JIFF 2017 at Classic

JIFF 2017

From Israel, France and Australia, to the Yiddish-speaking neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, to award-winners and critics' favourites; JIFF presents 65 films from across the globe that celebrate the remarkable diversity of Jewish culture and storytelling.

October 25 (Opening Night) - November 22 at Classic
October 26 - November 21 at Lido

Purchase a JIFF Festival Pass here 

For more information, head to jiff.com.au

1945

  • Director
  • Ferenc Török
  • Synopsis
  • “One of the most stunningly beautiful movies you’ll see all year.” - Miami Herald

    “...gripping period drama offers a fresh, intelligent cinematic approach.” — Variety

    “...a powerful and beautifully made film.” — Indiewire

    Two men in black hats disembark from a train under a foreboding sky, setting a small town into a panic. The scene could be from a Western, except that the town is in Hungary and the black-clad men are Orthodox Jews, not gun-slinging drifters. As they walk silently behind a horse-drawn cart carrying two crates to an unknown destination, their presence elicits a spate of rumours. Adapting the short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó, award-winning Hungarian director Ferenc Török stunningly captures a transitional moment in European history with one village’s actions reflecting the moral corrosion of an entire continent. Beautifully shot in black and white with a spare, melancholy score, this understated film quietly builds and ultimately packs an unexpected punch.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 91 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, History
  • Running Time
  • 91 minutes

A Jew for Example

  • Cast
  • Bruno Ganz, Andre Wilms, Aurelien Patouillard, Paul Laurent
  • Director
  • Jacob Berger
  • Synopsis
  • “This potent drama could hardly be more relevant or effective.” - Variety

    The writer Jacques Chessex was an eight-year-old boy in 1942 in the Swiss village of Payerne when he witnessed events, as detailed in his controversial novella, A Jew Must Die, that would change him forever.

    Popular myth has it that Switzerland remained an innocent island amidst the horrors of World War II. What we see in Jacques Berger's decisive film - and what Chessex saw as a boy - repudiates this. In Payerne, a cadre of Nazi sympathisers singled out a Jewish scapegoat, a wealthy livestock dealer, to serve as an ‘example’ in honour of Hitler's birthday.

    More than a simple recreation of an historical atrocity, this powerful film boldly conflates past and present; suggesting that the two are, and always will be, dangerously intertwined.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 73 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 73 minutes

A Quiet Heart

  • Cast
  • Ludi Boken, Ania Bukstein, Uri Gottlieb
  • Director
  • Eitan Anner
  • Synopsis
  • “A crafted, thoughtful and quietly gripping snapshot of internal social conflicts rarely examined in Israeli cinema.” - Variety

    Ania Bukstein (Game of Thrones) stars as Naomi, a secular Israeli suffering a personal crisis that threatens to derail her career as a concert pianist. Fleeing Tel Aviv, she moves to Jerusalem and rents an apartment in a Haredi neighbourhood. Disdain towards a secular woman soon turns to outright hostility when Naomi befriends an Italian monk who teaches her to play the pipe organ. While these relationships allow Naomi to reconnect with her love of music and sense of meaning, they also make her a target in her new community. Faced with escalating isolation and violence, Naomi must learn to use music as a bridge to overcome towering religious barriers.

    Delivering a nuanced examination of the tensions between Jerusalem’s secular and religious communities, A Quiet Heart is a riveting suspense thriller about the evils of religious intolerance.

    Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2016 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

    Producer, Gal Greenspan, is a guest of the festival.

    Please note: select sessions screen with short film 'Mr Bernstein.'

    Mr Bernstein
    Canada / 2016 / Short / 12 mins / English
    Director: Francine Zuckerman
    Synopsis: After Debbie hears about her father's life-changing musical experience in a refugee camp, she tracks down the famous conductor years later, with unexpected consequences.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 92 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 92 minutes

Across the Waters

  • Director
  • Nicolo Donato
  • Synopsis
  • "Will touch even the most cynical viewers." — Atlanta Jewish Times

    In a gripping story of survival and rescue, a Jewish musician and his family make a frantic escape from Nazi-occupied Denmark. Enjoying the nightlife of 1943 Copenhagen, jazz guitarist Arne is seemingly immune to the hardships of war, as the Danish government opts for a compliant relationship with Nazi Germany. When his terrified wife Miriam hears rumours of the round-up and deportation of Danish Jews, he is initially skeptical, but an overnight raid forces the couple to flee their home with five-year-old son, Jakob. Aided by a church pastor and underground resistance, they set out on a journey for the fishing village of Gilleleje, where refugees await passage to Sweden by boat. Amidst lurking danger from the Gestapo and their collaborators, the family puts its fate in the hands of strangers whose allegiance and motives are not always clear.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 94 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, History, War
  • Running Time
  • 94 minutes

An Israeli Love Story

  • Cast
  • Avraham Aviv Alush, Alex Ansky, Adi Bielski
  • Director
  • Dan Wolman
  • Synopsis
  • "Evokes the nostalgia and values of pre-state Israel." - The Pioneer

    Based on the true story of theatre director and actress Pnina Gary, multi-award winning director Dan Wolman tells a passionate story of love and independence. Set in pre-state Palestine, Eli (Aviv Alush from The Women’s Balcony) and Margalit are torn between their love for one another and where they see their own futures in the Jewish state. In the budding theatre world of Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim, Margalit finds her place in the spotlight while Eli is drawn deeper into the armed struggle for Jewish independence from the British.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 93 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, History
  • Running Time
  • 93 minutes

Antenna

  • Cast
  • Gila Almagor, Michael Aloni
  • Director
  • Arik Rotstein
  • Synopsis
  • “An engaging family drama sprinkled with humour” - Cineuropa

    Joshua, an 80 year old Holocaust survivor, discovers one morning that a cellphone antenna has been installed on the roof of his house without his permission. He is furious and voices his immediate consternation to his wife Sara (played by queen of Israeli cinema, Gila Almagor), and their three sons: army officer, Itzik; depressed and divorced literature professor, Leon; and DJ/small time weed dealer, Efi. Fixated on the idea that toxic waste spewing from the antenna is causing strange pains and disrupting his sleep, Joshua starts to lose his grip on reality. An entertaining saga of love, family and pesky neighbours.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 98 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 98 minutes

Band Aid

  • Cast
  • Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen
  • Director
  • Zoe Lister-Jones
  • Synopsis
  • “An honest, intelligent, and hilarious perspective on modern relationships” - Sundance Institute

    Anna and Ben are a pair of 30-something Jewish artists who fight constantly. It doesn’t help that they’ve each come to a standstill in their careers, or that, together, they’ve suffered a heartbreak neither wants to face. But one day they come up with a brilliant idea they actually agree on: why not start a band and use their arguments as songwriting inspiration? Almost as soon as they dig out their old electric guitars from the garage, their musical partnership starts to gel, but it soon becomes apparent that this is only a temporary distraction from their real problems.

    Debut feature director Zoe Lister-Jones, who also writes and stars in Band Aid, offers a funny, unexpected, and poignant perspective on modern relationships. Also starring Adam Pally (The Mindy Project) and Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Band Aid premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 91 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 91 minutes

Bang! The Bert Berns Story

  • Director
  • Brett Berns, Bob Sarles
  • Synopsis
  • "Juicy stuff here… If you love the music Berns made, you’ll love this movie; if you don’t, I feel for you.” - The New York Times

    Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important songwriter and record producer from the sixties that you’ve never heard of. With hits including Twist and Shout, Hang on Sloopy, Here Comes the Night and Piece of My Heart, Berns helped to launch the careers of legends Van Morrison and Neil Diamond, and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made.

