The New York Jewish Film Festival
January 9 -24, 2008
A celebration of cinematic brilliance!
Welcome to the 17th annual New York Jewish Film Festival, a global survey of innovative and provocative films that explore the multi-faceted Jewish experience.
A total of 32 shorts, dramas, and documentaries from Germany, Hungary, France, Argentina, Russia, the US, Mexico, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Austria add up to an exhilarating worldwide journey. To mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, this year's festival showcases ten new Israeli films. A festival-within-the-festival presents four masterpieces by the late Austrian stage, television, and film director Axel Corti.
Screenings, unless otherwise noted, are at:
The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65 Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, upper level. Due to construction at Lincoln Center, please walk west on 65th Street for Walter Reade Theater access. Map & Directions
SHORTCUTS & LINKS
Read the NYJFF Blog.
Download and print the NYJFF 2008 program brochure.
Celebrating Director Axel Corti
Screenings at The Jewish Museum
Screening Schedule(In chronological order.)
Download and print the print source list.
|The Battle of Cable Street|
Director: Yoav Segal
(United Kingdom, 2006, 8 min.)
With a nod to the book Harold and the Purple Crayon, a young boy draws his grandfather's memories of the anti-fascist movement in the East End of London.
|Miss Universe 1929|
Director: Peter Forgacs
(Hungary, 2006, 70 min.)
Peter Forgacs (The Maelstrom - A Family Chronicle, NYJFF 2001, Danube Exodus, NYJFF 2000, and Father and His Three Sons'The Bartos Family, NYJFF 1993) returns to the NYJFF with an elegant and moving visual poem featuring found footage of amateur filmmaker Marci Tenzer. Miss Universe 1929 is the story of Marci's cousin and secret love, the Viennese beauty queen Lisl Goldarbeiter.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2:00 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 1:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 6:00 PM
Director: Claude Miller
(France, 2007, 110 min., 35mm, French with English subtitles)
In postwar Paris, a young boy discovers the tragic consequences of his parents - mutual attraction during the Nazi occupation. Claude Miller (whose great works include The Little Thief and The Accompanist) portrays a family consumed with guilt, jealousy, fear and loss in seemingly idyllic rural and urban landscapes. The cast features some of today's most celebrated French actors including Ce'cile de France, Mathieu Amalric, Patrick Bruel, Julie Depardieu and Ludivine Sagnier.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 9:00 PM
Director: Raphael Nadjari
(Israel, 2007, 96 min., 35mm, Hebrew with English subtitles)
Read an interview with the director at Cannes.
In this riveting and enigmatic drama selected for competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, a father inexplicably vanishes in Jerusalem. Unable to mourn, his secular wife retreats into silence while the Orthodox family members gather to recite Psalms (tehilim). With the best of intentions, the sons try to bring their father back through an improvised ritual.
Co-Producer Noah Harlan in attendance
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 3:45 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 3:15 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 8:30 PM
|A Hebrew Lesson|
Directors: David Ofek, Elinor Kowarsky, and Ron Rotem
(Israel, 2006, 123 min., Hebrew, English, Mandarin, Russian, German, and Spanish with English subtitles)
More about A Hebrew Lesson at Eden Productions' website.
This engrossing documentary follows various newly arrived immigrants in a language immersion class in Israel whose personal stories meld. Chin, Dong Dong, Sasha, and Marisol- a multicultural group of students from Europe, Asia, and Latin America -' learn grammar, vocabulary, and complex life lessons from their compassionate and animated teacher. David Ofek and Yossi Madmoni's The Barbecue People screened in the 2004 NYJFF.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 3:15 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 8:30 PM
|The Champagne Spy|
Director: Nadav Schirman
(Israel, 2007, 91 min., Hebrew, French, and German with English subtitles)
2007 Winner Israeli Film Academy's Best Documentary Feature
At the age of twelve, Oded finds out his German-Israeli father is a secret agent living in Egypt leading a double life as a wealthy socialite with a second family. In addition to Oded's personal reflections, this dramatic documentary includes rare interviews with Mossad veterans, including an observer who criticized this espionage assignment for producing a personality split between fiction and reality.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 1:00 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 8:45 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 1:00 PM
Director: Jason Hutt
(US, 2007, 83 min.)
