February 4-28, 2021

Feb. 4-6

USA, 95 minutes

Opening night film at Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (the largest in USA)

A look at the historic alliance between Black and Jewish people, beginning with the founding of the NAACP in 1909, and showcasing the bigotry and segregation that both groups have faced.  Pivotal events come alive through archival materials, narrated by eyewitnesses, activists, Holocaust survivors, and leaders of the Civil Rights movement. This powerful, inspiring story validates the ubiquity of the human experience, and how freedom and equality for all can be achieved only when people come together

Feb. 6 Special Event: Our post-film discussion will include David James, Louisville Metro Council President, serving his third term, and Farrah Alexander. Alexander, the author of Raising the Resistance: A Mother’s Guide to Practical Activism, is also a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. Our moderator is Asaf Angermann, Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought at the University of Louisville.    

Feb.7-9  

Germany, 119 minutes

This film is an adaptation of Judith Kerr’s beloved, semi-autobiographical, bestselling children’s novel. Nine-year-old Anna is too busy to notice Hitler’s face glaring from posters plastered all over 1933 Berlin.  But when her father suddenly vanishes and the family is secretly hurried out of Germany, Anna begins to understand life will never be the same.  What follows is a courageous adventure as Anna and her family navigate unfamiliar lands, and cope with the challenges of being refugees. 

This family film is appropriate for children who can read subtitles ages 10 and older.

Sponsored by the Ann & Coleman Friedman Jewish Education Fund.

Feb. 9-11

Israel, Italy, 94 minutes

2020 Winner of 4 Israeli Academy Awards (Ophir) for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, and nominated for Best Film. A Cannes 2020 Film Selection. LJFF is proud to be one of the first festivals to showcase this film.

One of Israel’s leading film and TV writers/directors, Nir Bergman’s drama touches on family ties, the rights of the differently-abled, and the sadness of aging. Aharon, a stubborn, proud, aging divorcé and Uri, his autistic son, have lived a harmonious life together for years, but time is catching up with them. Uri is now an adult, and his mother is pushing for him to enter an institution and shift to more independent living. Both men are reluctant to separate. As the film builds to its climax, it gains in poignancy, and the ending is a beautiful, life-affirming release.

Feb. 11-13

Israel, USA 72 minutes 

Audience Award-winning film at Jewish Film Festivals

In this biography of a basketball legend, Aulcie Perry is recruited from the courts of Harlem, to join Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1976. As seem in the film, On the Map, previously shown by LJFF, he helped defeat the Soviets to give Israel its first European Championship. A year later, Perry started dating supermodel Tami Ben Ami, converted to Judaism, and became one of Israel’s biggest celebrities. But behind the scenes, Perry faced very dark periods of his life.

Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. Special Event: Dani Menkin, the filmmaker of Dolphin Boy, On The Map, Picture of His Life and Aulcie (all shown at LJFF in the past) will return again to discuss his newest film and relationship with Aulcie Perry. Dani Menkin will be interviewed by Sean Moth, who many people know as the recognizable voice for University of Louisville athletics.  For 21 years Moth was the public address announcer for UofL football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as providing coverage of UofL baseball radio broadcasts

Love In Suspenders

Feb. 13-15

Israel, 79 minutes

In this charming romance/comedy, Tami, an absent-minded widow, accidentally hits 70 year- old widower Beno with her car.  Trying to ensure Beno will not sue her, she invites him over to her apartment. Due to their differences in life style and personality, and her reluctance to move on following her husband’s death, they experience all sorts of funny, emotional struggles. Tami slowly starts falling for Beno, who is head over heels in love with her.

  • This is the perfect Valentine’s Day film to watch with your sweetie!

Sponsored by Wilma Probst Levy.

