Films in the competition screenings of the 5th WJFF 2007:
Fiction feature films
The Band`s visit
dir. Eran Kolirin
Israel, 2006, 90 min
An accidental clash of two worlds - Egyptian and Israeli one, emotions brought about by it
will not let any of the sides remain indifferent.
Once upon a time but not so long ago, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Band travels from Egypt to Israel Arab arts Center and gets stranded in a small desolate desert town. By the time they realise their mistake the last bus has gone and they are luckily befriended by an odd assortment of locals. Their conductor, Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) hesitantly accepts the invitation from the café manager Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) to stay the night. Dina is sexually playful and this proves disconcerting for Tawfiq whilst handsome ladies man Khaled (Saleh Bakri) is much more responsive to her charms. By the end of the visit both the Egyptians and the Israelis have learned something about each other and also something about themselves. This is a first feature length film for director, Eran Kolirin, who has created a timeless and whimsical film with superb casting. A refreshingly engaging take on cross cultural relations proves that it can sometimes be possible to approach the subject with lightness and humour.
Grand Prix of the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival, Oct`07; winner of 8 Prizes of Israeli Academy of Motion Picture and TV; Cannes Film Festival`07; Karlove Vary Film Festival Award`07; Audience Award of Warsaw Film Festival`07.
dir. Joseph Cedar
Israel, 2007, 125 min
A moving picture of a troop struggling for survival during the 1st war in Lebanon in
This is a story about soldiers stationed at an outpost in Lebanon just before the eventual withdrawal in 2000. It manages to raise many valid moral and existential questions without getting preachy or politically partisan. Beaufort is a strong film that really sticks in your mind afterwards. The dialogues spoken by the soldiers is very true to life and the movie is highly authentic in every respect. It is well directed, the cast is good across the board, and the visuals are persuasive and gripping. But most of all, Beaufort succeeds in giving you a real sense of the fear and suspense of being a sitting duck for Hezbollah rocket-launchers to fire at. It is utterly nerve-wrecking. In 1982, Israel was forced to invade southern Lebanon in self defense after repeated attacks. But after holding a buffer zone for 18 years, with increasing casualties caused by a strengthening Hezbollah, the army`s presence there began to seem pointless.
Berlinale 2007 award: Silver Bear for Best Director
Dear Mr. Waldman
Drogi Panie Waldman
dir. Hanan Peled
Israel, 2006, 86 min
Cienema of a good quality alluding to such films as eg Cinema Paradiso.
In the early sixties, Hilik, a ten years old boy who lives in Tel Aviv, knows he`s got a goal in life - to make his parents happy and compensate for the grief and lost they had suffered in the holocaust. The balance in the fragile family has been breached when Moishe, Hilik`s father, chooses to believe that his lost son, from his first marriage, didn`t die in Auschwitz as he thought, and somehow escaped to America to become President Kennedy`s assistant. As he has never really accepted the fact that he is the only survivor from his family, Moishe is sinking back to his past. Torn between his fear that his father would abandon him, and the wish to make him happy, Hilik chooses to test his father`s love to him, while accepting the risk of loosing him.
3 nominantions of Israeli Academy of Motion Picture and TV`06; 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival`07, Jerusalem Film Festival`06
Exodus: Ada`s dream
Exodus: Ada`s dream
dir. Gianluigi Calderone
Italy, 2007, 140 min
A film version of the latest production from Italian TV RAI. After the emigration from
prewar Italy to Palestine a group of settlers builds Kibuc. After the war outbreak they decide to form a troop forces
saving Jews in Europe.
TV movie from Ada Sereni novel, starring Monica Guerritore, set during 1939 - 1948 Palestine and Italy underground movement to move Jews to new land. After the emigration from prewar Italy to Palestine a group of settlers builds Kibuc. After the war outbreak some of them decide to form a troop with a view to becoming assault forces saving Jews known to their friends. As the war is over a wife of a Jewish fighter from Kibuc tries to find his husband in postwar Europe. In her quest she also comes to Poland...
dir. Daniel Burman
Argentina, 2006, 102 min
Ariel Perelman lives in the shadow of his father-lawyer
who arranged his life...
