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New York Jewish Film Festival 2011

January 12, 2011 - January 27, 2011

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Religion: 9 film(s)
36 Righteous Men
As Lilith
Black Bus
Crime After Crime
The Human Resources Manager
Inventory
Precious Life
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness



36 Righteous Men
Daniel Burman | Argentina | 2011 | 70mm
World Premiere
Daniel Burman (Waiting for the Messiah, NYJFF 2002; Lost Embrace, NYJFF 2005; Empty Nest, NYJFF 2009) returns to the NYJFF having made his first documentary. Camera in hand, Burman joins a group of Orthodox Jews on their annual pilgrimage to the tombs of Tzaddikim (righteous men) in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, culminating at the tomb of the 17th-century spiritual leader, the Baal Shem Tov. Intrigued by the Jewish mystical belief in 36 hidden Tzaddikim who are always on this earth yet must remain anonymous, Burman takes us on an intimate journey across 2,500 miles and into his own identity as a Jew.
Daniel Burman, director, will be in attendance.

preceded by


Inventory
Pawel Loziñski | Poland | 2010 | 9mm
U.S. Premiere
Three explorers painstakingly decipher inscriptions on gravestones in the lushly overgrown Jewish cemetery in Warsaw.
Pawel Loziñski, director, will be in attendance.
Wed Jan 26: 3:45pm
Wed Jan 26: 8:30pm



As Lilith
Eytan Harris | Israel | 2010 | 78mm
New York Premiere
This riveting documentary takes us through the aftermath of a teenage girl’s suicide. Her strong-willed mother, Lilith, wishes to cremate the body, but Israel’s emergency service, ZAKA, does everything it can to prevent this. As the family grieves and tries to come to terms with their loss, they find themselves on the defensive for being different while also trying to explain the circumstances of the young girl’s death.
Eytan Harris, director, will be in attendance.
Mon Jan 24: 3:45pm
Mon Jan 24: 8:45pm



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



Crime After Crime
Yoav Potash | USA | 2010 | 89mm
New York Premiere
A profoundly moving documentary film on the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, a woman imprisoned in California for over a quarter century due to her connection to the murder of the man who abused her. She finds her only hope for freedom when two rookie attorneys—one of them an orthodox Jew, Joshua Safran—with no backgrounds in criminal law step forward to take her case.
Yoav Potash, director, and Joshua Safran will be in attendance.
Thu Jan 27: 1:00pm
Thu Jan 27: 6:00pm



The Human Resources Manager
Eran Riklis | Israel/Germany/France/Romania | 2010 | 103mm
New York Premiere
The human-resources manager at a bakery in Jerusalem must get to know one of his employees posthumously after her death in a suicide bombing. In this compelling and sensitive drama based on a book by A. B. Yehoshua, he finds himself the unlikely chaperone of the woman’s body to her native Romania. Along the way, he is by turns aided and undermined by members of her family, local politicians and emissaries, and a persistent tabloid reporter.
Noah Stollman, screenwriter, will be in attendance.
Sat Jan 15: 6:30pm
Thu Jan 20: 3:30pm
Thu Jan 20: 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



Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
Eve Annenberg | USA | 2010 | 91mm
U.S. Premiere
A middle-aged ER nurse—and bitterly lapsed observant Jew—undertakes a Yiddish translation of Shakespeare’s great classic. Meanwhile, her houseguest, also a Hasidic dropout, is “leaking” Kabbalistic magic, and enchants her studio apartment. In what might be the first Yiddish “mumblecore” film, Annenberg creates a parallel universe (aka Williamsburg, Brooklyn), where Romeo and Juliet stem from divergent streams of ultra-orthodox Judaism and speak their lines in street-smart Yiddish.
Eve Annenberg, director, and members of the cast and crew will be in attendance.

preceded by


Seltzer Works
Jessica Edwards | USA | 2010 | 7mm
In the early 1900s, thousands of seltzer deliverymen shlepped heavy glass bottles full of fizzy water to millions of thirsty customers. In this short documentary, the last bottler in Brooklyn fends off the supermarket seltzer take-over and honors the drink’s place in history.
Jessica Edwards, director, will be in attendance at Jan 16 screening.
Sun Jan 16: 9:00pm
Wed Jan 26: 1:15pm



Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
Joseph Dorman | USA | 2011 | 95mm
World Premiere
Director Joseph Dorman (Arguing the World, NYJFF 1997) returns with this moving portrait of the great Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)—the man whose stories became the basis of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Using the author’s works and his own life story, the documentary presents a riveting tale of a traditional Jewish world on the cusp of profound change. Ultimately, Laughing in the Darkness reveals Sholem Aleichem’s genius in capturing this world—its darkness, its disorientation—with brilliant humor as he explored the struggle to create a new modern Jewish identity.
Joseph Dorman, director, will be in attendance.
Thu Jan 13: 1:00pm
Thu Jan 13: 6:00pm



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