Feb. 16-18

USA, 77 minutes

Toronto director, Emma Seligman, establishes herself as a refreshing new voice for the millennial Jewish experience with her debut film, Shiva Baby. Supported by her parents as she works towards a gender studies degree, Danielle supplements her parental allowance by dabbling in paid sex work. The disparate components of her life collide one afternoon when she attends a shiva with her parents, and discovers among the guests her former high school sweetheart, Maya, and her current client, Max. Lots of awkward and embarrassing moments embellish this dark comedy.

Contains sexual scenes.

Feb. 18-20

USA, 89 minutes

Every day, Tamar Manasseh, a Black rabbinical student and mother of two, sits on a corner in the south side of Chicago where poverty, unemployment, addiction, and violence have plagued the neighborhood. With just her dynamic presence on the block, she is making the residents believe that there are people who care whether they live or die.

Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m . Special Event: Tamar Manasseh and Brad Rothschild, director and producer, will join us to discuss their journey and the making of this inspirational documentary. 

Incitement

Feb.21-23

Israel, 123 minutes 

Winner 2019 Ophir (Israeli Academy Awards) Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Israel’s 2020 submission for International Feature Film at the Academy Awards

This true psychological thriller follows university student Yigdal Amir’s evolution from political activist to dangerous extremist.  Utilizing archival footage and the point of view of Amir, the film follows the year leading to the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. This powerful and chilling film depicts the events and atmosphere of the time, and cautions what can happen when leaders use the politics of hate and violence.

Advocate

FEB. 23-25​​

Israel, Canada, 108 minutes Winner 2020 Israeli Academy Award (Ophir) for Best Documentary at Jerusalem Film Festival and DocAviv Film Festival

Since the early 1970s, attorney Lea Tsemel has courageously defended Palestinians in Israeli courts. This powerful documentary follows Tsemel’s caseload, while also revisiting her landmark cases and reflecting on the significance of her work. *Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. Rachel Harris, Israeli Cinema Scholar and Ranen Omer-Sherman, JHFE Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Louisville, will present the post-film discussion. ​

Feb. 23 Post Film Discussion: Ranen Omer-Sherman, JHFE Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Louisville, will moderate a discussion with Rachel S. Harris. Harris is the Associate Professor of Israeli Literature and Culture in Comparative and World Literature and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. Harris’ most recent book Casting a Giant Shadow: The Transnational Shaping of Israeli Cinema will be out later this Spring. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Jewish Identities.

Asia

Feb. 25-27

Israel, 85 minutes

Winner 2020 of 8 Ophir Awards (Israeli Academy Award), a nominee for the 2021 Golden Globe awards, and currently in consideration for a Best International Feature nomination for at the 2021 Oscars.

This award-winning film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, is currently in consideration for a Best International Feature nomination at the 2021 Oscars. Haas stars in this heartwarming mother-daughter drama. Dire circumstances coax a single mother (Alena Yiv) and her ailing teenage daughter to forge a tight connection previously missing from their lives.  The young and lonely mom hides nothing about her work-hard, play-hard lifestyle, and expects the same openness from her daughter, Vika. But Vika inevitably rebels against her mother.

This film contains sexual scenes and drug usage.

DATE TBD: Shira Haas, who plays the daughter Vika, will appear with Cantor David Lipp on live-streaming to discuss her career and films. Haas is the first Israeli to be nominated for an Acting Emmy award for her role in Unorthodox and also starred in Shtisel. She received the Israeli Academy Award (Ophir) for Best Supporting Actress in Asia, which is Israel’s 2021 entry for the International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards.

Shira Haas’ presentation is made possible by Congregation Adath Jeshurun

Feb. 27-28

Germany, 119 minutes

Our closing night film is about hope, synergy, and mouthwatering food. Breaking Bread illustrates what happens when people focus on the person, rather than their religion, and on the public, rather than the politicians. Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel was the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef television competition. Now, through her new food festival, she’s on a quest to effect social change, chef by chef. She founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on traditional dishes.

For this film, where Middle Eastern chefs eschew politics to focus on food and friendship, we’ll intersect cinema and cuisine with a menu and recipes to share, along with tips and tricks to finding ingredients for the dishes