A film of the director whose parents have Warsaw roots. Ariel Perelman (He ndler) lives under the self-imposed shadow of his father Bernardo (Arturo Goetz), a charming, well respected man. Ariel teaches law in the lofty confines of a university; Bernardo practices the profession, wheeling and dealing, meeting clients and witnesses in coffee shops, condemned restaurants, and auto repair shops. Family Law deftly portrays a man at odds with the good, middle class life he has created for himself. The distance the son creates from his father is palpable, though his reasons are never quite clear, especially to himself.
Berlinale 2007 festival, Argentinian canditate for Oscar`06.
dir. Danny Lerner
Israel, 2006, 90 min
A hypnotic film about the illusion of life and death. A brillant acting debetu of Anat
Meow is a young woman roaming the streets and nightclubs of Tel Aviv. She lives in empty apartments and surfs the internet chat rooms. She decides to meet Alex, her chat buddy. They plan to meet in a nightclub but a suicide bombing prevents their meeting. She survives the attack and after she finds Alex in the hospital, in a coma, she moves into his empty apartment. Gradually, the tenants start referring to her as Alex, and as she assumes his identity, she finds herself sinking into a dangerous and deluded reality.
Anat Klausner won the Israeli critics choice award for best actress. competition at the AFI film festival, Los Angeles, USA
dir. Etgar Keret, Shira Geffen
Israel, 2006, 102 min
Life in Tel Aviv stopped on a frame - a debut o fan Israeli writer awarded in Cannes.
At her wedding reception, Keren breaks a leg, unwillingly forcing her to cancel her honeymoon in the Caribbean. A strange little girl comes out of the sea and follows Batya like a shadow; the woman`s life is transformed when she takes the little girl under her wing. Joy is a maid from the Philippines working for a tough old woman; unwittingly, she helps the woman reconcile with her estranged daughter. A composite film made from scraps of humanity, like so many messages in a bottle verging on the absurd. A portrait of a messy world in which everyone scrapes by as best they can, looking for love and something to remember or to forget. Such is life in Tel-Aviv...
Golden Camera award on Cannes 2007 festival.
My Father, my lord
Mój Ojciec, mój Pan
dir. David Volach
Israel 2006, 72 min
A respected rabbi is forced to come to terms with the demands of his faith and the welfare
of his own family.
Israeli director David Volach`s chamber drama My Father, My Lord (AKA Hofshat Kaits, 2006) provides an intense character study of a rabbi in an Orthodox neighborhood, whose letter-of-the-law application of Talmudic tenets takes an exacting toll on his life. He must thus grapple with the conflicting demands of his belief system and his familial obligations to his wife and children.
This film was the winner of Tribeca`s 2007 Founders Award (Robert De Niro) for Best Narrative Feature.
dir. Dina Zvi-Riklis
Israel, 2006, 106 min
Three daughters born in Egypt - their love, experiences interwoven in an intrigue of a
lifetime revealed in the autumn of one`s life to their children. A coherent and gripping story told in a subtle manner.
The Hakim sisters, Rose, Yasmin and Flora, were born in Alexandria in 1942. They are triplets. Their saga is one of powerful love and deadly deceit played out in three languages and across three generations. Their mother was a to the court of King Farouk, last of the Egyptian monarchs. Jews became unwelcome and the family fled to Israel in 1958. Rose is a singer, passionate and vain, who is the first to become a mother. Her performances in French, Hebrew and Arabic at various ages provide a musical backdrop for the web of intrigue between characters who are both tender and vicious. Rose`s daughter Rucha becomes entangled in their complex family history when Yasmin falls ill and confesses to a long-held secret. Filmmaker Dina Zvi-Riklis jumps back and forth between the present and earlier stages of the sisters` lives and weaves a suspenseful and poignant tale. Three Mothers calls to question the meanings of blood ties and marital loyalties and independence and motherhood itself. Rose, the outspoken one, gets it right: We were much better sisters than we were mothers.