    With an astonishing parade of interviews from Van Morrison to Keith Richards and Paul McCartney, and rare performance footage, filmmaker Brett Berns celebrates the extraordinary legacy of his rock ‘n’ roll father. Premiered at the 2017 SXSW Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 94 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary, Music
  • Running Time
  • 94 minutes

Ben-Gurion, Epilogue

  • Director
  • Yariv Moser
  • Synopsis
  • “Offers a rare intimate look at what went on inside Ben-Gurion’s heart and mind.” - Variety

    A six-hour interview with David Ben-Gurion, one of modern history's greatest leaders, emerges from the obscurity of an archive where it has lain unrecognised for decades. It is 1968, and Ben-Gurion is 82 years old. He lives in the seclusion of his home in the desert, remote from all political discourse, which allows him a perspective on the Zionist enterprise. His introspective soul-searching is the focus of this film, and his reflections provide a surprising vision for today's crucial decisions and for the future of Israel.

    Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars).
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 70 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 70 minutes

Big Sonia

  • Director
  • Todd Soliday, Leah Warshawski
  • Synopsis
  • “An unforgettable woman refuses to forget in this thoughtful exploration of history’s fallout.” - The Hollywood Reporter

    Standing tall at 4’8″, Sonia Warshawski is a tiny woman with bold lipstick and a penchant for animal prints. A feisty nonagenarian who runs a six-day-a-week tailor shop in suburban Kansas City, Sonia is also a Holocaust survivor who has taken it upon herself to share her story with the local community. As survivor numbers dwindle, Sonia understands the urgency of remembering the past, and her insistence on speaking out has a life-changing impact on those who are privy to her testimony.

    Directed by Sonia’s granddaughter, filmmaker Leah Warshawski, this engaging and thoughtful documentary artfully integrates animations inspired by Sonia’s own drawings with interviews from her family and friends, stitching together a moving portrait of a powerhouse woman.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 93 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 93 minutes

Body and Soul: An American Bridge

  • Director
  • Robert Philipson
  • Synopsis
  • “I’m all for you, body and soul”

    The Great American Songbook is replete with standards from Jewish composers, inducted into the jazz canon by black musicians. Perhaps none has been as enduring as the 1930s tune Body and Soul, composed by Jewish songwriter Johnny Green, introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman, and first recorded as a jazz piece by Louis Armstrong.

    Filmmaker Robert Philipson explores the timelessness of the piece, and its role at the very heart of both black American and Jewish music. Combining expert interviews with rare archival footage and brilliant performances, Body and Soul: An American Bridge pays tribute to the enduring power of music to break down barriers and unite disparate peoples.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 58 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary, Music
  • Running Time
  • 58 minutes

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

  • Director
  • Alexandra Dean
  • Synopsis
  • “A thoroughly engaging, eye-opening showbiz doc.” - The Hollywood Reporter

    Truth is stranger than fiction in the extraordinary story of Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood screen siren who invented 1940s wireless technology.

    Known for her striking looks and electric onscreen persona, Lamarr’s legion of fans never knew she possessed such a beautiful mind. An Austrian Jewish émigré who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night, Lamarr came up with a ‘secret communication system’ to help the Allies to beat the Nazis. Weaving in Lamarr’s own voice from archival recordings, this absorbing documentary reveals how Lamarr gave her patent to the Navy, received no credit for her contributions, and wound up impoverished in her latter years.
    Executive produced by Susan Sarandon and narrated by Diane Kruger, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a film for lovers of history, Hollywood and science.

    Premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 86 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 86 minutes

Bye Bye Germany

  • Cast
  • Moritz Bleibtreu, Antje Traue
  • Director
  • Sam Garbarski
  • Synopsis
  • “...touches chords that are both poignant, funny and bitter.” - ScreenDaily

    Frankfurt, 1946. David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu) and his Jewish friends have escaped the Nazi regime and are now dreaming of leaving for America. But how will they get the money in these tough post-war times? The smooth-talking businessman focuses on what the Germans now need most: fine bed linens nicely wrapped in amusing stories! The six talented entertainers go from home to home, praising housewives with ashy chutzpah until the flattered ladies have no choice but to buy their irresistible items. Business flourishes and a bright new future can be seen in the horizon. But questions about Bermann‘s past catch up with him. Why does he have two passports? What about his visit to Hitler‘s mountain retreat? Could he have collaborated with the Nazis? The smart and tenacious US officer Sara Simon refuses to close the interrogation, determined to get to the heart of Bermann‘s wartime memories. Sara matches his quick wit with iron severity, but it becomes increasingly difficult for her to escape his winsome charm.

    Addressing the complexities of Jews struggling to reassimilate in their own homeland, Bye Bye Germany presents a unqiue and bittersweet yarn with a telling contemporary relevance.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 102 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 102 minutes

Curious George

  • Cast
  • Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, Eugene Levy
  • Director
  • Matthew O'Callaghan
  • Synopsis
  • The naughty little monkey from Margret Rey and H.A. Rey’s beloved children’s stories makes the leap to the big screen in this animated adaptation.

    Ted (voice of Will Ferrell) is an explorer with a large yellow hat who is good friends with Bloomsberry (voice of Dick Van Dyke), who runs a natural history museum. Bloomsberry’s greedy son, Bloomsberry Junior, wants to tear down his dad’s museum and put a parking ramp in its place, but the elder Bloomsberry is convinced that a spectacular new exhibit could save the museum from the wrecking ball. Ted heads to Africa on an expedition to find some special artifacts that will keep his friend in business, but while he’s there he befriends a playful monkey he calls George. While George is friendly, he has a taste for mischief and seems to always get Ted in hot water; Ted thinks he’s seen the last of his simian friend when his ship heads back to America, until he discovers that George managed to hide aboard the boat before it set sail. Ted’s search for a eye-catching exhibit proved to be a failure, and Ted and his good friend Maggie (voice of Drew Barrymore), a schoolteacher who’s sweet on him, struggle to find of a way to save Bloomsberry’s museum. But time becomes precious for Ted when George has an entire new city to explore.
  • Classification
  • G, 87 mins
  • Genre
  • Adventure, Animation, Comedy
  • Running Time
  • 87 minutes

Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story

  • Cast
  • Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart, Ira Glass
  • Director
  • Stephane Kaas
  • Synopsis
  • In his stories, celebrated Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret plays with fantasy and reality. His own life, too, seems like a modern fairytale. In this fiction documentary hybrid, Stephane Kaas and Rutger Lemm investigate why storytelling is an essential aspect of Keret’s life.

    A charming and moving homage to the magic of artfully woven fantasies, Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story is skillfully pieced together with joyous animated sequences from Keret’s stories, and interviews from those who know the man best; Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart and Ira Glass among them.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 67 mins
  • Genre
  • Animation, Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 67 minutes

Exit: Music

  • Director
  • James Murdoch
  • Synopsis
  • Before WW2, Germany was the centre of the musical world. Within five years of the war breaking out, thousands of musicians had fled the country as the Nazi regime tightened its race laws and attempted to fashion its own cultural image.

