established state which did not define itself as theirs, and rendered them a minority in their own country.Johar Abu Lashin is a Palestinian by birth, an Israeli by circumstance, and an American by choice (though by and large Palestinians regard him as a collaborator, Israelis as an enemy, and Americans as a foreigner). As such, not only are none of these identities complete, they also tear him apart. A man in constant battle with himself, the only place where he truly feels whole, or at home, is in the ring.Awarded "Best Documentary" at the 2002 DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival, Raging Dove is but the latest of numerous films in which Dror, an Israeli Jew of Iraqi origin, takes on the complexities of "Jewish" and "Arab" identity.
Ydessa, the Bears, and Etc. / Ydessa, les Ours et etc.
Ydessa, misie itd.
dir. Agnes Varda, France 2004, 44`
Ulises, 1982, 22`
Pioneering French New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda seems at first to have created a sweet consideration of the Canadian art collector Ydessa Hendeles and her obsessive collection of antique photographs that feature teddy bears. Nostalgia and sentimentality are the initial themes. But darker questions arise about the raison d'etre of Ydessa 's body of work when it is displayed in the Munich gallery where the Nazis mounted their infamous 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition . Varda's lively mind ponders and she wonders aloud what it all means.Something is up here. The film reveals the tipping point that subverts nostalgia - the realization that in the music of the past there are haunting cries and screams.Ydessa, The Bears, and Etc. is the longest of the three short films that make up Varda's memory film Cinevardaphoto.
From Philadelphia to the front
Z Filadelfii na front
dir. Judy Gelles & Marianne Bernstein, USA, 2005, 37`
From Philadelphia to the Front is the first documentary to focus on Jewish American World War II veterans. Many documentaries have been devoted to the topic of the destruction of European Jewry in Nazi-occupied Europe but relatively little attention has been focused on Jewish Americans who participated in the Allied victory in World War II. o Film dispels myths that Jews won't take risks to protect our country. More than half a million Jews served their country in WWII. Jews signed up in higher percentage numbers than the larger population to fight in WWII.o Film exposes anti-Semitism. Jews fought to defeat Hitler while facing anti-Semitism within their own ranks. Most people who viewed the film had no idea how prevalent anti-Semitism was in Philadelphia during the War years. They were shocked to view German Bundt rallies in recognizable neighborhoods.
From Auschwitz Chronicle
Z kroniki w Auschwitz
dir. Michal Bukojemski, Poland 2004
There in no singel universal truth about the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Each camp survivor has their own unquestionable truth - which may vary from the truth o their campmate from neighbouring bunk. The films contain brief testimonies of numerous eyewitnesses. As a result, the images and histories seen and told in the films contain an unusual degree of intensity and emotion.
Behind the enemy lines
Za linia wroga
dir. Dov Gil - Har, Israel, 2003, 64`
In the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two former friends and present-day enemies, embark on an emotional journey into Intifahda-land, in search of the origins of the bloodshed.Benny Herness an Israeli police officer and Palestinian journalist Adnan Joulani spend a week traveling together through places which have become symbols of the dispute. Despite the huge gap in their perspectives, Adnan and Benny try to find ways to communicate. Their success can serve as a single ray of hope in present pessimistic times. "Behind Enemy Lines" is a sequel to "Sleeping with the Enemy", a film which followed the original journey to Japan.
dir. Yaron Zilberman, Israel, 2004, 90`
The bathing beauties featured in Watermarks' rare archival footage were among the finest swimmers of the 1930s. They were members of a famed Viennese sports club formed as a Jewish response to strictly segregated Austrian sports. Forced to officially disband following Nazi Germany's 1938 annexation of Austria, the club continued to work in secret to find its members safe passage abroad. This documentary introduces the spirited woman of Hakoah, now in their 80s, as they return to the site of their youthful triumphs.
dir. Arielle Artsztein & Esther Slevogt, Germany, 2005, 86`
This documentary portrays the life of the Jewish Community Center in Berlin - lively, colourful, funny and far from the typical victim clichee. Over more than a year the filmmakers accompanied various events and talked to several people, that go there for different reasons: to celebrate, to dance or because they work there. For political reasons or to have a lunch in the kosher restaurant. Or simply because the place is like a second home to many. "Jewish Ballroom" will be shown on the ZDF in Winter 2005.
Jews of Iran
dir. Ramin Farahani, Hungary/Iran, 2005, 53`Ruth Diskin Films Ltd.