2006 Nomination of Israeli Academy of Motion Picture and TV
Three times divorced
dir. Ibtisam Mara`ana
Israel, 2007, 75 min
Stirring up great feelings documentary following the drama and the struggle of a mother,
whose fight turns out to bo a fight for humanity.
Khitam, a Gaza-born Palestinian woman, was married off in an arranged match to an Israeli Palestinian, followed him to Israel and bore him six children. When her husband divorced her - in absentia - in the Sharia Muslim court and gained custody of the children, Khitam was left with nothing. She cannot contact her children, has no property and no citizenship. Although married to an Israeli, a draconian law passed in 2002 and barring any Palestinian from gaining Israeli citizenship has made her an illegal resident there. Now she is out on a dual battle, the most crucial of her life: against the court - which always rules in favor of the husband and against the state, in a last-ditch effort to gain citizenship and reunite with her children. (Summary written by Gon Productions)
Awarded as Best Israeli Film Award 2007 at the 17th DOCAVIV, 2007 Nomination of Award of the Israeli Film Academy
Short fiction films
dir. Ori Amitay
Israel, 2006, 26 min
Avner, a 30-year old policeman, lives with his elderly grandmother. She is cared for by Noi, an
illegal immigrant, with whom Avner is having a clandestine affair. His partner, Nathan, finds out about it. The affair
drives him to alienate the two.
Israel Film Festival USA`06; Jerusalem FF`06
Ein Kleid aus Warschau
Ein Kleid aus Warschau
dir. Michal Otlowski
Germany, 2006, 40 min
Ein Kleid aus Warschau is a story about an old man, Joachim, who is a former Wehrmacht soldier trying to stand up to the past which keeps coming back to him on some photos he had made in Warsaw during the war. These photos or rather the fact of him selling them becomes a pretext for a conversation with his granddaughter about a world which has gone for ever. Joachim does not try to evade responsibility for taking part in this act and he begins a peculiar trip in time with a feeling of guilt and personal loss.
Escape from the Fire
Ucieczka z płomieni
dir. Joel Dunn
USA, 2007, 14 min
Film study which is as gripping as a classical action film
Film study which is as gripping as a classical action film. Two young children during the Holocaust search for the last remnants of humanity in a forsaken world.
dir. Eitan Evgeny Melamed
Israel, 2007, 18 min
Life`s psychology in a short - lenght film - funny and thought-provoking.
Friday, the last bus leaves in half an hour. Yakov and his little son Zhenia are left to buy only flowers. Everybody charges fifty, Jakov insists on thirty. And little Zhenia wants to go home. With their hands full of paper bags they go on a journey which unfolds the story of their imagination from Russia to Israel.
dir. Joanna Jurewicz
USA/Poland, 2006, 16 min
Mariola, a young Polish woman in search of a bright future in New York finds herself in the
heart of extinct and buried Polish past: in a Hassidic house where she helps to prepare for Shabbat.
"The past is not dead. In fact, it`s not even past." (W. Faulkner) Mariola, a young Polish woman in search of a bright future in New York finds herself in the heart of extinct and buried Polish past: in a Hassidic house where she helps to prepare for Shabbat. Overwhelmed by her experience as well as loads of ammonia she is being driven home by the eldest son. This is the most unusual ride home...
Cannes Film festival 2007
dir. Jorge Gurvich
Israel, 2006, 35 min
Jorge Gurvich`s sharply etched short follows Pesya Goldfarb, an 80-year-old survivor of the
camps who accompanies her 17-year-old granddaughter on a school trip to Auschwitz.