    Exit: Music examines how anti-Semitism manifested itself in the music industry, how Jewish composers were depicted as incapable of originality by virtue of race, and how the Third Reich hijacked German music for propaganda purposes. Exploring the lives of five composers, this moving documentary pieces together stories of their escape; how their identities and careers were changed by exile, and how their music all but disappeared after the war.

    Their stories are told by family members and biographers, with commentary from experts in the field and rare archival footage. The recovered music is performed by the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory); a group of committed musicians which has spent the last twelve years restoring unknown masterpieces to the repertoire.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 82 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary, History, Music
  • Running Time
  • 82 minutes

Hanna's Sleeping Dogs

  • Cast
  • Hannelore Elsner, Nike Seitz, Franziska Weisz
  • Director
  • Andreas Gruber
  • Synopsis
  • Twenty-two years after the end of the WWII, the inhabitants of a small Austrian town are still impacted by dangerous reminders of Nazi Germany. When 9-year-old Johanna and her family are evacuated due to the danger of unexploded munitions, shameful family secrets are also unearthed.

    Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Elisabeth Escher, Hanna’s Sleeping Dogs explores a young girl’s embrace of her heritage and her family’s past as she grapples with a newfound identity.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 120 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 120 minutes

Heaven in Auschwitz

  • Director
  • Aaron Cohen
  • Synopsis
  • In this captivating and moving documentary, Czech Holocaust survivors recount the seemingly impossible: pleasant memories of Auschwitz.

    German Jew and unsung hero, Alfred ‘Freddy’ Hirsch, dedicated himself to lessening the impact of Nazi terror on children's lives. In Terezin, he looked after children and obtained space for a playground and, in Auschwitz, Hirsch managed to get one building dedicated as a ‘children’s block.’ While he didn’t survive, the remarkable Freddy Hirsch lives on in the memories of those who, thanks to him, experienced some joy in the midst of hell.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 74 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 74 minutes

Humor Me

  • Cast
  • Jemaine Clement, Elliott Gould
  • Director
  • Sam Hoffman
  • Synopsis
  • "Raucously funny." - The Hollywood Reporter

    Nate (Flight of the Conchord’s Jemaine Clement), in crisis and suffering from writer's block, is forced to move into his father’s retirement community. His wisecracking father, Bob (Elliott Gould), believes humour to be the antidote to life’s problems, but his nonchalant attitude comes at the detriment of emotional engagement with his son. In an attempt to break out of his funk and become closer to Bob, Nate teams up with the elderly residents to produce a concert version of The Mikado, leading to raucous and unpredictable antics.

    From the writer of Old Jews Telling Jokes, Humor Me is a joyous and laugh-out-loud exploration of the complexities of the father-son relationship.

    Cast: Jemaine Clement, Elliott Gould
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 93 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy
  • Running Time
  • 93 minutes

In Between

  • Cast
  • Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh, Shaden Kanboura
  • Director
  • Maysaloun Hamoud
  • Synopsis
  • “Sparkling, taboo-breaking… an end to stereotyped Palestinian women.” - The Hollywood Reporter

    Layla, Salma and Nur share an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv. Layla, a criminal lawyer with a wicked wit, loves to burn off her workday stress in the underground club scene. Salma, slightly more subdued, is a DJ and bartender. Nur is a younger, religious Muslim girl who moves into the apartment in order to study at the university.

    Nur is both intrigued and intimidated by her two sophisticated roommates. When her conservative fiancé visits, he is horrified by her secular friends, entreating her to hasten their marriage, leave Tel Aviv, and assume her rightful role as a wife. She refuses, and his violent rebuttal leaves all of the women shaken.

    In Between is a story of female friendship, and the fierce bond that comes from shared gender, background, and hopes. An extraordinary film that depicts the complexities of contemporary femininity.

    Produced by Shlomi Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem); In Between screened to critical acclaim at San Sebastian Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and won Best Debut Film at the 2016 Haifa International Film Festival. Nominated for highest twelve 2017 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars), including Best Picture and Best Director.
  • Classification
  • MA15+, 96 mins
  • Consumer Advice
  • Strong coarse language and sexual violence
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 96 minutes

Indoors

  • Cast
  • Yuval Segal, Osnat Fishmann, Danny Steg
  • Director
  • Eitan Green
  • Synopsis
  • “A movie about an Israeliness that dreams, aspires, insists, confronts, struggles and comes to the point of defeat, and it is Green’s best, most complex, complete and touching work to date. This is a version of Israeliness we have yet to see on the screen, tender and full of longing despite its hardships.” - Haaretz

    Avraham is a small time contractor who is trying to make it big. His family lives in the shadow of his career ambitions as he gambles on projects that exceed his capacities, until one of these projects leaves him drowning in debts that he cannot repay. Under the threat of their father's financial difficulties, a family rediscovers the strength of its ties.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 103 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 103 minutes

Keep the Change

  • Cast
  • Jessica Walter, Christina Brucato, Alex Emanuel
  • Director
  • Rachel Israel
  • Synopsis
  • “An ode to self-discovery and acceptance that’s as funny as it is sweet.” - Variety

    Winner of Best Narrative Feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Keep the Change follows David, an upper-class charmer who leads a very comfortable life until he is mandated to attend a support group for adults with disabilities. There, he is forced to come to terms with his own high-functioning autism, despite his resentment towards being singled out as different, or anything other than what he interprets as 'normal.’

    In group, David is paired with Sarah – a quirky and outgoing woman whose optimism initially irks David. Despite their contrasting personalities, they forge a bond. As their relationship deepens, Sarah, confident in herself and her individuality, challenges David to embrace his own idiosyncrasy.

    An endearing and naturalistic romantic comedy about people navigating the difficulties of a relationship, Keep the Change details an underrepresented community with authenticity, optimism and charming humour.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 94 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Romance
  • Running Time
  • 94 minutes

Let Me Go

  • Cast
  • Lucy Boynton, Jodhi May, Stanley Weber
  • Director
  • Polly Steele
  • Synopsis
  • Based on a true story, Let Me Go explores the lingering impact of dark family secrets on future generations.

    Abandoned by her mother when she was four years old, Helga is now a grown woman with her own family. When she receives a letter from her ailing mother, Helga is forced to confront the long-term effects of her absence, and shares a long-repressed secret with her granddaughter, Emily. The two travel to Vienna to meet the debilitated matriarch, and together experience the unravelling of a sinister family mystery.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 113 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 113 minutes

Love is Thicker Than Water

  • Cast
  • Ellie Kendrick, Lydia Wilson, Johnny Flynn
  • Director
  • Emily Harris, Ate de Jong
  • Synopsis
  • “Matchless filmmaking and storytelling. Wonderful!” - Stephen Fry

    Sparks fly when Arthur, a poor Welsh student, meets Vida, a wealthy Jewish cellist. As the two rush headlong into a relationship, their bond is soon tested when the fates of their two vastly different families converge. Punctuated by quirky animated segments and an energetic soundtrack, this modern day Romeo and Juliet explores the trials and tribulations of a young couple in contemporary London. Johnny Flynn and Lydia Wilson deliver outstanding performances as the star-crossed lovers, alongside a terrific supporting cast. From the director of Drop Dead Fred, this touching, quirky and tragic film presents a fresh look at how conflicting family ties challenge love.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 105 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Romance
  • Running Time
  • 105 minutes

Menashe

  • Cast
  • Menashe Lustig
  • Director
  • Joshua Weinstein
  • Synopsis
  • “A touching father-son drama that finds universal emotion in an unlikely place.” – Indiewire

    “Brilliant new Yiddish mumblecore heartbreaker… an absolute must-see.” – Tablet Magazine

    “A quiet triumph… an engaging drama of intimate detail and considerable humanity.” – The Guardian

    “A gentle human comedy.” – The New York Times

    Set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son Rieven after his wife, Lea, passes away. Since they live in a tradition-bound culture that requires a mother present in every home, Rieven is supposed to be adopted by the boy’s strict, married uncle, but Menashe’s Rabbi decides to grant him one week to spend with Rieven prior to Lea’s memorial. Their time together creates an emotional moment of father/son bonding as well as offering Menashe a final chance to prove to his skeptical community that he can be a capable parent.

