New York Jewish Film Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Joe Papp In Five Acts
Tracie Holder & Karen Thorsen | U.S. | 2012 | 84m
New York's indomitable, dashing, street-wise champion of the arts, who introduced interracial casting to the American stage, brought free Shakespeare to Central Park (not to mention Hair and A Chorus Line), and nurtured many of our greatest playwrights, directors, and actors, finally gets the proper spotlight. Using his life and work as its prism, Joe Papp in Five Acts explores the issues Papp championed: freedom of expression, democracy in the arts, and the definition of American culture. This documentary includes interviews with Olympia Dukakis, James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Larry Kramer, Martin Sheen, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, and others. A Production of The Papp Project, Thirteen's American Masters, and ITVS in association with WNET.
Mon Jan 14: 1:30pm, 6:00pm
NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Neil Barsky | U.S. | 2012 | 95m
While 86-year-old former Mayor Ed Koch has been called the "quintessential New Yorker" for his combative, funny, and blunt approach to public life, he is also an intensely private person. This documentary traces Koch's impact on public life in the city—covering issues at the center of his tenure that still resonate nationwide like race, homelessness, AIDS, and gay rights—and reveals the personal toll of being mayor of a wondrous city. Interviews with Carl McCall, Joyce Purnick, Charles Rangel, Henry Stern, and others are included.
Thu Jan 10: 6:00pm
Sun Jan 13: 3:30pm
U.S. PREMIERE OF RESTORED VERSION
Joseph Seiden | U.S. | 1939 | 88m | Yiddish with English subtitles
This musical melodrama tells the story of Jenny, a young woman torn between two childhood boyfriends. Refusing to marry Joseph, who has become a rabbi, she elopes instead with Jack, an actor who makes her pregnant and eventually abandons her. Brought to the brink of disaster, Jenny is rescued by community, love, and Judaism. Surprisingly risqué for its time, Kol Nidre is a rousing tearjerker that explores assimilation, cultural identity, family and generational conflict, gender roles, and marital expectations. Restoration and new English subtitles by the National Center for Jewish Film.
Thu Jan 10: 1:00pm
Sun Jan 13: 1:00pm
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Gabriel Bibliowicz | Israel | 2012 | 52m | Hebrew with English subtitles
This extraordinary window onto Israeli society explores how the need to move, shift, and be in constant motion has produced generations of great dancers and choreographers that have turned the country's modern dance community into an international success story. Through the works of leading choreographers Ohad Naharin, Rami Be'er, and Yasmeen Godder, the film delves into the exotic and vibrant world of Israeli dance culture, showcasing spectacular performances, rich archival material, interviews, and more to create a unique and surprising view of Israeli society and one of its most exciting and joyful aspects.
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Life in Stills
Tamar Tal | Israel | 2011 | 60m | Hebrew and German with English subtitles
When the Photo House—a Tel Aviv print shop that contained the late photographer Rudi Weissenstein's life's work of nearly one million negatives documenting Israel's foundational moments—is scheduled for demolition, Weissenstein's 96-year-old widow Miriam and her grandson Ben embark on a quest to save it and preserve the collection. This moving film documents their story of a fraught journey full of humor and conflict, compassion and chutzpah.
Thu Jan 24: 1:00pm, 6:00pm
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Life? Or Theatre?
Frans Weisz | The Netherlands | 2011 | 85m | Dutch, English, French & German with English subtitles
In this moving and original documentary, director Franz Weisz revisits the haunting legacy of the German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon and her magnum opus Leben? Oder Theater?, the subject of his 1981 narrative feature film, Charlotte. An extraordinary series of more than 700 autobiographical paintings with text, overlays, and notes on musical accompaniment, Salomon's masterpiece was created while she was in her early 20s and living in the south of France, having been sent out of Hitler's Germany to live with her grandparents. Using a recently discovered letter written by Salomon soon before her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz as a point of departure, Weisz's stylistically daring film incorporates shots from Charlotte, mise-en-scène using the artwork, and testimony from witnesses to Salomon's life to dig deeper into her remarkable story.
Wed Jan 16: 1:00pm, 6:15pm
Max Raabe in Israel
Brigitte Bertele & Julia Willmann | Germany | 2012 | 90m | German with English
When the wildly popular Berlin-based singer Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester brought their show Nacht oder Nie (Tonight or Never), a review of German hits from the 1920s and ‘30s primarily written and originally performed by such talents as the Comedian Harmonists, Marlene Dietrich, Friedrich Hollaender and others, to Israel, the reception was dramatic. This film captures Raabe and his band's thoughtful reactions to their emotionally and politically charged adventure, as well as the personal stories of concertgoers of different generations and their relationships to Germany.
Sun Jan 20: 3:45pm
Tue Jan 22: 6:00pm
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Dana Doron & Uriel Sinai | Israel/U.S. | 2012 | 60m | Hebrew with English subtitles
This powerful film examines the complex relationships three Auschwitz survivors have with the numbers tattooed on their arms. The ever-optimistic 84-year-old Gita Kalderon (76914), the realistic 84-year-old Joka Levi (A11998), and the adventurous 79-year-old Dani Hanoch (B2823) each have their own perspective, and plenty to say about people's ever-changing attitudes toward their inescapable past as it is writ large on their skin. Hanna Rabinovitz, daughter of prisoner number 64650, adds another perspective to the mix as a member of the next generation who tattoos her father's number on her own body. Additional testimonies from 30 survivors help to make this documentary a riveting showcase of the clash between past and present, name and number, society and its symbols.