Jorge Gurvich`s sharply etched short follows Pesya Goldfarb, an 80-year-old survivor of the camps who accompanies her 17-year-old granddaughter on a school trip to Auschwitz. While in Poland, she is determined to find her parent`s home and uncover a golden necklace that was hidden by her and her sister on the day they were taken to Aushwitz. Upon returning to her childhood home, Pesya must confront years of shame and decide whether or not to reveal her secrets.
dir. Amit Epstein
Israel/Germany 2007, 26 min
A film between an experimental collage and a documentary impressionistic work. Is it
Stockholm Syndrome is about the tendencies of Jews to return to Europe, as many young Israelis find themselves attached to a homeland, which they were never born while perfectly aware of the victim - victimizer relationship, which is well rooted in the fabrication of Israelism. It raises the question of the absence of a "Jewish revenge", a missing link in the history`s psychological process, which caused frustration for the survivors and their descendants. It might be that this silence is revenge, causing the unsolved and underestimated feeling of discomfort on both sides and pushing "us" and "them" to muddle through. This is an honest trial to unveil the imminent end of that stillness.
Vienna Jüdische Film Filmwochen, Nov. 2007
9 star hotel
dir. Ido Haar
Israel, 2006, 78 min
A documentary film about the problems Israel is facing today, very moving with its
In Israel`s occupied territories, thousands of Palestinians work illegally as construction laborers. After an arduous and dangerous journey, loaded with blankets and bags, they cross the hills to the places where they can find employment. At night they sleep on the hillcrests in improvised huts and coffin-like sleeping cubicles, a stark contrast to the luxury apartment complexes they build by day. But they have made homes for themselves, complete with cozy pillows and even power generated by batteries they have scraped together. In "9 Star Hotel," the filmmakers follow Ahmad and Muhammad, one a merry collector of found objects, the other a philosophical criticaster of the Palestinian character ("We think backward. We never think forward."). Together, they share food, belongings and stories, and live under the constant threat of getting arrested - police, soldiers and the secret service are all tirelessly on the alert for illegal workers. With raw, handheld images, this disconcerting yet touching film documents friendship, nostalgia and the uncompromising urge to survive.
2007 Best Documentary Film Award of Bayerischer Rundfunk and Telepool, Munich Int. Doc. FF`07; 2006 Best documentary Jerusalem International Film Festival; participation, nominantions, awards at 52 Worldwide Film Festivals
"Pod Orlem" chemist`s
Apteka pod Orłem
dir. Krzysztof Miklaszewski
Poland, 2006, 44 min
A true and incredible story about a "purely Polish" chemist`s in Cracow`s Ghetto, very
moving with its subtlety. The director of this film is Krzysztof Miklaszewski an actor of Tadeusz Kantor`s Cricot
This documentary film about the history of Cracow`s "Pod Orlem" chemist`s, which was incorporated by the Germans in the time of occupation into the area of ghetto formed in March 1941, became for its director a shocking picture which is a background for a demand to commemorate Tadeusz Pankiewicz. This is a man who was taught pharmacy by his ancestors, great Galician pharmacists and inherited the "Pod Orlem" chemist`s from them. Pankiewicz who was the only Pole spending his every day among the Jewish community turned out to be its true carer and saviour and his chemist`s became an oasis of life for dozens of people giving them a foretaste of freedom.
selection of 48th Krakow Film Festival, PL
Arthur Szyk: iluminator
Artur Szyk: iluminator
dir. Piotr Zarebski
USA/Poland, 2005, 55 min
The Film is about Arthur Szyk, the greatest miniaturist of the 20th century. Famous for his
caricatures published in Great Britain and the USA during and after the 2nd World War. He was a Jewish Polish patriot.
