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New York Jewish Film Festival 2010

January 13, 2010 - January 28, 2010

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Religion: 7 film(s)
Bar Mitzvah
Eyes Wide Open / Eynayim Pekuhot
Gevald!
Kallah (Bride)
Leap of Faith
Making the Crooked Straight
Pinhas



Ahead of Time
Bob Richman, USA, 2009, 73m
U.S. Premiere
Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth Gruber had an extraordinary career as a foreign correspondent and photojournalist spanning seven decades. The first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic (in 1935), she escorted Holocaust refugees to America in ’44, covered the Nuremberg trials in ’46, and reported on the plight of the ship Exodus in ’47. In this riveting documentary Gruber recounts her adventures with gentle humor and deep insight.
Ruth Gruber and Zeva Oelbaum, Producer, will be in attendance at all screenings. Bob Richman, Director, will be in attendance on 1/14.

preceded by


Making the Crooked Straight
Susan Cohn Rockefeller, USA, 2008, 29m
New York Premiere/ Watch the trailer.
Dr. Rick Hodes, an Orthodox Jew born on Long Island, has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to helping heal the sick and poor of Ethiopia, focusing on patients with tuberculosis of the spine. This extraordinary documentary explores his work, his unusual family life—he has fostered 17 children—and the spirituality guiding his choices. HBO Documentary Films.
Susan Cohn Rockefeller, Director, will be in attendance.



Bar Mitzvah
Henry Lynn, USA, 1935, 83m
U.S. Premiere of Restored Print
In this classic of Yiddish cinema, a mother miraculously survives a shipwreck and shocks the family by appearing at her son’s bar mitzvah. Giving up his wife for dead, the husband has remarried a scheming gold-digger. Starring the legendary Boris Thomashefsky in his only film performance, this melodrama not only features wails and moans, but also classic songs, vaudeville jokes, and fancy dancing. Newly restored and subtitled by The National Center for Jewish Film.
Sharon Rivo, National Center for Jewish Film, will be in attendance.



Eyes Wide Open / Eynayim Pekuhot
Haim Tabakman, Israel, 2009, 90m
New York Premiere
Aaron, an ultra-Orthodox butcher in Jerusalem and a dedicated husband and father, hires Ezri, a handsome student, as his apprentice. When his time with Ezri comes at the expense of his family life, Aaron faces threats from neighbors and town elders. Haim Tabakman’s sensitive feature debut explores the devastating consequences of forbidden passion.
Haim Tabakman, Director, will be in attendance.

preceded by


Kallah (Bride)
Miri Shapiro, UK, 2007, 15m
U.S. Premiere
Burdened with a sick parent, Sarah struggles with the preparations for becoming a “kosher Jewish bride.”



Gevald!
Ron Ofer & Yohai Hakak, Israel, 2009, 50m
New York Premiere
This astonishing documentary juxtaposes the lives of two of Israel’s most prominent ultra- Orthodox leaders. Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim is an anti-Zionist radical activist who organizes mass protests against the secular state. The late Avraham Ravitz was a former IDF soldier and a longtime Knesset member who worked within the system to advance his constituency’s religious agenda. This film closely follows them as the 2006 elections approach.

preceded by


Chronicle of a Kidnap
Nurit Kedar, Israel, 2008, 55m
New York Premiere
In this riveting documentary, activist Karnit Goldwasser steps into the media spotlight on behalf of her husband Ehud (Udi), a soldier abducted in 2006 by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The film is an intimate portrait of Karnit’s heroic efforts to lobby for Ehud’s release.



Leap of Faith
Stephen Z. Friedman & Antony Benjamin, USA, , 95m
New York Premiere
Four families experience the difficulties of abandoning their traditions and embracing Judaism in this groundbreaking documentary. Subjects include former Messianic Jews in Colorado; a recent bat mitzvah whose admission to a Jewish high school is challenged; a single mother and U.S. Army reservist whose 10-year-old son is deeply conflicted over religious and filial allegiances; and a motivated Trinidadian nanny in New York. The 8:30 p.m. screening will be followed by a panel discussion.
Directors Antony Benjamin and Stephen Friedman, will be in attendance. The 8:30 p.m. screening will be followed by a panel discussion including Leslie Rawlins, Subject.



Valentina's Mother / Ima Shel Valentina
Matti Harari & Arik Lubetzky, Israel, 2008, 75m
New York Premiere
After resisting her son’s attempts to find live-in help, Paula agrees to hire Valentina, a young Polish housekeeper. Speaking and singing in Polish, the two enjoy each other’s companionship until Paula’s repressed memories of the Holocaust start to emerge. Based on a novella by Israeli writer Savyon Liebrecht, this haunting drama features strong performances and an unforgettable ending.
Matti Harari, Director, will be in attendance.

preceded by


Pinhas
Pini Tavger, Israel, 2008, 32m
New York Premiere
A nine-year-old son of Russian immigrants in Israel seeks out the warmth and companionship of his religious neighbors.



This year's New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator; Andrew Ingall, Assistant Curator, The Jewish Museum; Richard Peña, Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of the NYJFF, The Jewish Museum.


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The Jewish Museum - 5th Avenue
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128

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