    Shot in secret entirely within the Hasidic community depicted in the film, and performed wholly in Yiddish, Menashe is a warm, life-affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son that also sheds unusual light on a notoriously private community. An audience and critical darling that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and based largely on the real life of its Hasidic star Menashe Lustig, the film is a strikingly authentic, gently comedic and deeply moving portrait of family, love, connection, and community.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 82 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 82 minutes

Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators

  • Director
  • Ema Ryan Yamazaki
  • Synopsis
  • Curious George is an international icon, with generations of children growing up with stories of his adventures and hijinks. The friendly and inquisitive monkey was created by Hans and Margret Rey; German Jews with their own incredible stories. A dreamer, Hans was always sketching whatever came to his mind. Margret was an entrepreneurial rebel, determined to make her mark on the world. The two married in Brazil and honeymooned in Paris. Four years later, when the Nazis encroached on the edges of the city, they fled on bicycles with a precious manuscript featuring a small monkey and his beloved friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat.

    Seamlessly incorporating animation that brings Hans and Margret to life, Ema Ryan Yamazaki’ s debut documentary charts the creation and journey of Curious George, and celebrates the Reys’ extraordinary creative collaboration amidst the chaos of a world at war.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 81 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 81 minutes

Moon in the 12th House

  • Cast
  • Gefen Barkai, Gil Cohen, Shani Dubinchik
  • Director
  • Dorit Hakim
  • Synopsis
  • “Powerful and moving... combining past and present with ease.” – Le Blog du Cinema Sisters

    Mira and Lenny, separated at youth in traumatic circumstances, are young women when they finally meet again. The older and wilder Mira, who works in a hip Tel Aviv nightclub, abruptly returns to their childhood home, where the dutiful Lenny has stayed to care for their father. Their unexpected reunion leads them on an emotional journey of healing and reconciliation. Commanding performances and hypnotic cinematography elevate this moving meditation on family ties and lost youth.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 110 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 110 minutes

More Alive Than Dead

  • Director
  • Tzachi Schiff
  • Synopsis
  • Was he a revolutionary genius who changed our thought and sought to release humanity from shackles of oppression, religion and hypocrisy? Or was he a greedy and devious charlatan who swindled theories from others? Was he the generator of the present sense of individuality or did he contaminate humanity’s moral values with self-centeredness? With debate from world-renowned Freud experts and philosophers, and animation, humour, art and music, More Alive Than Dead explores the multifaceted Freudian influence on our culture and society.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 67 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 67 minutes

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim: The First Jewish Painter

  • Director
  • Isabel Gathof
  • Synopsis
  • Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, the so-called 'painter of the Rothschilds and the Rothschild of painters’, was the first Jewish painter of the modern era. Oppenheim came to represent the emancipation of German Jews in the nineteenth century, although his work depicting traditional Jewish life has mostly been forgotten.

    With an extraordinary collaborative soundtrack fusing electronic music with classical composition performed by the string quartet of the Frankfurt Philharmonic Orchestra, this powerful documentary explores the seminal artist’s traces - and lingering impact - across Germany, France and Israel.

    Director Isabel Gathof is a guest of the festival, with thanks to the Goethe-Institut.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 72 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 72 minutes

Mr & Mrs Adelman

  • Cast
  • Doria Tillier, Nicolas Bedos, Denis Podalydès
  • Director
  • Nicolas Bedos
  • Synopsis
  • “45 Years, French-style... filled with energy and wit.” - The Hollywood Reporter

    When famous author Victor Adelman dies, a journalist contacts his wife, Sarah, hoping to get a scoop on the great writer’s life. His rock when times were tough, and his muse when inspiration faltered, Sarah reflects on half a century together, and contemplates the trials and tribulations of their passionate and tumultuous relationship.

    Chronicling half a century of victories, ambitions, secrets, and betrayals, Mr & Mrs Adelman pays tribute to the madness and wisdom of sharing a lifetime with someone. Written by and starring real-life couple, Nicolas Bedos (who also directed the film), and Doria Tillier.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 120 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 120 minutes

Muhi: Generally Temporary

  • Director
  • Rina Castelnuovo, Tamir Elterman
  • Synopsis
  • “A unique window into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” - Indiewire

    For the past seven years, Muhi, a young boy from Gaza, has been trapped in an Israeli hospital. Rushed there in his infancy with a life-threatening immune disorder, he and his doting grandfather, Abu Naim, wound up caught in an immigration limbo that made it impossible for them to leave. With Muhi’s visa status unclear, and Abu Naim denied a work permit, the pair reside solely within the constraints of the hospital walls. Caught between two states in perpetual war, Muhi is being cared for by the very same people whose government keeps his family marooned in Gaza. Made by two filmmakers from Jerusalem, this documentary lays out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in human terms, charting the impact these paradoxical circumstances have upon individual lives.

    Winner Best Debut Film at the 2017 DocAviv Film Festival, and nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars).
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 86 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 86 minutes

Murder in Polná

  • Cast
  • Jaroslav Plesl, Karel Hermánek Jr., Karel Roden
  • Director
  • Viktor Polesný
  • Synopsis
  • A riveting historical miniseries based on the Hilsner Affair, a highly contested criminal case in Czechoslovakia. After a young seamstress is found dead in a small village on Easter Sunday 1899, the absence of blood at the crime scene leads investigators to believe that the murder was part of a Passover ritual. Pinning the blame on Leopold Hilsner, a young Jewish beggar, his trial and subsequent death sentence incite riots against Jews. Finally, Tomas Masaryk, a professor of sociology in Prague (and eventual president of Czechoslovakia) intervenes; with dramatic consequence.

    A big hit in the Czech Republic, Murder in Polna comprises 2 x 86min episodes, screened consecutively.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 165 mins
  • Genre
  • Crime, Drama, History
  • Running Time
  • 165 minutes

My Mother's Lost Children

  • Director
  • Danny Ben-Moshe
  • Synopsis
  • Sprawling across four continents, My Mother’s Lost Children is the story of Melbourne filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe’s extraordinary, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction family story. Growing up in the Yiddish-speaking East End of London, Ben-Moshe’s mother, Lillian, was 15 when met and married Raymond, a charismatic Iranian Jew. After the birth of two children, the couple divorced and, when Lillian was 18, Raymond took the children to the nearby park for an excursion. They never returned.