The Film is about Arthur Szyk, the greatest miniaturist of the 20th century. Famous for his caricatures published in Great Britain and the USA during and after the 2nd World War. He was a Jewish Polish patriot and his two most famous works, "Haggadah" and the Statute of Kalish reflected his outlook. He actively supported Israel. Finding refuge in the USA during the 2nd World War he become an American patriot and produced the internationally famous series of paintings "Washington and His Times" and the "Declaration of Independence" now in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.
selection of the 8th Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA
The Chosen ones
dir. Wendla Nölle
Germany, 2007, 87 min
A film for everyone who likes Jewish music in classical, jazz, African and experimental
Music is a calling, divine or otherwise. For some, the calling is entirely secular, for others, it is profoundly spiritual,
but for all the young musicians featured in Wendla Nölle`s documentary The Chosen Ones their Jewish background plays an
Musician and filmmaker Wendla Nölle travels to Manhattan in search of the face of young Jewish music and introduces us to New York`s new generation of Jewish musicians. Among the artists profiled is an Orthodox convert who can rap in four different languages, weaving them into a musical study of Talmudic teachings; a young blues musician who sings almost forgotten cantorial chants against African beats; a pop music group that combines a funk sound with Jewish spirituality and Hebrew lyrics; and an Orthodox rabbi who has found a home in the Lower East Side`s indie music scene with funny, quirky songs that often deal with weighty subjects such as the Israel-Palestine conflict. But the film features not only the musicians but also the city of New York itself, its frenetic multiplicity adding a vibrant backdrop to the distinct performances. The Chosen Ones is a study in microcosm of a generation coming of age, as diverse artists grapple with how to combine their beliefs, cultural backgrounds and individual voices into an expression of who they are.
27. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival`07
Dobry jest wspolny posilek bo zbliza
Dobry jest wspólny posiłek bo zbliża oddalonych
dir. Piotr Szalsza
Poland, 2007, 60 min
A picture of a journey towards the life`s origins by the film`s main character - Szmulik
Atzmon - famous actor and director from Israel Biłgoraj...
In the summer of 2006 theater band Yiddishpiel of Israel from Tel Aviv spent some time in Poland. Its director Shmuel Atzmon was born 78 years ago in Bilgoraj. Visitors from Israel started their Polish tournee in this place. Later the route led them to Zamosć and Cracow. Director Piotr Szalsza accompanied the band on the whole tournee. In this way an evocative picture full of nostalgia and journey towards the origins was made.
The Garden that floated away
Ogród który odpłynał
dir. Ruth Walk
Israel, 2006, 55 min
A documentary about an Israeli writer from Poland. A film based on her book is being made in
For 45 years, in a modest flat in Holon (near Tel Aviv) Ida Fink wrote in Polish about her childhood memories - of the years in which she and her sister spent under false identities in Poland and Germany, trying to survive the horrors of the Second World War. Never giving up her mother tongue, or her old Polish typewriter, Fink`s acclaimed novels and short stories (A Scrap of Time, The Journey, Traces) were praised for their unique attentiveness to the complexity of life as it was lived in the darkest days of our history. The visual and lyrical qualities of her stories are translated into this cinematic portrait of a writer who has retained her sensitivity and poetic talent through the horrors of loss, fear, hatred and betrayal. Allowing us a unique insight into her current life, the film follows the remarkable relationship between the two sisters, now in their 80s, as they move into a flat together in Tel Aviv.
FAMAFEST International Film Festival - Portugal`07; International Women Film Festival Rehovot - Israel `06; Haifa International Film Festival - Israel`05
I have never forgotten
you: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
Nigdy o Tobie nie zapomniałem: życie i dziedzictwo Szymona Wiesenthala
dir. Richard Trank
USA, 2007, 105 min
A very moving story about life and activity of a brave man Simon Wiesenthal - brilliant
narration by Nicole Kidman.
A moving story of a Jewish architect from Buchach (formerly Buczacz), Poland - Ukraine, who, after barely surviving six concentration camps, landed in Austria to discover that 89 members of his family had perished.
Among the gut-wrenching details about Simon Wiesenthal presented in the documentary "I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal" is that the concentration camp survivor turned Nazi hunter refused to leave Vienna. Even after his teenage daughter became so threatened that she required a police escort to take her to school, and his Documentation Center, from which 1,100 war criminals were chased down, was bombed by neo-Nazis, causing his wife to suffer a nervous breakdown - Wiesenthal insisted that he must remain in Hitler`s town. "A soldier stays on the battlefield" was Wiesenthal`s explanation for staying in inhospitable postwar Vienna.