Dmitriy Salita is a twenty-something Russian immigrant equally devoted to the seemingly disparate worlds of professional boxing and Orthodox Judaism. This lively documentary travels with Dmitriy from a dilapidated Orthodox synagogue to an amateur gym and to boxing rings in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Director Jason Hutt, boxer Dimitry Salita, trainer Jimmy O'Pharrow, and adviser Israel Liberow in attendance
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 8:00 PM
|Someone to Run With|
Director: Oded Davidoff
(Israel, 2006, 118 min., 35mm, Hebrew with English subtitles)
Watch the trailer for Someone to Run With.
Based on the bestselling novel by David Grossman, Someone to Run With captures the original's unrelenting pace, suspense, and heartfelt drama as it sends viewers on a riveting ride through the streets of Jerusalem at the end of a Labrador's leash. While trying to track down the owner of a lost dog, a shy 17-year old named Assaf pieces together the incredible story behind her disappearance.
Screenwriter Noah Stollman in attendance
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 8:30 PM Co-sponsored by Dor Chadash
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 9:00 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 3:30 PM
Director: Joseph Cedar
(Israel, 2007, 132 min., 35mm, Hebrew with English subtitles)
Academy Award nominee: Best Foreign Language Film
Watch the trailer for Beaufort.
A brash, young commander must defend Beaufort Castle, the last outpost in southern Lebanon that Israel held before the army's withdrawal in 2000. Hiding in underground tunnels and bunkers, the lieutenant tries in vain to protect his troops from Hezbollah missiles and low morale. A powerful and heartbreaking drama from the award-winning director of Time of Favor, Beaufort is Israel's official submission to the Academy Awards for foreign language film.
Director Joseph Cedar in attendance
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 6:00 PM
|Love One Another|
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
US PREMIERE OF RESTORED PRINT
(Germany, 1922, 84 min., 35mm, silent with English and Danish intertitles and live piano by Ben Model)
A young Jewish girl moves to St. Petersburg, falls in love with a revolutionary, flees the police, and returns to her village just as a pogrom breaks out. Filmed by the great Danish director Carl Dreyer - and featuring a cast from the Moscow Art Theater - 'Love One Another is a grand protest against anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia.
Screening introduced by J. Hoberman, Senior Film Critic of The Village Voice and author, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 1:00 PM
|House of Life: The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague|
Director: Allan Miller
(US, 2007, 52 min.)
House of Life is a portrait of Prague's sacred burial ground described as the 'Westminster Abbey of the Jewish people.' Crowded with twelve layers of graves, the picturesque cemetery is source of countless legends, notably that of Rabbi Loew's golem.
In attendance: Mark Podwal, Executive Producer; and Allan Miller, Director
|One of the Last|
Director: Ed Kucerak
(Canada, 2007, 50 min.)
From Ukraine in the early 1900s to present day Canada, this documentary tells the story of the Kardish family, four generations of dedicated bakers who have made a lasting impact on the hearts and stomachs of their communities. In this intimate and heartwarming portrayal, the workers of the Rideau Bakery in Ottawa grapple with an uncertain future.
Producer Jane Gurr in attendance
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 1:00 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 6:00 PM
Director: Joanna Jurewicz
(USA/Poland, 2006, 16 min., English and Yiddish with English subtitles)
A young Polish woman, recently arrived in New York, takes a job cleaning the home of a Hassidic family. A whiff of chlorine fumes leads to a cross-cultural confrontation.
Director Joanna Jurewicz in attendance
Director: Philippe Faucon
(France, 2007, 73 min., 35mm, French and Arabic with English subtitles)
In France, while the recent Israel-Lebanon war rages, S'lima, a young Arab Algerian nurse, cares for Esther, an elderly Jewish lady. An open and respectful friendship develops between Esther and S'lima's mother, who share Algerian roots. This drama is a sensitive and hopeful portrayal of camaraderie in the face of religious extremism and prejudice.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 6:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 3:45 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 7:30 PM* At the JCC in Manhattan
Director: Evgeny Tsymbal
(Russia, 2006, 52 min., Russian with English subtitles)
Director Tsymbal (Dziga and his Brothers, NYJFF 2004) uses newly released archival newsreels in this compelling documentary about the rise and fall of the Soviet Jewish Autonomous Region in Crimea. In order to discourage Jews from immigrating to Palestine during the 1920s, the Soviet Union established agricultural collectives in the fertile lands north of the Black Sea.
