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1996/USA – Music documentary, Dir: Stefan Schwietert, 94 mins
The Epstein Brothers grew up in Brooklyn, playing traditional Yiddish folk music called klezmer, first at local barmitzvahs and weddings, then on concert stages and in Hollywood films. Now in their 80s, the Epsteins are retired and living in south Florida. However, when they are invited to play at a klezmer revival concert in Berlin, the band gets back together. This documentary follows them as they travel to Europe to play and visit their ancestors’ village.
1967/Russia – War drama, Dir: Aleksandr Askoldov, 90 mins
Red Army Commissar Klavdia Vavilova has been ignoring her pregnancy for as long as possible, but as the baby comes to term she is forced to temporarily leave the front lines. She requisitions the house of Yefim Mahazannik and his family, and while relations are at first quite hostile, Klavdia gradually becomes a member of the household. The longer she stays with them, the more content she is with domestic life until a bleak vision of the future changes her mind.
2009/USA – Documentary, Dir: Robert Richman, 73 mins
At 97 years old, Brooklyn-born Ruth still has that same sharp intellect and determination that propelled her to become the world’s youngest PhD at age 20. At 24, she became a New York Herald Tribune reporter and photographer, and during the same year was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic Circle. A trusted member of the Roosevelt Administration during WWII, she was handed a dangerous secret mission. A feminist before Feminism, Ruth was never just an observer; she was a participant in the making of history. The film combines vérité footage with interviews and archival material.
2012/The Netherlands – Adventure, Dir: Vincent Bal, 95 mins
Nono wants to be like his father – the best police inspector in the world – but he constantly gets in trouble. Two days before his barmitzvah, he is sent away to his uncle Sjmoel, who is supposed to get him back on track. However, during the train ride Nono gets one last chance to prove himself. Together with master-burglar Felix Glick (an old acquaintance of his father), he stops the train and enters a world of disguises, chases, French chansons and Zohara, a mysterious woman whose secrets will change Nono’s life forever.
2012/USA – Documentary, Dir: Doug Shultz, 85 mins
This film tells the little-known story of the Czech Nazi concentration camp of Terezín. Led by the brilliant young Czech conductor Rafael Schächter, the inmates of Terezín fought back… with art and music. Despite hunger, disease and slave labour, as well as the impending prospect of deportation ‘to the East’, the Jewish prisoners of Terezín hold onto their humanity by staging plays, composing opera, painting pictures, and using paper and ink to record the horrors and courage around them. With testimony provided by surviving members of Schächter’s choir, soaring concert footage, cinematic dramatisations, and evocative animation, this unique film explores the singers’ view of the Verdi Requiem, delivered as a work of defiance and resistance against the Nazis.
2005/USA – Comedy, Dir: Salvador Litvak, 90 mins
Members of the Stuckman family gather for the “world’s fastest Seder” with patriarch Ira, an old-fashioned man who pushes his sons as hard as his own father pushed him. Chaos erupts when one of Ira’s sons, Zeke, slips him a hit of Ecstasy, turning him into a modern day Moses, leading his family to the promised land of family forgiveness.
2002/Israel – Drama, Dir: Nir Bergman, 87 mins
Following the unexpected death of their patriarch, the Ulman family is left reeling. While each family member tries to cope emotionally, they must also deal with the day-to-day reality of their father’s absence, with his widow working extra hours at her hospital job to make ends meet. This leaves teen daughter Maya with the added responsibility of looking after her younger siblings, while her twin brother shuts out the world. Can the Ulmans find a way to recover from their loss?
2005/USA – Comedy/Drama, Dir: Liev Schreiber, 96 mins
A young Jewish-American man obsessed with his family history, Jonathan Safran Foer decides to go to the Ukraine to find out more about his grandfather’s life. Guided by Alex, a rap-obsessed local, Jonathan ventures into the Ukrainian heartland, seeking to shed light on events that occurred to his grandfather during World War II. Joining Jonathan and Alex is the latter’s surly grandfather and a dog named Sammy Davis Jr Jr.
2009/Germany – Drama, Dir: Kaspar Heidelbach, 90 mins
In the days leading up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the fate of promising high jumper Gretel Bergmann hangs in the balance while it is decided whether a Jewish athlete can be a part of the German Olympic team. The Americans and the International Olympic Committee demand that Jewish athletes are not to be excluded from the event, putting the Nazi Olympic Committee in great difficulty. A victory by a Jewish athlete would seriously humiliate the Nazi party. Only a few days before the Games Gretel is finally replaced by Marie, the second best athlete with whom a new friendship has just formed during training. But Marie has a secret.
1970/Italy – Drama, Dir: Vittorio De Sica, 95 mins
This classic Italian drama set in the late 1930s is based on the book of the same name by Giorgio Bassani. It focuses on the fate of the intellectual Finzi-Contini family, wealthy Jewish aristocrats who live on an idyllic estate in Ferrara. Siblings Alberto and Micol regularly hold parties with their friends, largely sheltered from the growing anti-Semitism in their country. When the Fascist movement becomes stronger, however, it affects everyone in the orbit of the family forcing them to open the gates of their walled-off dreamworld.