UK Jewish Film Festival`07
Miss Universe 1929
Miss Universe 1929
dir. Péter Forgács
Netherlands/Germany, 2006, 70 min
Unique archive records on a 9 mm film. A film maker amateur who portrayed everything: since
Franz Joseph through the first decade and then 20ties,30ties, 40ties up to 60ties in the XXth century. The main theme of
his films throughout the decades was his unfulfilled love to his cousin - Miss Universe`29. Did his dream about her love
come true or does it still live in him today?
Lisl Goldarbeiter and Marci Tenczer -born in 1908- were cousins and knew each other since early childhood. The Goldarbeiters lived in Vienna and belonged to the Austrian wing of a large Austro-Hungarian Jewish family. The Tenczer`s lived in Szeged, and formed the Hungarian wing. The family ties between Vienna and Szeged never ceased. Marci moved to Vienna in 1926, to study. The first anti-Semitic law in Europe, the Hungarian Numerous Clauses of 1922, made it impossible for Jews to enter a University in Hungary. Marci lived in the house of the Goldarbeiters and studied at the Technical University from 1926-1936. Marci secretly loved his cousin Lisl. He started to make films of her, her family and Vienna shortly after his arrival. He was very poor but succeeded in saving cash for his film hobby by walking the city, instead of taking the tram. In 1929, without telling anybody, Marci caused Lisl`s entry into the world of beauty; and she became world famous. Written by Mischief Films
The 20th annual Virginia Film Festival, USA` Nov. 2007
dir. Evgenyi Tsymbal
Russia, 2007, 54 min
"Red Zion" documents a carefully hidden part of the history of the Soviet Union
"Red Zion" documents a carefully hidden part of the history of the Soviet Union: the grandiose project intended to create a Jewish agricultural autonomous region in the Northern Crimea in the 1920`s. The film contains many unique historical film clips from the 1920`s, 30`s and 40`s, along with photographs and documents that until very recently remained state secrets.
Streets of Jerusalem
dir. Igal Hecht
Canada/Israel, 2007, 52 min
Streets of Jerusalem is a new documentary shot over a period of five years, centers around
the lives of ten Jerusalem residents.
Streets of Jerusalem is a new documentary shot over a period of five years, centers around the lives of ten Jerusalem residents. Terror, racism, occupation, economical hardships, political changes and the yearning for peace, are all explored in a no hold`s barred honest manner that has been the trade mark of Chutzpa Productions.
2007 Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Tovarisch, I am not
Towarzyszu, ja żyję
dir. Stuart Urban
UK, 2006, 83 min
A journey of father and son becomes a chance for the other to find out the dramatic life
chapters as well as to bring them together. Unique archive records; great personality.
Garri Urban was a survivor - not a victim - of both the Holocaust and Gulag. Born in the shtetl (the Jewish rural community) in 1916, he overcame adversity through a mixture of charm, aggression, and chutzpah. His 1980 autobiographical account of his adventures took its title from when he was shot during his attempt to swim across an icy river from Soviet territory to Romania. He told the snipers who stooped to lift his apparently lifeless body; "no, tovarisch (comrade), I`m not dead" before striking their officer. In 1992 his son, film-maker Stuart Urban, follows Garri into the former Soviet Union as soon as Communism disintegrates.
The winner of The Lancia Award 2007 in Bologne, Italy; Nomination to British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), Nov. 2007..
A Treasure in Auschwitz
Skarb w Auschwitz
dir. Yahaly Gat
Israel, 2005, 55 min
A film which follows the form of both documentary and reportage gives us the chance of
tracking down in Poland not only material treasures...
