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New York Jewish Film Festival 2010

January 13, 2010 - January 28, 2010

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Heroism: 8 film(s)
Saviors in the Night / Unter Bauern: Retter in der Nacht
Ahead of Time
Berlin '36
Chronicle of a Kidnap
Gruber's Journey / Calatoria Lui Gruber
The Jazz Baroness
Leon Blum: For All Mankind
Making the Crooked Straight



OPENING NIGHT
Saviors in the Night / Unter Bauern: Retter in der Nacht
Ludi Boeken, Germany/France, 2009, 100m
U.S. Premiere/ Watch the trailer.
Based on the memoir of Marga Spiegel, this powerful World War II drama portrays how courageous German farmers in Westphalia risked their lives to hide a Jewish family. Passing as Aryan, Marga and her daughter develop a warm relationship with the Aschoff family, particularly young Anni, who is initially faithful to Nazism. Meanwhile Marga’s husband, sheltered by another farmer, runs the daily risk of discovery.



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.



Berlin '36
Kaspar Heidelbach, Germany/UK, 2009, 110m
New York Premiere
Based on actual events, Berlin ’36 tells a dramatic story of friendship during that year’s infamous Olympics. After the Americans threaten a boycott if no Jewish athletes are on the German team, Gretel Bergmann, a Jewish champion high jumper, is invited to train. Contriving a scheme to spoil Gretel’s victory, the Reich promotes an unknown athlete named Marie Ketteler. Neither Gretel nor her teammates have any idea that Marie is a man passing as a woman, nor did the Nazis predict that the pair could become friends. Let the games begin!
Margaret Bergmann-Lambert will be in attendance on Thu. Jan 21.



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.



Gruber's Journey / Calatoria Lui Gruber
Radu Gabrea, Romania, 2008, 100m
Suffering from severe allergies, Italian journalist and consul Curzio Malaparte must navigate the outrageous bureaucracy of Nazi-occupied Romania as he desperately searches for a Jewish doctor named Josef Gruber. This involving drama with elements of farce is based on the experiences of Malaparte, a disaffected supporter of fascism.
Radu Gabrea, Director, will be in attendance.



The Jazz Baroness
Hannah Rothschild, UK, 2009, 90m
New York Premiere
A descendant of the famous Jewish dynasty, Baroness Pannonica “Nica” Rothschild de Konigswarter abruptly leaves her family and creates a new one among celebrated jazz musicians in postwar New York. She goes on to become Thelonious Monk’s close friend and muse, a patron saint for the bebop world. Documentary filmmaker Hannah Rothschild delves into her great aunt’s biography, Monk’s troubled mental health, and the pair’s different backgrounds. Featuring illuminating interviews with Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, Clint Eastwood, The Duchess of Devonshire—and the voice of Helen Mirren as Nica.



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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