Director Evgeny Tsymbal in attendance
|Buenos Aires Pogrom|
Director: Herman Szwarcbart
(Argentina, 2007, 70 min., Spanish and Yiddish with English subtitles)
During the 'Tragic Week' of 1919, Argentinian soldiers and vigilante groups murdered more than 100 striking immigrant workers, including Jewish citizens in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Once. Using rare archival film and dramatic performances, Herman Szwarcbart tries to make sense of this dreadful episode.
Director Herman Szwarcbart in attendance
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 3:15 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 8:15 PM
Director: Itamar Alcalay
(Israel, 2007, 62 min., Hebrew with English subtitles)
In his heyday during the 1960s and '70s, Stefan Braun owned Tel Aviv's most glamorous fur salon, and hosted swinging parties for cosmopolitan friends and wealthy clientele, constructing a larger-than-life persona while keeping his private life in the closet. Using interviews, diaries, and home movies, director Itamar Alcalay reveals a fascinating and complex love story.
|Quest for the Missing Piece|
Director: Oded Lotan
(Israel, 2007, 52 min., Hebrew with English subtitles)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 1:00 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 3:15 PM
|Murder of a Hatmaker|
Director: Catherine Bernstein
(France, 2005, 82 min., French with English subtitles)
With the precision of a forensic scientist, Catherine Bernstein researches the life and death of her great aunt Fanny Berger, a successful fashion designer in Paris who was ultimately deported to Auschwitz. This highly personal documentary sheds light on Vichy France's insidious collaboration with the Nazis.
Director Catherine Bernstein in attendance
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 1:30 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 6:15 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 4:15 PM
Director: Frid Boughedir
(France, 2007, 90 min., French and Arabic with English subtitles)
Serge, a Tunisian-born Jew living in Paris, takes his wife to see the country he remembers fondly from his childhood. This engaging drama, set in the port of La Goulette and based on a novel by Serge Moati, also explores Serge's parents' courtship and his father's activities with the anti-fascist movement in the 1930s.
Director Ferid Boughedir in attendance
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 3:00 PM
|Jerusalem is Proud to Present|
Director: Nitzan Gilady
(Israel, 2007, 82 min., Hebrew, English, Arabic, and Yiddish with English subtitles)
In the summer of 2006, Jerusalem hosted World Pride, an international celebration of tolerance for all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the event's organizers were forced to make significant compromises due to the war in Lebanon and fierce opposition from the Holy City's religious communities. This documentary explores that struggle.
In attendance: Hagai El-Ad, former Executive Director of Jerusalem Open House; Sa'ar Nathaniel, Jerusalem City Councilmember; and Nitzan Gilady, Director
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 8:30 PM
__Screening followed by reception
__Co-sponsored by Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 8:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 3:30 PM
Director: Edward Sloman
(US, 1925, 91 min., silent with live piano by Steve Sterner)
Two sons deeply disappoint their father in this silent melodrama set on the Lower East Side. The ambitious Morris hides his Jewish background from his friends in order to become a lawyer. Sammy becomes a prizefighter and courts an Irish lass. Their parents struggle to understand the ways of their new homeland as the next generation strays from traditional ways.
Screening introduced by Sharon Rivo, co-founder & Executive Director of The National Center for Jewish Film.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2:00 PM
|His Wife's Lover|
Director: Sidney M. Goldin
US PREMIERE OF RESTORED PRINT
(US, 1931, 80 min., 35mm, Yiddish with new English subtitles)
Eddie Wien is a handsome actor who bets his uncle that there is no such thing as a virtuous woman. Posing as a repulsive old millionaire, Eddie attempts to woo an innocent shop girl and then get her to refuse his marriage offer. Billed as the 'first Jewish musical comedy talking picture,' this film stars popular stage comedian Ludwig Satz in his only screen performance.