A student, Yariv Nornberg, hears from an elderly vendor in a rundown shop a fantastic story about a Jewish treasure buried in Polish soil. His curiosity is aroused when he learns of the location of the hiding place - next to the infamous Auschwitz extermination camp. During the next 5 years, Yariv pursues these lost religious artifacts, hidden in the grounds of the Great Synagogue in the city of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in 1939. For him, these artifacts embody his own perished family and guide his attempt for a closure and acceptance of the Polish people, usually regarded by Jews as collaborators and anti-Semites. Yariv manages to organize a unique archaeological excavation to unearth the treasure. But as the digging progresses, it becomes apparent that the synagogue`s soil conceals a 60-year-old sinister secret and Yariv and his crew begin to lose hope… (Summary written by Yahaly Gat)
NY Jewish Film Festival`06; Nomination to Israeli Academy of Motion Picture and TV `06.
dir. Adam Hootnick
USA, 2007, 80 min
UNSETTLED is about being young and on the front lines of a conflict where the lines are
blurred, in a society where the first battle for peace is fought at home.
During the Gaza withdrawal, three young Israelis will be forced from their homes, two soldiers will be sent to evict them, and one activist will try to help her country avoid a war. Featuring music from reggae superstar Matisyahu, UNSETTLED is a story about religion and democracy, soldiers and civilians, and the kids on the front lines of a battle where there is no enemy. Summer 2005 Israel`s largest military operation in a generation is a mission against its own citizens. When the Israeli government decides to end its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip, uprooting 8,000 Israeli residents and returning control to the 1.3 million Palestinians who live there, young soldiers and settlers suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of one of the most bitter conflicts in their nation`s history.
Winner - Grand Jury Best Documentary - Slamdance 2007
dir. Janos Zelky
Hungary, 2007, 90 min
The film adapts the most horrible thing of the Holocaust: the delivery of the deported
people to the lagers, the days spent in the wagon.
In the documentaries, books, interviews of the last fifty years next to the fact of the "traveling" there are remarkably less of concrete facts. Nobody knows - except the involve ones - happened between the fully humiliated humans on that two or three days next to the terrible circumstances which were forced to them. The film is also an attempt of the analysis of the hostility mechanism and Hungarian`s being anti towards the hungarian Jews, against whom an official apogee of hostility reached its highest point at the final stage of the war in 1944.
Hungarian Film Festival 2007
Who was Kafka?
Kim był Kafka?
dir. Richard Dindo
Switzerland / France / Germany, 2006, 98 min
Franz Kafka, renowned author of The Metamorphosis and The Trial, is considered one of the
most influential writers of the 20th century. Plagued by sleepwalking, Kafka wrote almost exclusively at night. Small
wonder that his classic novels resemble dreams or, more precisely - nightmares.
Who Was Kafka? explores this and much about the secretive and legendary literary figure who, according to director Richard Dindo, "wrote perhaps the most beautiful letters in the history of literature. "Using actors to play the people who knew Kafka the best, the film features "interviews" with historical figures who respond using the actual words they wrote about their unique relationships with the writer.
Dokfest de Münich`06, Germany and Tekfestival 2006 in Roma Rzymie, Italy
World was ours
Swiat był nasz
dir. Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren
USA, 2007, 58 min
A documentary chronicling the rich, vibrant history of the Jewish community of Vilna (then Poland, now Lithuania,) known as "The Jerusalem of Lithuania", before its destruction in World War II. Unique archive records documenting cultural largeness and diversity of Jews of Polish and Lithuanian Vilna. A suprising testimony to the history with participation of Czesław Miłosz. Survived archive records of daily life in Vilna make this film a must for anybody to whom a common history of Lithuania and Poland is near.
Wrestling with angels
Walczac z aniołami
dir. Freida Lee Mock
USA, 2006, 98 min
A documentary by 4 Oscar winner director on the personal and political life of Pulitzer
Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner, the coscreen writer of MUNICH dir. By Steven Spielberg. In 2007 one of the famous
Polish theater director Warlikowski did direct in Warsaw the 6 hour play under Polish Titel ANGELS IN AMERICA by Kushner in
The film begins in 2001, when Kushner was mounting the production of his play "Homebody/Kabul" and runs through 2004, as he worked on John Kerry`s presidential campaign, got married to Mark Harris, worked with Maurice Sendak, and opened the Broadway musical "Caroline, or Change."