The Jewish community in Iran dates back to 2700 years. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 resulted in the departure of many Jews from the country. Jews of Iran focuses on Jews currently living in Iran, as well tells the story of recent historic developments.The Jews In Tehran, young and old Jews speak about different kinds of discrimination. However, there are also positive aspects, such as a close friendship between two tolerant Muslim and Jewish families. There is a strong and responsive bond within the members of the Jewish community. In Isfahan, we witness the love and passion that the main characters have developed for the place they live in; In Shiraz, the film focuses more on an espionage case against the Jews. This is the first time ever that a Moslem director - Ramin Farahani, is making a film about Iranian Jews, and providing a rare access into a community that is flourishing despite the hard circumstances in Shiraz, Isfahan and Tehran, and enabling the viewers to learn about their problems; the way they preserve their Judaism and their hopes for the future.
SHORT ACTION FILMS
The football pitch / Le Terrain
Boisko pilki noznej dir. Lewis Hausler, Switzerland 2000, 7`
Two rival bands of youths, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, lay claim to the same dirt football pitch!
The unshod man
dir. Laurence Attali, Senegal France, 2003, 33`
An allegory with biblical undertones, romantic tension and a great sense of fun, this film features the extraordinary Senegalese musician Cheikh Lo, who stars as a bandleader named Booz. When Booz's trumped player dies one night on stage, Esther, the man's passionate and adamant Israeli widow, insists that Booz marry her immediately.
Waiting for Woody Allen
Czekajac na Woody Allena
dir. Michael Rainin, USA, 2004, 17`
In this clever re-imagining of Samuel Beckett's classic play Waiting for Godot, two hassidic men sit on a bench in Central Park discussing religion, therapy and relationships. They are waiting of course for Woody Allen to arrive and give meaning to their lives. Waiting for Woody Allen is at once tragic, comic and oddly faithful to the spirit of Beckett's seminal work.
dir. Shani Marciano, Israel, 2004, 25` - Hadash College
David and Ruths relationship reached a turning point. David Snir - clown, devoted to his love of pantomime, is haunted by his dream of success and winning the respect and praise of his audience. Ruth - seeking the words,finds her feelings of fullfillment felt until now, no longer succeeding in satisfying her needs and demands. Ruth, being drawn to her Jewish roots, finds herself in conflict between her new found religious world and davids secular artistic way of life, inevitably leading to conflict within their relationship. The movie tries to touch the similarities and differences between art and faith through relationships.
dir. Boris Levinzon, Israel 2002, 44`
Shay is a 28-year-old Russian immigrant to Israel. After 10 years, he looks like an Israeli, feels Israeli, he even has an Israeli girlfriend. But when his parents suddenly inform him that they have decided to return to Russia, Shay starts to see his national and cultural identity differently. (40 minutes)
The Agnieszka Cahn` s renovation of the history
Agnieszki Cahn - uzupelnianie historii
dir. Beata Kolaczyk Bozena Toporek, Poland 2005, 17`
Joung Polish woman, who was born and grew up in Cracow, moved after studies to Myslenice, nearby. She has married with the Englishman with Jewish roots. The family remembers only, that they were Jewish Germans, but during making the genealogy tree some Polish surnames have occurred. Agnieszka decided to research them in detail and discovered that some descendants of her husband could come from Myslenice and that there was a world here, that dissapeared one day.
A festival under war / Ha Festival Ha shmona assar
Festiwal pod obstrzalem
dir. Yaron Shane, Israel 2002, 15` - Hadash College
In the past year and a half there has been a war going on in Israel.This story is about the 18'th Jerusalem International Film Festival that took place during this war.This is a "behind the scenes" of the Festival and a "behind the scenes" of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.
dir.Sam Ball, USA 2005, 30`
This inspired documentary recounts the World War II adventure of a young Jewish mother who escaped the Nazis to join the French Resistance. Understatedly eloquent, 92-year-old Andree "Poumy" Moreuil reflects on how the very act of resisting oppression transcends isolation and fear. From the director of Pleasures of Urban Decay [NYJFF 2000].
Elections / Behirot
dir. Gabriela Frajman, Israel 2003 - Hadash College 26`
Costa Rica, Elections for Government 2002. Luis Fishman, a Jew, is the candidate for vice president in the favorite party, and actually wants to become the leader of the country. Along with the elections, appears the story of the Jewish Community in Costa Rica, a very close and self protected community, which has only 2000 members. But still, has a great economical and political influence. The movie escorts Fishman's process, between the elections and the Jewish-orthodox wedding of his daughter.