Screening introduced by Sharon Rivo, co-founder & Executive Director of The National Center for Jewish Film.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 1:30 PM
|Labyrinths of Memory|
Director: Guita Schyfter
(Mexico, 2007, 95 min., Spanish with English subtitles)
This documentary draws parallels between two very different women united by a search for identity: Maite Guiteras, Mexican born, adopted at birth, and raised in Cuba; and the film's director, born in Costa Rica to East European Jewish parents and raised in Mexico. Each defies ethnic and geographic boundaries to travel to her ancestral home to claim a place in the world.
Director Guita Schyfter in attendance
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 1:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 6:00 PM
|The Unkosher Truth|
Director: Chana Zalis
(Israel, 2006, 35 min.)
In this short documentary, the filmmaker must muster the courage to tell her father, an Orthodox rabbi and U.S. Army general, that her boyfriend is German and gentile.
Director: Shlomo Hazan
(Israel, 2006, 55 min., Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles)
Ultra-Orthodox Jew Yehuda Grovais rebels against his religious community, and battles the secular cultural establishment in Israel to make Hollywood-style blockbusters on a budget.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 3:45 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 8:30 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 1:00 PM
CELEBRATING DIRECTOR AXEL CORTI
The Festival pays tribute this year to the gifted Austrian director Axel Corti (1933 - 1993).
Special guest: Cecily Corti
|A Woman's Pale Blue Handwriting|
Director: Axel Corti
(Austria, 1984, 106 min., German with English subtitles)
In 1936, a high official in the Austrian Ministry of Education receives a letter from an ex-lover asking for help in placing a half-Jewish German boy in an Austrian school. This dramatic and complex film, based on a novella by Franz Werfel, delves into a man's ethical crisis.
Introduction by Andreas Stadler, Director of Austrian Cultural Forum
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 8:15 PM
|God Does Not Believe in Us Anymore|
Director: Axel Corti
(Austria, 1982, 110 min., German with English subtitles)
After Kristallnacht and the murder of his father in 1938, a young Viennese Jew flees for Prague, where he meets a German soldier (Armin Mueller Stahl) who opposes the Nazis and a sympathetic Czech relief worker. Together they escape to Marseille, from whence they hope to sail to a safe port.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 6:15 PM
Director: Axel Corti
(Austria, 1985, 110 min., German with English subtitles)
In 1940, a ship arrives in New York harbor filled with exhausted Jewish immigrants desperate to begin a new life. Freddy struggles to find work, learn English, and overcome alienation. His refugee acquaintances include the depressed daughter of a delicatessen owner, an aging, unemployed surgeon, and a lovable charlatan photographer. This absorbing picture examines the hopes, doubts, and memories of exiles.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 3:45 PM
|Welcome in Vienna|
Director: Axel Corti
(Austria, 1986, 125 min., German with English subtitles)
Freddy, a Viennese Jew who immigrated to New York after Hitler's invasion, and Adler, a left-wing intellectual, return to Austria in 1944 as American soldiers. The advent of the Cold War and anti-Semitism shatter the idealism of both characters in this brilliant drama.
Screening introduced by Annette Insdorf, Director of Undergraduate Film Studies, Columbia University and author, Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 6:00 PM
JEWISH MUSEUM SCREENINGS
|Praying with Lior|
Director: Ilana Trachtman
(US, 2007, 87 min.)
As Lior Liebling, a young man with Down Syndrome, prepares for his bar mitzvah, he inspires his congregation with his passionate embrace of God. He is, by turns, a burden, a best friend, an inspiration, and an embarrassment, depending on which family member you ask. Ilana Trachtman's intimate documentary challenges viewers to rethink the relationship between disability and divinity.
Director Ilana Trachtman in attendance
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 3:00 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 6:30 PM**
** The 6:30 pm screening of Praying with Lior will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the questions of disability and community within diverse religious traditions.
- William Gaventa, Master of Divinity, Associate Professor and Director of Community and Congregational Supports at The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
- Rabbi Dan Grossman, Adath Israel Congregation.
- Kristin Zahra Sands, professor at Sarah Lawrence College and the author of the article "Caring for the Ill" in Voices of Islam (Praeger 2007).
- Faye Ginsburg, David B. Kriser Professor, Anthropology, Director, Graduate Program in Culture and Media, Director, Center for Media, Culture & History New York University and Vice-President, Familial Dysautonomia Foundation.
Director: Rachel Talbot
(US, 2006, 85 min.)