Winner Seattle Int.Festival`06; Cleveland Int.Fest.`06; Munich Int.Festival`06; Sundance Film Fest.`06.
dir. Paul Mazursky
USA ,74 min
A documentary of an Oscar winner, full of humour, questions and secrets which are brought
together with the religious world of 21st century Chasids.
Paul Mazursky, Oscar winner Hollywood director, didn`t get where he is today by shirking a challenge. For his latest project the celebrated filmmaker abandons Beverly Hills to go (almost) down and out in Uman, a small Ukrainian town visited each year by 25,000 male Hassidic Jews on pilgrimage to the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman and his great grandfather the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Hassidic movement. Mazursky sets about interviewing Hassidic pilgrims from around the world and the bemused but friendly Ukrainian locals. Though not about to let them forget he`s a "famous film director", Mazursky seems admirably undaunted by the prospect of sharing a room with half a dozen grown men and just the one loo. He`s a chaotic but jovial tour guide, and this low-key film, dubbed by Mel Brooks as "funny, fascinating and surprisingly touching", suggests the secular can learn from the devout, in the process rediscovering their own sense of Jewish joy. Yippee!
Montreal World Film Festival`06, Palm Springs International Film Festival`07, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival`07
dir. Alan Ezequiel Jais
Argentina, 2007, 30 min
A personal journey to parents` homeland - to Poland and a view of Polish people seen by
visitors, who feel strongly attached to this country...
Anna starts the search of her assassinated family in the Shoah and tries to find out if there are survivors. Gerardo, her son, finds a person with the same surname. Not knowing if they were relatives, Anna gets in touch with him and his sons in Poland. Talking to them in Yiddish, she begins to feel nostalgia and interest about knowing her ancestors` homeland and, at the same time, the need for paying them a tribute. While reading testimonies and developing the research, she discovers the real relationship existing between them which leads her to dream about a trip to Poland. Anna and Gerardo begin a trip through the Concentration Camps and towns where they remember with sadness and emotion, all their lost relatives. In Warsaw she meets a cousin who will surprise her with all that Anna had dreamt and never imagined it would still exist. At the moment Anna Nuta is a referent in Argentina for the search of relatives and descendants of the Shoah. She turns into a researcher of the Jewish Genealogy Family Finder and a member of the Yad Vashem Volunteers Program.
I`m Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin to ja
dir. Jay Rosenblatt
USA, 2005, 8 min
An intriguing documentary trial.
I`M CHARLIE CHAPLIN is a documentary comedy, the third in a series featuring the filmmaker`s daughter, Ella. I`M CHARLIE CHAPLIN follows Ella trick or treating on Halloween at age 2 1/2. Unlike her peers, dressed as superheroes or fairy princesses, Ella wants to be Charlie Chaplin for Halloween. She loves The Little Tramp almost as much as she loves candy; the convergence of her two desires is almost more than she can handle. The film revisits her a year later on Halloween, a much more mature and credible Chaplin. The difference a year makes is quite remarkable.
Young musicians: Kaddish by
Młodzi muzycy: Kadysz wg Ravela
dir. Yoram Gross
Australia, 2007, 7 min
"Young Musicians" is a series of vibrant short films series of vibrant short films of dynamic performance by remarkable young Australian musicians, combining their skillful performances of classical music with matching visual effects, to produce an art form that appeals to the eye as well as the ear. Featuring works by Chopin, Ravel, Bartok, Scarlatti any many others, each performance is beautifully illustrated in harmony with the tone and style of the music. "Kaddis" (pol: Kadysz) is the first of Ravel`s Deux Melodies Hebraiques. Kaddis is a liturgical chant, a prayer for the dead, originating in the 13th century. The music profoundly carries the lamenting emotions of people in mourning.