(See photo gallery at end of article)
The 16th Annual Jewish Film Festival is underway. While many of the films and events took place over the past two weeks, two more Festival events are scheduled for this weekend plus a special encore has been announced for Sunday, March 30.
Tomorrow night (Saturday), the Polish film, Aftermath, will be shown at the Village 8 at 7:30 p.m. It is the story, based on true events, of two brothers who dare to investigate the secret murder of Jews in a small Polish village. It is considered one of the most controversial and important films made in Poland and one of the best foreign films of the year. Tickets are $8.50 in advance, $10 at the door and $6 for students.
Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport will lead a discussion after the film.
On Sunday afternoon at 1:30p.m., Sonny Boy will be shown at the Muhammad Ali Center. This epic Dutch film, based on a true story and best-selling novel, follows a young man from Dutch Guiana who boards a ship to the Netherlands in search of an education. He finds love with Rika, a white woman twice his age, and they have a son. Through difficult years the mixed race couple fights to survive, and life becomes more dangerous when sheltering Jews during the 1940’s in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Admission is free, but tickets are required for admittance. Call the JCC, 450-0660, to reserve your spot. Come early and you can tour the Museum for just $2.
Orchestra of Exiles
As an encore presentation, the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, in cooperation with The Temple, will show Orchestra of Exiles on Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at The Temple. This special evening, a prelude to the Israeli Philharmonic’s Louisville concert on April 1, will also feature the Kling Chamber Orchestra and its conductor and music director, Daniel Spurlock.
This suspenseful documentary depicts how one man, Bronislaw Huberman, used his resourcefulness to rescue 70 of the world’s greatest musicians from Nazi Germany. In spite of resistance from Zionist officials, Huberman succeeded in creating one of the world’s greatest orchestras.
This thrilling tale of escape is accompanied by an excellent musical score and contains interviews with Zubin Mehta, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell and more.
The evening also includes a reception sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door and $6 for students. Call 459-0660 for information and to purchase tickets. Seating is limited.
Earlier Film Festival Events
Many of the Film Festival earlier events drew large, appreciative crowds. Film Festival Director Marsha Bornstein reported that around 225 people turned out for the special program on February 9 at Congregation Adath Jeshurun for the film, When Comedy Went to School. They were also treated to a set with Mark Klein, live and in person.
Klein, a Louisville native who has been a successful stand-up comic on the national scene for many years, delighted the crowd with highlights and low points of his career and a few memories of home. His father, George Klein, even got into the act with one story.
Appetizers and desserts after the show topped off a delightful afternoon. Following the film The Attack, shown on February 15 at the Village 8, Lior Yaron, a longtime member of the Louisville Jewish community, prominent businessman and veteran officer of the IDF and the Yom Kippur War, led a discussion during which he gave some perspective to the disturbing events depicted in the film.
In the film, an honored Israeli Arab doctor learns that his wife was a suicide bomber who committed her terrorist act in a pizza parlor during a children’s birthday party, killing several civilians including children. The movie tells of his quest to understand her motives and, in the process, provides what Yaron described as a fairly accurate picture of both the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the conflict.
Every year, the Festival includes offerings from the Maale School of Television, Film and Arts in Jerusalem. This year, the two short films, Rabbi’s Daughter and Ma Nishtana were shown at The Temple. Rabbi David Ariel-Joel led a discussion of those films.
The remaining films were Bethelehem, Wunderkinder and Fill the Void, all shown at the Village 8. There were also two private showings of The Other Son for the Jewish religious schools’ middle and high school students on Sunday mornings giving an opportunity to over 125 students to see this thought-provoking film.
Behind the Scenes
While Bornstein does most of the logistical work for the Film Festival, she works with a strong, involved committee and attributes much of the Festival’s success to them.
“Keiley Castor, the Film Festival Committee chair, is a passionate and devoted leader who spends countless hours throughout the year” working on Film Festival business, Bornstein said. “The committee is hardworking, too. They review all the films and debate which would be best. They plan special events and help provide sweets for receptions.”
“We are also most grateful to all our funders and patrons,” she added. Without them, there would be no festival.”
The Festival is funded in part by Congregation Adath Jeshurun, the Rosa Gladstein Fund, the Ann and Coleman Friedman Fund for Judaic Activities, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, LEO Weekly, the Louis Levy Film and Theatre Arts Fund, the Muhammad Ali Center and The Temple.
A full list of committee members and funders will be printed in the next issue of Community.
Jewish Film Festival Photo Gallery