Making Trouble is a survey of funny Jewish women across three generations including Yiddish theater doyenne Molly Picon, vaudeville star Fanny Brice, the red-hot Sophie Tucker, stand-up celebrity Joan Rivers, Saturday Night Live's Gilda Radner, and playwright Wendy Wasserstein. The documentary gathers comediennes Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman, and others at Katz's Delicatessen to gab about the impact of these six pioneers who struggled and sacrificed to make us laugh. Produced by the Jewish Women's Archive.
Director Rachel Talbot in attendance
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 3:00 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 6:30 PM
Please note, same day tickets are not available for purchase online for these screenings.
Please call our box office, 212.423.3337, for same day tickets.
ADDITIONAL SCREENING: JCC IN MANHATTAN
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 7:30 PM
334 Amsterdam Avenue at West 76th Street
For information and tickets, call 646.505.5708 or visit www.jccmanhattan.org.
W 1/9 2:00 Battle of Cable Street/Miss Universe 1929
1/9 3:45 Tehilim
1/9 6:00 A Hebrew Lesson
1/9 9:00 A Secret
T 1/10 1:00 The Champagne Spy
1/10 3:15 A Hebrew Lesson
1/10 6:00 Orthodox Stance
1/10 8:30 Someone to Run With
SA 1/12 6:00 Beaufort
1/12 9:00 Someone to Run With
SU 1/13 1:00 Love One Another
1/13 3:15 Tehilim
1/13 6:00 Goyta/Two Ladies
1/13 8:30 A Hebrew Lesson
M 1/14 1:00 House of Life/One of the Last
1/14 3:30 Someone to Run With
1/14 6:00 House of Life/One of the Last
1/14 8:30 Tehilim
T 1/15 1:00 Battle of Cable Street/Miss Universe 1929
3:15 Red Zion/Buenos Aires' Pogrom
W 1/16 1:00 Stefan Braun/Quest for the Missing Piece
1/16 3:45 Goyta/Two Ladies
1/16 6:00 Battle of Cable Street/Miss Universe 1929
1/16 8:15 Red Zion/Buenos Aires' Pogrom
T 1/17 1:30 Murder of a Hatmaker
1/17 3:15 Stefan Braun/Quest for the Missing Piece
1/17 6:15 Murder of a Hatmaker
1/17 8:15 A Woman's Pale Blue Handwriting
SA 1/19 6:00 Villa Jasmin
1/19 8:30 Jerusalem is Proud to Present
SU 1/20 2:00 His People
1/20 4:15 Murder of a Hatmaker
1/20 6:15 God Does Not Believe in Us Anymore
1/20 8:45 The Champagne Spy
M 1/21 1:30 His Wife's Lover
1/21 3:45 Santa Fe
1/21 6:00 Welcome in Vienna
1/21 8:30 Jerusalem is Proud to Present
T 1/22 1:00 The Champagne Spy
1/22 3:30 Jerusalem is Proud to Present
W 1/23 1:30 Labyrinths of Memory
1/23 3:45 The Unkosher Truth/Film Fanatic
1/23 6:00 Labyrinths of Memory
1/23 8:30 The Unkosher Truth/Film Fanatic
T 1/24 1:00 The Unkosher Truth/Film Fanatic
1/24 3:00 Villa Jasmin
1/24 8:00 Orthodox Stance
At The Jewish Museum
T 1/15 3:00 Praying with Lior*
1/15 6:30 Praying with Lior*
T 1/22 3:00 Making Trouble*
1/22 6:30 Making Trouble*
*Tickets at The Jewish Museum only
At The Jewish Community Center
T 1/15 7:30 Goyta/Two Ladies**
**Tickets at the JCC in Manhattan only
Selection committee: Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator; Andrew Ingall, Assistant Curator, The Jewish Museum; Richard Pea, Program Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of the NYJFF, The Jewish Museum
The New York Jewish Film Festival is sponsored, in part, by The Martin and Doris Payson Charitable Foundation. Additional support has been provided through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Generous funding has also been provided by The Liman Foundation, The Jack and Pearl Resnick Foundation, Mimi and Barry Alperin, The Israel Office of Cultural Affairs in the USA, Stuart Kurlander and David Martin, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the French Embassy, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and Mexicana Airlines.