    When the two stolen children reappear after 40 years, the eccentric family is thrown into disarray. Attempting to put the past to rest and discover the truth, Ben-Moshe and his family embark on a remarkable journey from Australian, to England and Iran, in an attempt to unravel the dense web of secrets, and put the past to rest.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 89 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 89 minutes

Never Be Boring: Billy Wilder

  • Director
  • André Schäfer, Jascha Hannover
  • Synopsis
  • Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, Double Indemnity... Billy Wilder was one of the great entertainers of the Classical Hollywood era and one of its most celebrated writers and directors. One of a slew of directors who fled from Nazism and settled into a successful career in the United States, Wilder was a six-time Oscar winner best known for his distinctive cynicism and wit. Never Be Boring: Billy Wilder dives into the great man’s fascinating life and work, featuring archival interviews with the man himself as well as collaborators and friends, including director Volker Schlöndorff, actor Mario Adorf and Swiss actress Marthe Keller, from across his historic career.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 90 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 90 minutes

Past Life

  • Cast
  • Nelly Tagar, Joy Rieger, Doron Tavory
  • Director
  • Avi Nesher
  • Synopsis
  • “Avi Nesher’s brilliant, haunting Past Life may be his best film yet – and that’s saying a lot.” - Jerusalem Post

    Two Israeli sisters unravel the shocking truth about their father’s murky wartime experiences in Past Life: a hybrid detective thriller and heart-tugging melodrama by award-winning filmmaker Avi Nesher.

    Unfolding in the late 1970s, Past Life centres on the daughters of Holocaust survivors, combative liberal journalist Nana and her younger sister Sephi, a soprano and aspiring composer. After a performance in West Berlin, Sephi is accosted by an elderly Polish woman who angrily accuses her father of murder. Traumatised by the startling encounter, the sisters launch an investigation, attempting to discover what really happened to their father in Poland during the war. As guilty secrets and troubling revelations are dredged up, Past Life boldly charts dangerous emotional territory still very much a part of the Israeli collective subconscious. Nominated for four 2017 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars) including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

    Please note: select sessions will be screening with short film 'Still Alive.'

    Still Alive
    (Noch Am Leben)
    Australia / 2017 / Short / 8 mins / English
    Director: Anita Lester
    Synopsis: A mother tells her daughter the tale of madness born from the Holocaust. Through the ghetto to cradling her dying sister, Eva Nagler left her mind on the beaches of the Baltic Sea during one of the largest death marches of the war. Being only one of two survivors out of 60,000, we see vignettes of her perspective- distorted, romantic and affected by the muffled memories. Narrated by her great-niece, the story captures a snapshot of the cold reality of war and its terrible lingering aftermath.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 109 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 109 minutes

People That Are Not Me

  • Cast
  • Yonatan Bar-Or, Hadas Ben Aroya, Netser Charitt
  • Director
  • Hadas Ben Aroya
  • Synopsis
  • “Singular and bold.” - Haaretz

    Joy is a young woman living in Tel Aviv who has a love-hate relationship with its casual sex scene. After failed attempts to get her ex back, Joy instead becomes infatuated with Nir, a chatty intellectual who says and does whatever he wants.

    Dealing with themes of urban loneliness and isolation, People That Are Not Me explores the lives of young people in Tel Aviv who yearn for intimacy and are also terrified by it; who talk endlessly but never say anything authentic. Written, directed by, and starring, Israeli filmmaker, Hadas Ben Aroya.

    Note: For mature audiences. Contains nudity and sex scenes.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 80 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, Romance
  • Running Time
  • 80 minutes

Russian Jews: Part One - Before the Revolution

  • Director
  • Sergey Nurmamed
  • Synopsis
  • Created and narrated by Russian journalist, Leonid Parfenov, the Russian Jews trilogy presents an immersive and illuminating investigation of perceptions of Jews in Russia throughout the twentieth century, and an examination of their role in the history of the country and the world.

    Russian Jews: Film One—Before the Revolution tells the story of the Jewish people across the Russian empire, including the traditional way of life in Russia and their entering into general society. Delving into stories about famous bankers, scientists and artists reshaping their attitude to the rites of their ancestry, this is also the story of the Russian word 'pogrom' entering foreign dictionaries; the Beylis Case and the first wave of Jewish emigration. It is about the revolutionaries who shattered the Tsarist regime and changed the fate of the country in October 1917.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 86 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 86 minutes

Russian Jews: Part Three - After 1948

  • Director
  • Sergey Nurmamed
  • Synopsis
  • Created and narrated by Russian journalist, Leonid Parfenov, the Russian Jews trilogy presents an immersive and illuminating investigation of perceptions of Jews in Russia throughout the twentieth century, and an examination of their role in the history of the country and the world.

    RUSSIAN JEWS. FILM 3. AFTER 1948 The assassination of Solomon Mikhoels, the leader of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, initiated a new era for the relationship between the Soviet Union and its Jews, including a new wave of officially sanctioned anti-Semitism that drove many Jews to involvement in ‘anti-Soviet activities’ and, eventually, emigration.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 126 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 126 minutes

Russian Jews: Part Two - 1918-1948

  • Director
  • Sergey Nurmamed
  • Synopsis
  • Created and narrated by Russian journalist, Leonid Parfenov, the Russian Jews trilogy presents an immersive and illuminating investigation of perceptions of Jews in Russia throughout the twentieth century, and an examination of their role in the history of the country and the world.

    Russian Jews: Film Two—1914-1948 captures a 30-year period of significant Jewish participation in every domain of Soviet political and cultural life including Leon Trotsky's role as the founder of the Red Army; artist Marc Chagall's early career; the first Soviet popular music stars; writers, with Isaac Babel in the lead, and other figures and fates, without which the grandiose Soviet ‘project’ is impossible to understand.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 125 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 125 minutes

Scaffolding

  • Cast
  • Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Cohen
  • Director
  • Matan Yair
  • Synopsis
  • “A small film with a big heart… a sharply drawn study of the father-son dynamic.” - Screen Daily

    17-year-old Asher has always been an impulsive troublemaker. It’s hard for him to concentrate in class, and he lashes out in rage and violence; yet he is also endowed with a considerable amount of charm and street wisdom. While his strict father sees him as a natural successor to the family’s scaffolding business, Asher finds a different masculine role model in his gentle literature teacher, Rami, and forges a special connection with him. Torn between the two worlds, Asher looks for a chance at a new life and new identity. When a sudden tragedy occurs, he’s forced to undertake the ultimate test of maturity.

    Premiering at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival (ACID showcase), Scaffolding won Best Israeli Feature Film and Best Actor at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival. Nominated for eight 2017 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars), including Best Picture and Best Director.

    Producer, Gal Greenspan, is a guest of the festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated
  • Genre
  • Drama

Scarred Hearts

  • Cast
  • Serban Pavlu, Gabriel Spahiu, Ivana Mladenovic
  • Director
  • Radu Jude
  • Synopsis
  • “Alternately funny, raunchy and sad.” - Indiewire

    In 1937, Emanuel is diagnosed with bone tuberculosis and is confined to Carmen Sylva, a marine sanatorium near the Black Sea. After the head doctor gleefully removes a pus-filled abscess while puffing on a cigarette, Emanuel is soon encased in a heavy body cast, and must spend all of his hours confined to his bed. A highly intelligent young man in his early twenties with a penchant for quoting poetry and philosophy, Emanuel tries to live life to its fullest in this Magic Mountain-like setting – keeping up his good humour, arguing over politics with anti-Semites and falling in love with Solange, a recovered former patient sporting a leg brace. But is it only a matter of time until he, like many other of his fellow patients, becomes resigned to his fate?

