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New York Jewish Film Festival 2010

January 13, 2010 - January 28, 2010

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US Premiere: 10 film(s)
Saviors in the Night / Unter Bauern: Retter in der Nacht
Ahead of Time
Bar Mitzvah
Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades / Les Commandos De La Mor
Happy End
Happy Jews
Kallah (Bride)
Leon Blum: For All Mankind
The Peretzniks / Perecowicze
Point of View / Eynayim Sheli



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.



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.



Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades / Les Commandos De La Mor
Michaël Prazan, France, 2009, m
U.S. Premiere
This meticulous documentary looks at the Einsatzgruppen, mobile commandos who carried out the murder of 1.5 million Jews, Roma (gypsies), Communists, disabled people, partisans, and Soviet prisoners of war. Highly educated officers delegated most of the killing to those commandos. Featuring newly discovered archival material, this extraordinary film also includes testimony from Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators. Part I: The Mass Graves (1941-1942); Part II: The Funeral Pyres (1942-1945). Shown with one intermission.
Michael Prazan, Director, 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.”



Happy End
Frans Weisz, The Netherlands, 2009, 87m
US Premiere
“One hour above ground is worth more than an eternity underneath it.” So says patriarch Simon as family and friends gather around him. Meanwhile, the younger generation of this much-haunted Jewish Dutch family steps forward. Frans Weisz (Qui Vive, NYJFF 2002) returns with the final chapter of his dramatic trilogy, in which a circle of friends and family (and at least one ghost) struggle with the traces of World War II, deep secrets, and their intertwined relationships.
Frans Weisz, Director, will be in attendance at all screenings. Jip Loots, Actor, will be in attendance on 1/17.

preceded by


Point of View / Eynayim Sheli
Avishag Leibovich, Israel, 2008, 18m
U.S. Premiere
With her failing vision, Herta needs care and companionship from her granddaughter, Noa. When not reading aloud the subtitles to Herta’s favorite telenovela, Noa tries to bring some romance into her own life.



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.



The Peretzniks / Perecowicze
Slawomir Grünberg, Poland/U.S, 2009, 92m
U.S. Premiere
Alumni of the Jewish Peretz School recall their adolescence in Lodz before the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign. The Peretzniks never fully said goodbye to Poland or their beloved schoolmates and teachers. Documentary filmmaker Grünberg gathers the diaspora of alumni to share memories of friendship, crushes, mischief, and the trauma of forced exile.
Slawomir Grunberg, Director, will be in attendance.

preceded by


Happy Jews
Jonathan Rozenbaum, Israel/Poland, 2008, 6m
U.S. Premiere
With home movies and a sense of humor, a young filmmaker reflects on a reunion of Polish Jews who emigrated as a result of the anti-Semitic campaign in 1968.



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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