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New York Jewish Film Festival 2011

January 12, 2011 - January 27, 2011

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Politics: 11 film(s)
8 Stories That Haven’t Changed the World
Black Bus
Cabaret Polska
Convoys of Shame / Les Convois de la honte
I Miss You / Te extraño
My Father / Récits de sam
Precious Life
Stalin Thought of You
Strangers No More
Wrong Side of the Bus
Yolande: An Unsung Heroine



Black Bus
Anat Zuria | Israel | 2009 | 76mm
New York Premiere
Documentarian Zuria, director of Purity (NYJFF 2004) and Sentenced to Marriage (NYJFF 2006), returns with the powerful story of two young women who chose to leave their close-knit Haredi communities in Israel and are, as a consequence, estranged from their families. Shulamit is a photographer, Sarah a blogger; both document their daily experiences, which include riding on the so-called “Black Bus,” where women are allowed to sit only in the back.
Tue Jan 25: 1:15pm
Tue Jan 25: 6:00pm



Cabaret Polska
Nir David Zats & Zuzanna Solakiewicz | Poland | 2008 | 49mm
U.S. Premiere
An unusual take on the effects of the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign in Poland. Combining documentary with animation and cabaret performance, the film considers these events and their aftermath through personal memories touching on food, language, politics and song. A troupe of revelers, a puppet of then-Communist leader, Gomu?ka, and a hungry secret police agent round out the cast of characters.
Zuzanna Solakiewicz, co-director, will be in attendance.

preceded by


8 Stories That Haven’t Changed the World
Ivo Krankowski & Jan Špiewak | Poland | 2010 | 35mm
U.S. Premiere
The Polish Jewish Youth Organization presents this engaging documentary on the childhood memories of eight Polish Jews born before WWII. They recall with vivid intensity memories ranging from their first days at school, the first books they read and their first loves.
Ivo Krankowski, co-director, and Jan Špiewak, co-director, will be in attendance.
Wed Jan 19: 1:30pm
Wed Jan 19: 6:00pm



Convoys of Shame / Les Convois de la honte
Raphaël Delpard | France | 2010 | 109mm
U.S. Premiere
This incisive documentary examines how the SNCF (the French national rail company) used its trains and its extensive infrastructure to transport tens of thousands of Jews, Roma, and members of the resistance from France to Nazi concentration camps from 1940 to 1944. Accounts from eyewitnesses, historians, and attorneys are supplemented by elegant reconstitutions. Also examined is the creation of an exaggerated myth of resistance among railroad workers.
Mon Jan 24: 1:00pm
Mon Jan 24: 6:00pm



I Miss You / Te extraño
Fabián Hofman | Mexico/Argentin | 2010 | 96mm
New York Premiere
This sensitive drama depicts the exile of Javier, a 15-year-old boy who leaves his home because of the political situation in 1970s Argentina. His middle-class Jewish family is torn apart by the “disappearance” of his older brother; his parents send him to live with relatives in Mexico. Javier struggles to grow up and to separate himself from the specter of his missing sibling.
Sat Jan 22: 6:30pm
Sun Jan 23: 8:30pm



Precious Life
Shlomi Eldar | Israel | 2010 | 90mm
Precious Life tells the story of Mohammad Abu Mustaffa, a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who was born without an immune system and requires a bone marrow transplant, which can only be done in an Israeli hospital. A desperate plea from his doctor leads Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar to document this complex and touching story of Israeli and Palestinian doctors’ attempts to save Mohammad’s life. The film explores the challenges and prejudices that must be overcome when officials from conflicting nations try to put aside their differences for a noble cause.
Ehud Bleiberg, producer, will be in attendance.
Wed Jan 26: 6:00pm



Stalin Thought of You
Kevin McNeer | The Netherlands/Russia | 2009 | 100mm
New York Premiere
By the time he passed away in 2008 at the age of 109, Boris Efimov’s pen had churned out political cartoons for the Soviet press on just about every world event of the past hundred years. Whether during WWII or the Cold War, Efimov always had an inexhaustible supply of images to deploy against the enemy. Behind his remarkable career and his seemingly endless charm and wit is what Efimov calls “a wound that does not heal”—the execution of his brother Mikhail Koltsov. Efimov’s words, drawings and animated films are interwoven with rarely seen footage from the Russian State Film Archives in a kaleidoscopic stroll through the darker side of the 20th century.
Wed Jan 12: 3:30pm
Wed Jan 12: 8:30pm



Wrong Side of the Bus
Rod Freedman | Australia | 2009 | 56mm
New York Premiere | Visit the website.
What’s the price of being a bystander? Sidney Bloch is an internationally recognized professor of psychiatry, ethicist, loving father, singer and author. He is also a man with a troubled conscience. In this film, Sid returns to South Africa for his medical school reunion, determined to resolve the guilt that has troubled him for 40 years. He is accompanied by his teenage son, Aaron, who turns out to be his harshest critic. South African-born documentarian Rod Freedman (Uncle Chatzkel, NYJFF 2001) returns with another smart and sensitive film.
Rod Freedman, director, will be in attendance.

preceded by

Strangers No More
Karen Goodman & Kirk Simon | USA | 2010 | 39mm
In the heart of Tel Aviv is an exceptional school where children from 48 countries and diverse backgrounds come together. This documentary follows several students, natives of Darfur, South Africa, and Eritrea, as they acclimate to life in a new land, while slowly opening up to share their difficult stories. Kirk Simon & Karen Goodman, co-directors, will be in attendance.
Mon Jan 17: 3:30pm
Tue Jan 18: 1:00pm



Yolande: An Unsung Heroine
Dan Wolman | Israel | 2010 | 60mm
New York Premiere
This riveting documentary tells the story of Yolande Gabai de Botton, considered by many the Jewish “Mata Hari.” A sophisticated Jewish woman from Alexandria, Egypt, she risked her son’s life and her own while collecting intelligence in Egypt and fighting for the creation of an independent State of Israel while undercover as a reporter.

preceded by


My Father / Récits de sam
Esther Hoffenberg | France | 2009 | 15mm
U.S. Premiere
Sam Hoffenberg was one of the few survivors of the camp of Poniatowa, where he was deported when the Warsaw ghetto was liquidated. Through an intimate dialogue with his daughter, Esther (Two Lives of Eva, NYJFF 2006), he offers his reflections on survival.
Tue Jan 25: 3:30pm
Tue Jan 25: 8:15pm



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