starring Charlton Heston, Italy/Brazil/Hungary, 2003. English, 113 mins.
In a fictional reworking of the meeting between Mengele and his son, director Eronico sets out to bring to light the deep wounds behind this impossible relationship. The year is 1977 and Hermann decides to seek the father he has never met and who has been in hiding in South America for more than 35 years. But will the son of a man despised for his cruel experiments on children in Auschwitz ever be able to come to terms with such a horrific past?
Paul Minsky has been hired by New York's Jewish community to negotiate compensation for the twins who miraculously survived Mengeles experiments. He tells Hermann that many people believe he helped fake his father's death to enable him to escape prosecution. Hermann sets out for South America to confront his father and to try to resolve his own hatred and guilt.
Tuesday 19th October 6.30pm
|Le Grand Role - UK Premier |
|Dir. Steve Suissa |
|France, 2004, French with English subtitles, 89 mins. |
Maurice, Sami, Simon, Elie and Edouard are four actors in their late thirties still waiting for their big break. One day, Grichenberg, the famous American director, comes to Paris looking for the lead role in his Yiddish adaptation of the Merchant of Venice. Maurice gets the part!
It is the breakthrough he has been waiting for all his life. He hurries home to announce the news to his wife Perla but she also has news for him: she is terminally ill. When the part is given away to an American star, Maurice does not have the heart to tell Perla the truth. With the help of his friends he ends up playing the role of his life to allow his wife to be proud of him and to protect her from realising the truth.
The director Steve Suissa, and lead actor
Bérenice Bejo will attend the screening.
Tuesday 19th October 9pm
|Paper Clips |
|Dir. Joe Fab, Elliot Berlin |
|USA, 2004. English, 82 mins. |
The small US town of Whitwell, Tennessee (pop. 2000) is almost entirely white and Christian.
In 1998, the children of Whitwell Middle School took on a project inspired by their principals desire to help her students open their eyes to the diversity of the world beyond their own valley. What happened would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever... and eventually open hearts and minds around the world. These students responded to the history of the Holocaust with a promise to honour the 6 million by collecting paper clips to represent each individual exterminated. The amazing result is an unforgettable lesson on how a group of children can change the world, one classroom at a time and create a highly original memorial to all who have suffered intolerance.
Wednesday 20th October 2pm
|Nikita Kino - UK Premier |
|Dir. Vivian Ostrovsky |
|France, 2002, English language, 40 mins. |
A travelogue of sorts. In 1960 the directors family lived in Brazil when her father discovered his sister and brother were alive and living in Moscow.
He had not seen them for 40 years. At that time the Moscow family could not travel out of the USSR, so they went to see them annually for about 15 years. Ostrovsky filmed these family visits and then mixed the footage with Soviet found footage of feature films, propaganda and newsreels of the same period: 1960s 1980s. The result is a kind of Khruschev-era cocktail with a collage of Soviet music and memories.
|Orders of Love |
|Dir. Jes Benstock |
|UK, 2003. English, 10 mins. |
Maybe its not just your mum and dad who muck you up. A documentary about how the past generations influence our personalities. Its Steptoe and Son meets Heart of Darkness in Weymouth.
Directors Vivian Ostrovsky and Jes Benstock will attend the screenings which will be followed by a discussion about family memories and stories.
Wednesday 20th October 4pm
|Lullaby - UK Premier |
|Dir: Adi Arbel |
|Israel, 2004. Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles, 52 mins. |
More than 60 babies were killed during the last Intifada in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority territories. My daughter was born on the day the Intifada set off. When she turned 6 months old
an Israeli baby was shot in the head; a month later a Palestinian baby was shot. This for me was intolerable (filmmaker Adi Arbel).
In a heartbreaking account, Israeli and Palestinian mothers describe the essence of motherhood that had taken a fatal blow, and the unbearable pain caused by the killing of children in the region. Intimate confessions turn into one conversation about motherhood, bereavement and new pregnancies. A rare insight into private loss and bereavement amidst violent political conflict.
The screening will be followed by a discussion.
Facilitator to be announced.
Wednesday 20th October 5.30pm
|Bonjour M. Shlomi - UK Premier |
|Dir. Shemi Zarhin |
|2003, Israel. Hebrew with English subtitles, 94 mins. |
A surprising romantic comedy that focuses on the captivating character of one boy. 16 year-old Shlomi looks after everyone in his family. He feeds his grandfather, reminds his older brother to take his medication, calms his quick-tempered mother and mediates between her and his hypochondriac father. But no one in the family really sees Shlomi. Until one day, a routine maths test indicates that Shlomi is a genius and his school principal tries to encourage him to apply himself to serious studying. However, Shlomi is more interested in taking care of his family and Rona, the beautiful girl next door..
