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New York Jewish Film Festival 2010

January 13, 2010 - January 28, 2010

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Africa: 2 film(s)
Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness
Making the Crooked Straight



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.



Leon Blum: For All Mankind
Jean Bodon, France, 2009, 58m
U.S. Premiere
This powerful documentary tells the story of a prominent French leader—a Jew who at different times was prime minister of France and a prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Blum devoted his life to improving the well-being of French workers and was an early champion of women’s rights. In 1936, he became prime minister; during his time in office, he led the Popular Front. In 1940, his socialist views and Jewish heritage placed him in jeopardy. The Vichy government sentenced him to five years in Buchenwald. After the war, Blum was welcomed home by the French people and was reelected prime minister.
Jean Bodon, Director, and Antoine Malamoud, Grandson of Leon Blum, will be in attendance. Jean Bodon will be attending only on Jan 18 and 19.

preceded by


Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness
Llewellyn Smith, USA, 2009, 57m
By tracing Black cultural roots directly to Africa, Melville J. Herskovits (1895-1963), a white Jewish anthropologist, instilled pride in many African Americans. However, he simultaneously undercut the scholarship of African American social scientists, dismissing their work as subjective and agenda driven. Interestingly, Herskovits’s work ultimately fueled the Black Power movement of the late 1960s. Using innovative animation and reenactments, this brilliant documentary examines the politics and power brokering associated with cultural history. Co-presented by the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival.
Llewellyn Smith, Director, will be in attendance on Mon. Jan 18.



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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