VenuesWalter Reade Theater: 165 West 65th Street
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center: 144 West 65th Street
All screenings are at the Walter Reade Theater unless otherwise noted.
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By CategoryAnimation, Classic, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, France, Germany, Holocaust, Israel, Poland, Romance, Short Film
Admission$13 General Public
$9 Student, Senior & Child
$8 The Jewish Museum & Film Society Members
Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen & Shari Rothfarb Mekonen | USA/Israel | 2012 | 60m
In 1984, the Beta Israel—a secluded 2,500-year-old community of observant Jews in the northern Ethiopian mountains—began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then 10 years old, was among them. In this film, he breaks his 20-year silence about the kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community’s exodus. This life-defining event launches an inquiry into identity, leading him to other African, Asian and Latino Jews in Israel and the U.S.
DIRECTORS AVISHAI YEGANYAHU MEKONEN AND SHARI ROTHFARB MEKONEN WILL ATTEND.
Watch the trailer
A young Israeli has a meltdown during his army exam. A typical teenager, he is an attractive smart aleck with attitude.
Yasmine Novak | Israel | 2011 | 53m
On the morning of her wedding day, Ellis receives a package in the mail. It contains a diary kept by the first love of her life, Bernie, during his time underground in World War II. When Bernie did not return, Ellis married another man and moved with him to Palestine. She kept the diary hidden for 65 years until her historian daughter prevailed upon her to read it and try to find out what happened to Bernie. This gripping documentary is a combination detective story and love saga.
Watch the trailer
Popular Israeli rock musician Dudu Tassa embarks on a mission to revive his grandfather’s traditional Iraqi songs by remixing the tunes for contemporary listeners. Salah and his brother Daud al-Kuwaiti were highly acclaimed Jewish musicians in 1930s Iraq. They arrived in Israel in the 1950s and found they were unknown and unappreciated. In this musical documentary, Tassa engages in a labor of love to research and perform his family’s musical past.
DIRECTOR GILI GAON WILL ATTEND.
Andrei Zagdansky | USA/Ukraine | 2010 | 77m
Andrei Zagdansky (Interpretation of Dreams, NYJFF 1992) returns to the NYJFF with a moving portrait of his father, who was editor-in-chief of the Kiev Popular Science Film Studio. Father and son worked in the same studio for 11 years, until Andrei immigrated to New York with his family. Evgeni’s letters to Andrei and Andrei’s narrative of his father’s life intertwine, creating a portrait of the man and a particular moment in Soviet culture.
DIRECTOR ANDREI ZAGDANSKY WILL ATTEND.
Watch the trailer
Edward Serotta | Serbia/USA | 2011 | 19m
Through family photographs, sisters Breda and Matilda Kalef take us into the world of Sephardic pre-World War II Serbia and the dramatic story of their flight to safety. The family photo album, containing 169 pictures, remained in Belgrade. When the Kalefs returned after the war, the album was still there, but nearly all those in it had been killed.
Ronit Kertsner | Israel | 2011 | 72m
Can one be a Catholic priest and an observant Jew at the same time? Twelve years after he was ordained as a priest, Romuald Waszkinel discovers that he was born to Jewish parents. This powerful documentary by Ronit Kertsner (The Secret, NYJFF 2002) follows his amazing journey from conducting mass in a church in Poland to life as an observant Jew on a religious kibbutz in Israel. Romuald is torn between two identities. Unable to renounce either one, he finds himself rejected by both religions and the State of Israel.
New York Premiere
Michal Tkaczynski | Poland | 2011 | 45m
Pawel was a skinhead in Warsaw, obsessed with soccer and violence, when his girlfriend discovered he had Jewish ancestry. He underwent a complete spiritual and physical transformation and is now an Orthodox Jew. This compelling documentary, which takes its title from provocative poet Marcin Swietlicki, tells an extraordinary story of identity and belonging.
This year’s New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator, Scott Foundas, Associate Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Richard Peña, Program Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of The New York Jewish Film Festival, The Jewish Museum; with assistance from Jaron Gandelman, Curatorial Assistant for Media and Film Festival Coordinator, The Jewish Museum.
Susan Barocas, Washington JFF; Natalia Babinski, Polish Cultural Institute, NY; Laurie Cearley, Olli Chanoff, Nadine Goellner, The Office; Nicola Galliner, Berlin JFF; Stuart Hands, Toronto JFF; J. Hoberman, The Village Voice; Andrew Ingall, Foundation for Jewish Culture; Annette Insdorf, Columbia University; Judy Ironside, UK Jewish Film; Aviva Kempner; Joshua Moore, Jay Rosenblatt, San Francisco JFF; Sharon Rivo, Lisa Rivo, National Center for Jewish Film; Sara L. Rubin, Boston JFF; Karen Small, Rutgers JFF; Alla Verlotsky, Seagull Films; Isaac Zablocki, The JCC in Manhattan; The Film Society of Lincoln Center staff; The Jewish Museum staff; Interns: Sophia Grais, Lyudmyla Bua; Volunteers: Marlene Josephs, Linda Lipson.