Zarhins film is rooted in the culture of the Middle East Variety
|Waiting for Woody Allen |
|Dir. Michael Rainin |
|USA, 2003. English, 16 mins. |
A parody of Samuel Becketts classic Waiting for Godot. Two quarrelsome Hasidic men, Mendel and Yossel, disillusioned with religion, therapy and their own friendship, wait on a bench in Central Park for Woody Allen to come and give meaning to their lives.
Wednesday 20th October 7pm.
|A controversial new film from the director of Kadosh: |
|Promised Land - UK Premier |
|Dir. Amos Gitai |
2004, Israel.90 mins.
Starring Anne Parillaud, Hanna Schygulla, Rosamund Pike
A night in the Sinai desert. A group of men and women are keeping warm around a camp fire under the moonlight. The women come from Eastern Europe. The men, who normally tend their herds in the area, are Bedouins. Tomorrow, they will secretly cross the border. Tomorrow, Diana and the others will be beaten, raped, and auctioned off. They will be passed from one hand to another, merchandised by Anne into Hannas hostess club, victims of an international white-slavery network. One night in the club, Diana meets Rose. She asks her for help. Their encounter is a sign of hope in the womens descent into hell...
|A Different War |
|Dir. Nadav Gal |
Israel, 2004. The Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem. Hebrew with English subtitles 14 mins.
Jerusalem, during the Intifada: 4th grade student from the Gilo frontier neighbourhood, Nuni, has been chosen to play King David in the end of year school play to be attended by the Israeli Prime Minister. Yet deep down, Nuni longs to play a different role.
Wednesday 20th October 9pm
|Documentary: The Mascot |
|Dir. Lina Caneva |
|Writer and Producer: Mark Kurzem, Australia, 2002, English language, 55 mins. |
Instructed never to reveal his Jewish identity and indoctrinated with a new past and name, Alex Kurzem lived as a young Nazi. At the age of five in a village in Belarus, he escaped a massacre and was found hiding in the forest by the Nazi soldiers. He faced execution but in an astounding turn of events a soldier saved his life. He was then cared for by the soldiers and adopted as their good luck charm!
As a celebrated mascot of the frontline troops, complete with uniform and machine gun, he appeared in propaganda newsreels of the time. Eventually in 1949 Alex made his way to Australia to begin a new assimilated life and for nearly 50 years lived with the secret he did not reveal even to his wife and children. Then a series of remarkable events served as a catalyst to prompt him to search for his Jewish identity.
Mark Kurzem, Alexs son, will attend the screening
Thursday 21st October 4pm
|Hitlers Hitparade - UK Premier |
|Dirs. Oliver Axer and Susanne Benze |
|Germany, 2003 , German with English subtitles, 76 mins.. |
What is the power of music and popular images that plays on our emotions? This composition of archival footage from movies, commercials and propaganda films, accompanied by dance and popular music invites the audience to shed their usual safe distance and take a view from the inside on this journey through the Third Reich. The viewer is given the experience of observing how the German public were drawn into the roles they adopted during the Nazi era.
By foregoing didactic narration, Hitlers Hit Parade addresses audiences, who are well versed in the historical facts of the time, on an emotional level.
Thursday 21st October 4pm
|Drama: As If Nothing Happened |
|Dir. Ayelet Barghur |
|Israel, 2000. Hebrew with English subtitles, 50 mins. |
This is the moment that every Israeli family dreads, the moment when the broadcaster announces that there has been another suicide bomb. Everyone telephones everyone else to check that they answer their phone and that they are unharmed. The young director, Barghur, has taken a tense situation and created a tense drama over a time span of nine hours whilst the family waits for news of their son, Zvi.
The question is What if the worst has happened?. A startling insight into current life in Israel.
|Documentary: At the End of the Day |
|Dir. Ayelet Barghur |
|Israel, 2000, Hebrew with English subtitles, 50 mins. |
An intimate and unique journey into the lives of four Israeli families whose sons were all commanders in the same paratrooper unit and were all killed within a period of a year and a half between 1995 and 1997. The relationships created between the four families are central to the film, and their shared sense of loss becomes the bond that binds them together as they meet and search for meaningful ways to commemorate their sons. Finally, it is the unsaid things and the unexpressed thoughts that connect the families and, At the End of the Day after searching for answers, this is the most tangible point that enables them to deal with the absence of their sons.
