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New York Jewish Film Festival 2011

January 12, 2011 - January 27, 2011

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History: 11 film(s)
8 Stories That Haven’t Changed the World
Cabaret Polska
Convoys of Shame / Les Convois de la honte
Inventory
Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Grey
Red Shirley
The Roundup / La Rafle
Seltzer Works
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
Stalin Thought of You
Yolande: An Unsung Heroine



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



Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Grey
Jonathan Gruber | USA | 2011 | 86mm
World Premiere | Visit the website.
This fascinating documentary is a first-of-its-kind film that reveals the little-known struggles that faced Jewish Americans both in battle and on the home front during the American Civil War. Through period photographs, rare documents, letters and artifacts, and exclusive interviews with experts and descendants, the film chronicles the sacrifices that Jews made for their beliefs and how they took up arms to defend their country both in the Union and the Confederacy. Featuring the voice of Sam Waterston as Abraham Lincoln.
Jonathan Gruber, director, David Frank, executive producer, and Robert Marcus, co-producer/co-writer will be in attendance at the Jan 18 screening.
Tue Jan 18: 3:30pm
Wed Jan 19: 8:15pm



Red Shirley
Lou Reed | USA | 2010 | 28mm
New York Premiere
Red Shirley is a portrait of the filmmaker's 100-year-old activist, unionist cousin, an articulate, living historical individual. A portrayal of a certain kind of genius, Red Shirley is an example of how the west was won. Photographed by portraitist Ralph Gibson and Directed by Lou Reed. Filmed in New York's Chelsea Garment Worker Project.
Screening will be followed by a discussion with Lou Reed and Ralph Gibson.
Sat Jan 15: 9:15pm



The Roundup / La Rafle
Roselyne Bosch | France/Germany/Hungary | 2010 | 124mm
New York Premiere
Paris, 1942, saw the infamous “Vel d’Hiv” roundups of 13,000 Parisian Jews, including 4,000 children. With a meticulously constructed script based on extensive research and first-hand accounts, writer/director Bosch brings to the screen one of the most moving dramas of the year. This wrenching film, which follows a group of young children, is powered by fluid direction and a string of stars including Jean Reno (The Da Vinci Code) and Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds).
Roselyne Bosch, director, and Alain Goldman, producer, will be in attendance.
Sun Jan 16: 4:00pm
Tue Jan 18: 6:00pm



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



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



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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