    Based on the autobiographical writings of Jewish Romanian author, Max Blecher, Radu Jude’s (Aferim!) eerily gorgeous Scarred Hearts premiered at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 141 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 141 minutes

Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema

  • Director
  • Danny Ben-Moshe
  • Synopsis
  • A celebration of the all-singing, all-dancing history of the world’s largest film industry, Shalom Bollywood reveals the unlikely story of the 2000 year old Indian Jewish community and its formative place in shaping the world’s largest film industry.

    At the advent of the Indian cinema industry, it was taboo for Hindu and Islamic women to perform on-screen. Indian Jewish women took upon the female lead roles, and continued to do so for decades. Using stage names, the women weren’t obviously identified as Jewish, and were commonly thought to be Christian or Muslim.

    With access to rare archival footage, Danny Ben-Moshe’s new documentary tells its extraordinary tale through the lives of Indian cinema’s Jewish icons at the heart of Bollywood from the turn of the 20th century to the present day.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 80 mins
  • Genre
  • Bollywood, Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 80 minutes

Subte: Polska

  • Cast
  • Héctor Bidonde, Manuel Callau, Lidia Catalano
  • Director
  • Alejandro Magnone
  • Synopsis
  • As a young man, Tadeusz left behind his sweetheart and his entire family to fight for the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. After the war was lost, the rise of fascism made it unsafe for a Jewish communist to return to Europe, and Tadeusz was forced to immigrate to Buenos Aires, literally going underground to help build the subway tunnels beneath the city.

    Refusing the doctor’s pills he believes responsible for robbing his lucidity and manhood, Tadeusz’s past begins to meld with the present. Knowing that his next journey will likely be his last, Tadeusz sets about to reconnect with long-lost lovers from his youth, with help from an eccentric circle of caring friends and neighbours.

    A sharply observed character study depicting a quixotic life that comes full circle in its final, bittersweet chapter.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 97 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 97 minutes

The Bloom of Yesterday

  • Cast
  • Adèle Haenel, Lars Eidinger
  • Director
  • Chris Kraus
  • Synopsis
  • “Audacious… an offbeat romantic comedy.” - Variety

    Toto is an esteemed Holocaust scholar. He is also the grandson of a Nazi war criminal. While organising a conference, Toto takes on an intern who’s the granddaughter of a Holocaust victim. After a rocky first meeting, the two bond, speak candidly about their familial legacies, and stumble toward romance.

    Chris Kraus’ audacious The Bloom of Yesterday wrings comedy from unfathomable atrocity. Yet the film’s lightness allows its inherent gravity to settle fully once we apprehend its true message: that every generation must find its own path to reckoning with the daunting shadows of history. Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 125 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 125 minutes

The Boy Downstairs

  • Cast
  • Zosia Mamet, Matthew Shear
  • Director
  • Sophie Brooks
  • Synopsis
  • “An earnest examination of love, heartache and the tumultuous time of 20-something not-quite-there adulthood.” - The Playlist

    From first-time writer-director Sophie Brooks, this original romantic comedy is the coming-of-age tale of a young writer looking to find her way back in New York City after a two-year stint in London. Zosia Mamet (Girls) exhibits winsome charm as Diana, navigating the rite of passage of every single New Yorker: the search for the perfect apartment. She seemingly finds such a jewel of a home, until realising her downstairs neighbour is actually an ex whose heart she broke when she left town.

    Making the girl-meets-boy story new again, The Boy Downstairs asks real questions about love, chemistry and growing up. Premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

    Selected sessions are screened with short film DREAM HOUSE
    Australia / 2017 / 10 mins / English
    Director: Paul Andersen

    A social satire about the battle of the sexes. This hilarious short pits a woman – whose nesting desire trumps even her personal happiness – against her philandering boyfriend.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 91 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, Romance
  • Running Time
  • 91 minutes

The Cakemaker

  • Cast
  • Zohar Shtrauss, Sarah Adler
  • Director
  • Ofir Raul Graizer
  • Synopsis
  • “A tender, tactile and just-sweet-enough story of hidden love, challenged faith and unwittingly shared grief” - Variety

    After the death of his lover, Oran, Thomas heads to Israel - the birthplace of the man he adored. Despite prejudice against his German origins, Thomas becomes the pastry chef at a local café owned by Oran's widow. Yet she hardly suspects that the unnamed sorrow that connects her to the stranger is for one and the same man.

    Beloved by critics and winner of the Ecumenical Jury award at the 2017 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Lia Award at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival, The Cakemaker offers a moving meditation on love and the human urge for connection.
    Note: For mature audiences. Contains nudity and sex scenes.

    Screening with selected sessions of the The Cakemaker:
    THE DEVIL WEARS A SUIT
    Australia / 2016 / Short / 20 mins / English
    Director: Eli Mak

    The Devil Wears a Suit, a short film from writer/director Eli Mak, is a confronting drama/scifi hybrid about a Jewish boy who must decide whether to ‘cure’ his homosexuality with an injection or be ostracised from his community forever.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 104 mins
  • Consumer Advice
  • Nudity and sex scenes
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 104 minutes

The Children of Chance

  • Cast
  • Philippe Torreton, Pauline Cheviller
  • Director
  • Malik Chibane
  • Synopsis
  • In this tender coming-of-age drama based on a true story, a Jewish boy finds friendship, camaraderie and safety in the shelter of a children’s hospital in Nazi-occupied France.

    In a lucky misfortune, young Maurice Gutman narrowly escapes a round-up of Jews in Paris, after breaking his leg in a dust-up with bullies. Whisked away in an ambulance, he is forced to watch helplessly as his family is arrested by French police. While treated for his injury, Maurice is diagnosed with tuberculosis and committed to a long-term-treatment facility in the suburb of Garches. There, isolated from the outside world and sheltered from German occupying forces, he forms a close bond with the other boys of the ward. As the war intensifies, the sympathetic chief physician (César-winner Philippe Torreton) and his hospital staff must resort to drastic measures to keep the Jewish patients safe from Nazi patrols.

    The Children of Chance pays testament to the resilience and bravery of youth, as captured in the charming, naturalistic performances of its young ensemble cast.

    Screening with selected sessions:
    BIALIK BUTTON PROJECT
    Australia / 2017 / Documentary / 15 mins / English
    Director: Carol Gordon

    In 2007, students of Bialik College were inspired to create a memorial to the child victims of the Holocaust. Ten years and 1.5 million buttons later, they unveiled a commemoration to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered in WWII. This documentary follows the inspiring journey; with interviews from students, teachers and contributors to the meaningful project.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 100 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, History, War
  • Running Time
  • 100 minutes

The Dybbuk

  • Cast
  • Avrom Morewski, Ajzyk Samberg, Mojzesz Lipman
  • Director
  • Michal Waszynski
  • Synopsis
  • " The most ambitious Yiddish movie of its day.” - The Village Voice

    Unfolding in Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th century, The Dybbuk revolves around a pair of ill-fated lovers: Khonnon, a penniless but devout student of Jewish mysticism, and Leah, the young woman he adores and is destined to marry. When Leah's greedy father breaks the marriage contract to marry off Leah to a richer man, Khonnon dies instantly. His soul, however, lives on as a dybbuk (evil spirit), entering Leah's body so as to gain possession of her love for all eternity. After various nefarious deeds are revealed, the rabbi, aided by other rabbinical judges, finally succeeds in exorcising the dybbuk, using incantations and rituals, followed by blasts of the shofar. Leah, meanwhile, must confront the choice between marriage to a man for whom she feels nothing or an unworldly union with her dead lover's spirit.