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Udo Prinsen | The Netherlands | 2011 | 6m | No dialogue
Inspired by drawings of Auschwitz prisoners, the animated short Audition depicts a young trumpet player trying out for the camp's orchestra to improve his chances for survival. A firing squad decides whether he is admitted, while his father listens from a distance.
Mon Jan 14: 4:00pm
Sun Jan 20: 8:15pm
Oma and Bella
Alexa Karolinski | Germany/U.S. | 2011 | 76m | German with English subtitles
An intimate and touching glimpse into the lives of roommates Regina Karolinski (Oma) and Bella Katz, Holocaust survivors and close friends, living in Berlin. Directed by Oma's granddaughter, the film makes their daily life of cooking, storytelling, and striving to retain a part of their past while remaining very much engaged in the present into a poetic meditation on heritage, memory, and identity, using their love of cooking as a charming leitmotif.
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Isabelle Stead | U.K./France | 2010 | 10m | French with English subtitles
Isaac is a happy-go-lucky, moptopped five-year-old with Coke bottle glasses and an outsized imagination. When he befriends a little pig that miraculously appears at his doorstep, his Orthodox family objects—inspiring a precocious crisis of faith in the boy.
Tue Jan 15: 3:30pm, 8:15pm
Gaston Solnicki | Argentina | 2011 | 74m | Spanish with English subtitles
Argentine filmmaker Gaston Solnicki has fashioned nearly 200 hours of footage shot over a decade into a family portrait at once epic and intimate—achieving the rare feat of turning the home movie into art. He captures four generations of his Buenos Aires clan on vacations and at family gatherings, digging into the family archives (vintage 8mm footage, a video recording of a Bar Mitzvah) to supplement it and incorporating the musings of his grandmother, Pola, a Holocaust survivor, to craft a deeply affecting meditation on the meaning of family and the weight of history.
Mon Jan 21: 8:00pm
Tue Jan 22: 1:30pm
Nadav Lapid | Israel | 2011 | 112m | Hebrew with English subtitles
A winner of three prizes at the Jerusalem Film Festival and a special jury prize at Locarno, this stunning first feature hinges on the intertwined machinations of an elite antiterrorist police unit and a group of wealthy young anarchists on a collision course with each other. Provocative and highly topical, Policeman captures the flashpoints in Israeli society between the haves and have-nots, contrasting opposing societal forces and finally pitting them against each other in a narrative that's both thrilling drama and heavy with portent.
Mon Jan 14: 8:30pm
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Rudolf van den Berg | The Netherlands | 2012 | 118m | Dutch with English subtitles
This riveting drama tells the story of Walter Süskind (played by Jeroen Spitzenberger), who worked for the Jewish Council in Amsterdam during World War II. By playing a cat-and-mouse game with S.S. officer Aus de Fünten – played by Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) – Süskind managed to save almost a thousand Jewish children from deportation. Based on a true story.
Wed Jan 9: 12:30pm, 6:00pm
NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Trial Of Adolf Eichmann
Michael Prazan | France | 2011 | 90m | Hebrew, German, English & French with English subtitles
This immensely compelling piece of historiography features detailed accounts of Eichmann's capture, the drama that ensued in the courtroom and behind the scenes, the worldwide television coverage, and reactions in the media and public discourse around the globe. The film is a remarkable document of the fate and impact of one of Nazism's greatest villains.
Wed Jan 16: 8:30pm
Thu Jan 17: 1:00pm
The Yellow Ticket
Eugen Illés & Victor Janson | U.S. | 1918 | 52m | Silent with live musical accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner (piano) and Alicia Svigals (violin)
Enlivened by an exciting new score by Alicia Svigals, The Yellow Ticket tells the story of a young Jewish woman (played by the great Pola Negri) who hides her identity in order to study medicine and is coerced into prostitution to pay the rent. The film addresses ethnic and religious discrimination, human trafficking, and poverty in startlingly progressive terms.
Thu Jan 10: 8:30pm
Zuzanna Solakiewicz | Poland | 2011 | 52m | Polish with English subtitles
In the ruined cemetery in Gorlice, in southern Poland, Meir Moszkowicz has come annually for the last 30 years from his home in Israel to visit the grave of a Tzaddik (righteous man), forgotten years ago by the world. Meir has no family connection to Gorlice—his ancestors are from Hungary and Romania—but his long yearly journey to care for the graves and work on restoring the cemetery reveals transcendent faith, love, and joy.
New York Premiere
Co Hoedeman | Canada/The Netherlands | 2011 | 9m
A film of rare beauty from Oscar-winning director Co Hoedeman, 55 Socks is an animated short based on a poem by Marie Jacobs that pays tribute to the ingenuity of the Dutch people during a dark period of their history: the Hunger Winter of 1944-45.
Wed Jan 16: 3:30pm
Thu Jan 17: 6:30pm
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; Marcela Goglio, Programming Associate, 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.
The New York Jewish Film Festival is supported, in part, through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Liman Foundation; Mimi and Barry Alperin; and the Martin and Doris Payson Fund for Film and Media. Additional support is provided by the Polish Cultural Institute; the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York; the Netherland-America Foundation; and the French Embassy.
The New York Jewish Film Festival's screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, located at 165 West 65th St. between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.
Single screening tickets for The New York Jewish Film Festival are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society and Jewish Museum members. Tickets to the January 13 Safdie Brothers double feature (Shorts & Conversation and Daddy Longlegs) are $20; $14 for Film Society and Jewish Museum members, students and seniors.
Tickets for New York Jewish Film Festival screenings go on sale December 27, 2012 at the Walter Reade Theater Box Office; and online at www.FilmLinc.com. For complete film festival information, visit www.FilmLinc.com, www.TheJewishMuseum.org, or call 212.875.5601.