The director, Ayelet Barghur will attend
Thursday 21st October 6.30 pm
|Walk on Water |
|Dir. Eytan Fox |
|Israel, 2004. Hebrew with English subtitles, 104 mins. |
Eyal, a tough Mossad agent, is given the task of getting close to Axel and Pia, the brother and sister who are the grandchildren of one of the last surviving Nazi war criminals, in the hope of tracking down their grandfather who has recently disappeared. Axel, an attractive young gay teacher from Berlin has travelled to Israel from Germany to visit his sister Pia, who is living with her boyfriend on a kibbutz in Israel. Eyal poses as Axel's tour guide for the trip. As Eyal, the cold blooded professional agent, spends time with them, especially the spontaneous and engaging Axel, he finds his deep seated prejudice and preconceptions are challenged and begin to change. On another level the theme explores the role played by the past in the present day lives of young people in Israel and in Germany, and draws parallels with the conflict in the Middle East.
"Excellent" Tel Aviv Magazine
Thursday 21st October 9pm
|A Saturday Walk (Samstagsspaziergang) |
|Dir. Nurit Tamir |
|Israel, 2003, German with English subtitles, 11 mins. |
After many years of living in Berlin, the filmmaker returns to Jerusalem. The encounter with the sights and memories connected to her childhood and her Jerusalemite identity raises questions regarding her Jerusalem from then and today.
With special guest Lia van Leer, Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Cinemateque. This event will honour her recent prestigious award:The Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievements.
Thursday 21st October 9pm
|I Am You Are |
|Israel, 2004 |
|Arabic and Hebrew, English Subtitles, 90 mins. |
A project for Jerusalems Israeli and Palestinian youth under the auspices of The Jerusalem Cinematheque, made possible by The Jerusalem Foundation with the generous support of a friend from England.
Initiated: 1999 and ongoing.
The film compilation will be presented by Gilli Mendel, the project initiator of I Am You Are, Director of Media and Film Education, at The Jerusalem Cinematheque, and workshop instructor Mamduh Afdila, film student at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, Jerusalem and project instructor of I Am You Are.
The five short films selected have been made by groups of young Israeli and Palestinian people working together on issues reflecting their identity and the reality of their day to day lives. The primary goal of I Am You Are is to provide an opportunity for these teenagers to collaborate and achieve a shared objective that challenges stereotypes and prejudices. In this project there are the seeds for a larger strategy for conflict resolution both in Israel and other regions of the world where people are struggling to cope with immigration and multicultural issues.
Film making offers the young participants the tools to document their personal narratives.
The format of mixed groups and the medium of video provide a unique opportunity to cope with a common challenge, founded in mutual respect and tolerance.
From 14th to 20th October. There will be four presentations during this period:
The project launch at the
West London Synagogue:
Thursday 14th October 7.30pm
Duke of Yorks Picturehouse, Brighton:
Sunday 17th October 2.30pm
Monday 18th October 10am
The Screen on the Hill:
Tuesday 19th October 11am
Please contact the Festival Office if you are interested in bringing a school group:
Tel: 01273 735 522 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to
our Anonymous Donors, the West London Synagogue
and the Jerusalem Cinematheque
|The Barmitzvah Boy |
|Dir: Michael Tuchner |
|Screen Writer: Jack Rosenthal, 1976. 75 mins. |
A Jewish boy thinks seriously about the meaning of his forthcoming Barmitzvah and realises the limitations of his father and other male members of the family. Meanwhile his family prepare for the celebration, preoccupied with the food, guest lists, clothes and preparations for the event.
Jack Rosenthals script is brilliant, funny and touching with the build up of anticipation and mild foreboding as the ceremony looms and then the tears and anxieties with the momentum gathering for the final happy and ironic ending.
|The Evacuees |
|Dir Alan Parker |
|UK, 1975, 75 mins, Screen Writer: Jack Rosenthal |
Directed by Alan Parker, the semi-autobiographical The Evacuees was Rosenthals first drama for the BBC and follows the story of two young Jewish boys uprooted from Manchester during the Second World War and sent to live in Blackpool. The pair face the trauma of being away from home and being attacked by gangs of kids because they are different. After a comically doomed attempt to escape on roller-skates, the brothers finally get the chance to tell all to their mother in the form of a story when she comes to visit.
With its brilliantly judged mix of humour and pathos, The Evacuees has long been considered a true classic of 70s television drama.
|Dir. Mili Ben Hayl and Galit Gala Shaked |
Israel, 2004. Arabic, Hebrew and Russian, English subtitles, 60 mins.
What does it take for Israelis to 'Bend it like Beckham'? Three Israeli women share a dream: to form a football team, to get public recognition and play professionally. Salwa Amsis, 21, a Christian Arab from Ramleh is living her fathers dream by becoming a soccer player, but pays a heavy social price for it. Sylvie Jean, 28, starred in a Norwegian team and was considered to be the best in the world only to return to Israel four years later to a family tragedy. Inna Diditch, 26 from the Ukraine finds it difficult to fit into Israeli society and is forced to support herself with temporary jobs in order to continue playing soccer.
More information: www.ukjewishfilmfestival.org.uk