    Join us for a very special screening of this seminal Yiddish film on a newly restored print.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 123 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 123 minutes

The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel

  • Director
  • Yonatan Nir
  • Synopsis
  • “Never in my life have I come in contact with a being so noble, so strong and as selfless as he was” - Albert Einstein on Wilfrid Israel

    A wealthy Jewish businessman and owner of Berlin’s largest department store in the 1930s, Wilfrid Israel was involved in the rescue of tens of thousands of Jews, and played a key role in the WWII Kindertransport operation. Israel was also a member of one of Germany’s most prominent Jewish families and acquainted with some of the most influential figures of the 20th century, yet little is known about his personal life and heroic endeavors. Why did his story remain untold? What was there to hide?

    The mysterious story becomes personal as filmmaker Yonatan Nir, born on Israeli kibbutz, Hazorea, home to the Wilfrid Israel Museum of East Asian Art, takes us on an adventure in search of this extraordinary man, and the real reasons for his disappearance from history.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 71 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Documentary, History
  • Running Time
  • 71 minutes

The Gliksmans

  • Cast
  • Jon Jacobs, Bryna Weiss
  • Director
  • M. Skolnick
  • Synopsis
  • WORLD PREMIERE

    Barry and Barbara Gliksman, a spritely octogenarian couple, go through their morning routine: a big breakfast, a handful of pills, some bickering, plus a frantic look for Barry’s wallet. Today, they’re on their way to the bank; a trip that goes wildly awry when they notice they’re being tailed by an aggressive truck driver. After a chase through the hills, the two end up in the scorching and desolate San Fernando Valley, where the heat begins to take its toll. Quirky psychedelic animations capture the couple’s descent into madness, as their simple trip turns into an absurd and fantastical escapade.

    Presenting a lively and unexpected road trip adventure, The Gliksmans is an entertaining and madcap take on love and relationships in the golden years of life.

    Director, Michael Skolnick, and producer, Eden Stelmach, are guests of the festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 74 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy
  • Running Time
  • 74 minutes

The Green Park

  • Director
  • Justin Hardy, Jack Fishburn
  • Synopsis
  • “You spent fifty weeks a year trying to assimilate and two weeks a year going back to your roots.”

    For over 40 years, the Green Park Hotel beckoned waves of Jewish immigrants to its idyllic seaside location on England’s southern coast. A European counterpart to resorts in the Catskills, it was a place to see and be seen, where the only thing more legendary than the impeccable service was the seemingly endless array of gourmet kosher food. It was also the matchmaking grounds for generations of young lovers who met their future spouses for the first time, and often returned years later with their own children. Former guests and employees share their memories, personal photographs and home movies, revealing a simpler, happier, and more prosperous period when the good times seemed as if they would never end. More than a time capsule of an iconic hotel, The Green Park is a heartfelt tribute to a bygone era and the cultural roots of the Anglo-Jewish community.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 73 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 73 minutes

The History of Love

  • Cast
  • Gemma Arterton, Derek Jaconi, Elliott Gould, Sophie Nélisse
  • Director
  • Radu Mihăileanu
  • Synopsis
  • “Accomplished and affecting.” - ScreenDaily

    Based on American author Nicole Krauss’ bestseller, The History of Love is a sprawling saga of undaunted ardour and merciless twists of fate. Spanning decades and continents, the film’s central narrative begins in prewar Poland and follows Leo Gurski and Alma Mereminski, neighbours and sweethearts whose romance is thwarted by the rise of fascism. Before the war Alma is sent to America - after the war Leo tries to find her, oblivious to the surprises that await him.

    Aided by a brilliant cast that includes Gemma Arterton (Their Finest) and veteran actors Derek Jacobi and Elliott Gould, director Radu Mihăileanu (Live and Become) deftly weaves the many threads of Krauss’ novel into a soaring and deeply moving epic that touches on the duties of religion, literature and love.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 134 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 134 minutes

The Last Band in Lebanon

  • Cast
  • Ofer Hayoun, Ori Laizerouvich, Ofer Shechter
  • Director
  • Ben Bachar, Itzik Kricheli
  • Synopsis
  • A huge box-office hit in Israel, this laugh-out-loud army-buddy movie combines absurd comedy, romance and music to create a film as hot as the Negev. Shlomi, Assaf and Kobi are Israeli reserve soldiers, and members of a military rock band. After getting left behind enemy lines in Hezbollah territory, the three bumbling embark on a treacherous journey that demands banding together and setting aside their own complicated history to make it home. Set against the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the action—and bullets— fly fast and furious.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 102 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy
  • Running Time
  • 102 minutes

The Last Goldfish

  • Director
  • Su Goldfish
  • Synopsis
  • “Watching The Last Goldfish, we can’t help but be reminded of the repercussions of displacement and just what’s involved in putting the pieces back together again.” - RealTime

    As a child growing up in Trinidad, Su didn't realise she was white. As an adult, she finds a new family in Sydney's queer community, learns she is Jewish and that she has half-siblings on the other side of the world. Told through a personal archive stretching across a century, this search for one lost family echoes through all those touched by forced migration. An audience favourite at the Sydney Film Festival, The Last Goldfish presents a journey through memory and amnesia; via the Holocaust and calypso. An adventure of the heart revealing the complexity of ordinary lives, and what we gain from understanding who we are and where we come from.

    Director, Su Goldfish, is a guest of the festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 81 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 81 minutes

The Last Poker Game

  • Cast
  • Martin Landau, Paul Sorvino, Maria Dizzia
  • Director
  • Howard Weiner
  • Synopsis
  • “Refreshingly candid.” - Paste Magazine

    When Dr. Abe Mandelbaum (Martin Landau in his final performance) moves into a nursing home with his wife, Molly, whose health is deteriorating. There, he forms an improbable relationship with gambler and womaniser, Phil Nicoletti (Paul Sorvino). While at first Abe feels that moving into the home is the end of the road, he soon realises that his life is finding a whole new beginning.

    The two men’s friendship is challenged when a mysterious nurse claims that her biological father resides in the home. Without children of their own, both Abe and Phil jump at the chance to convince Angela, and themselves, that they are her father. Warm and joyous, The Last Poker Game is written and directed by world renowned neurologist, Howard Weiner, whose wealth of experience permeates the film with a remarkable veracity.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 90 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 90 minutes

The Last Suit

  • Cast
  • Miguel Ángel Sola, Angela Molina
  • Director
  • Pablo Solarz
  • Synopsis
  • Abraham Bursztein, an octogenarian Jewish tailor, embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. Escaping a family intent on confining him to a nursing home, Abraham leaves Buenos Aires in search of the man who, over 70 years ago, saved him from certain death.

    With assistance from a roll call of generous strangers, the sharply-dressed suitmaker makes his way across Europe to Poland, undeterred by travel mishaps, family foibles and geographical obstacles.

    Heartfelt and charming, with a wonderful comedic flavour, The Last Suit reminds us of the enduring importance of family, friends and keeping your word.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 92 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama
  • Running Time
  • 92 minutes

The Pulitzer at 100

  • Director
  • Kirk Simon
  • Synopsis
  • Celebrating 100 years of the Pulitzer Prize, Oscar-winning director, Kirk Simon, examines the rich legacy of the prestigious award, and the personal history of its founder, the great Jewish publisher, Joseph Pulitzer. Exploring the vital importance of words and language in a free democracy, The Pulitzer at 100 pieces together a compelling portrait of the people behind the award, surveying the stories of artists who have won the distinguished gong. Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Martin Scorsese, Jon Lithgow and Yara Shahidi read Pulitzer work, journalists Nicholas Kristof and David Remnick, and novelists Toni Morrison and Junot Diaz recount the stories behind America's most beloved works in arts and letters.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 91 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 91 minutes

The Second Time Around

  • Cast
  • Linda Thorson, Stuart Margolin, Laura de Carteret
  • Director
  • Leon Marr
  • Synopsis
  • Katherine Mitchell wasn't looking for love a second time, not at her age, and certainly not with cranky Isaac Shapiro. Despite the nosey bunch of seniors in the residence where Katherine convalesces after breaking her hip, she and Isaac warm to each other over their shared love of music. But family problems and unforeseen illness threaten both their blossoming relationship and Katherine's lifelong dream of going to the opera in Milan.

    A gentle and joyous valentine to second chances and the restorative power of love.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 107 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, Romance
  • Running Time
  • 107 minutes

The Testament

  • Cast
  • Ori Pfeffer, Rivka Gur, Hagit Dasberg
  • Director
  • Amichai Greenberg
  • Synopsis
  • Yoel, a senior Holocaust researcher, has dedicated his life to diligently studying the Nazi's methodologies across Austria and Hungary. Over the course of his research he discovers classified documents which hint to the fact that his mother is living under an assumed identity.

    Certain that this is a mistake, Yoel plunges himself further into his research, and, as a historian with an unshakeable commitment to the truth, he decides to continue his investigations even at the cost of ruining his personal and professional life. A compelling mystery about a man who’s willing to risk everything to discover the truth.

    Screened at the 2017 Venice Film Festival (Orizzonti section).
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 88 mins
  • Genre
  • Drama, Mystery
  • Running Time
  • 88 minutes

The Wedding Plan

  • Cast
  • Noa Koler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi
  • Director
  • Rama Burshtein
  • Synopsis
  • “Or, My Big Weird Jewish Wedding.” – TimeOut

    “Unique, idiosyncratic and spiritual.” - LA Times

    “A brightly colored, often zany crowdpleaser… an open-hearted, humane film.” - NPR

    Exhausted by single life at 32, spirited bride-to-be Michal (Noa Koler) is eager for the comfort and companionship of marriage. When her fiancé dumps her one month before their wedding she is devastated but undeterred, and decides to keep her wedding date, leaving it to fate - and God - to provide a suitable Mr Right.

    Trailblazing writer-director Rama Burshtein (Fill the Void) returns to the cloistered Orthodox community she knows intimately with this funny and poignant screwball romantic comedy. When it comes to finding love, it's equal parts luck, determination, and blind faith.

    Winner Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Noa Kolar) at the 2016 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars), and a US box office hit, The Wedding Plan premiered at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 110 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy
  • Running Time
  • 110 minutes

The Women's Balcony

  • Cast
  • Avraham Aviv Alush, Yafit Asulin, Orna Banai
  • Director
  • Emil Ben-Shimon
  • Synopsis
  • "The Women's Balcony has its cake and eats it too. It is funny and profound.” - RogerEbert.com

    When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, the congregation falls into crisis. The rabbi’s wife is severely injured, and Rabbi Menashe, already in poor health, can’t cope with the disaster. Lacking a place of worship as well as the services of an ordained religious leader, the men of the congregation are thrilled when the charismatic, ultra-orthodox seminarian Rabbi David steps in. With Rabbi Menashe out of commission, Rabbi David is soon supervising the repairs to their beloved synagogue.

    The charismatic young Rabbi appears to be a saviour after the accident, but he slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates a rift between the community’s women and men, sparking a showdown.

    An Israeli box-office hit and a New York Times Critic’s pick; The Women’s Balcony is a rousing and good-hearted film about can-do women speaking truth to patriarchal power.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 96 mins
  • Genre
  • Comedy, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 96 minutes

Vitch

  • Director
  • Sigal Bujman
  • Synopsis
  • In this personal documentary, a daughter uncovers the controversial choices that her father made in order to survive the Holocaust.

    A Jewish caricaturist and mime from Poland, Eddie Vitch spent the years before the war living and working in Hollywood, creating sketches of stars that became a part of Hollywood lore. Deported back to Europe in the 1930s, Vitch was performing in Paris when France was invaded by the Germans. Spotted on stage by Nazi officers, he was sent to Germany to perform for Nazi elite and the Gestapo in Germany's most prestigious theatres, remaining there for the duration of the war. With his documents identifying him as "Levkovitch," a recognisably Jewish name; was Vitch hiding in plain sight or did the Nazis protect him?

    As the mysterious life of Eddie Vitch is revealed, it becomes clear that what happened decades ago still lingers.

    Director, Sigal Bujman, will be a guest of the festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 78 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 78 minutes

The Rebel in the Rye

  • Cast
  • Kevin Spacey, Nicolas Hoult, Zoey Deutch, Sarah Paulson
  • Director
  • Danny Strong
  • Synopsis
  • “A fascinating account of Salinger’s life, with a perfect sense of period and a faultless lead performance by Hoult.” – Filmink

    Starring Kevin Spacey and Nicholas Hoult, The Rebel in the Rye is an immersive chronicle of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, J.D. Salinger.

    Spanning 15 seminal years of Salinger’s life — from his Jewish upbringing and his enrolment in a Columbia writing class with Whit Burnett (Spacey), to his phenomenal success with iconic novel, Catcher in the Rye — this handsome biopic presents a surprising and comprehensive account of the notoriously reclusive and unconventional author.

    Premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 106 mins
  • Genre
  • Biography, Drama
  • Running Time
  • 106 minutes

Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

  • Director
  • Sam Pollard
  • Synopsis
  • "This delightful and entertaining documentary looks at the life and career of a musical star you thought you knew. It portrays a complex, unique and very talented man who courted controversy his whole life." — The Jerusalem Post

    Singer, dancer, and actor; 'Rat Pack' legend; civil rights activist; dedicated Jewish convert; and Nixon supporter—the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. defies expectations and easy categorisation. Charting the performer’s surprising journey across the major flashpoints of contemporary American history, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard interviews such luminaries as Billy Crystal, Jerry Lewis, and Whoopi Goldberg and culls together an array of electric performances for this captivating exploration of the man, his talents and the struggle for identity.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 100 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 100 minutes

A Land Without Borders

  • Director
  • Nir Baram
  • Synopsis
  • Award-winning novelist and journalist Nir Baram is the protagonist in this one-hour documentary based on his book, A Land Without Borders. Baram is an engaging guide, not so much an expert as an explorer of ideas in this road trip through Israel and the West Bank.
  • Classification
  • Not yet rated, 61 mins
  • Genre
  • Documentary
  • Running Time
  • 61 minutes

 

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