2014 WJFF GUIDE TO FILMS

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AFTERMATH
Dir. Władysław Pasikowski (104min, Poland/Holland/Russia/Slovakia, 2013)
In Polish with English Subtitles, Narrative

A tense and gripping thriller, the story of two brothers: Jozek and Franek, who discover a terrible secret and are forced to revise their perception of their father, their entire family, their neighbors, and the history of their nation.
 

ALBUM 61
Dir. Halil Efrat (70min, Israel, 2013)
In Russian, Hebrew and English with English Subtitles, Documentary


The World Chess Championship is an epic battle, rife with passion, power, and money.

ALTINA 
Dir. Peter Sanders (79min, USA, 2012)
Documentary

Born in a New York mansion to a Sephardic tobacco tycoon from Turkey, Altina Schinasi quickly eclipsed her guarded childhood to make sexually liberated art with a flagrant audacity that became the trademark of a life lived to the fullest.
 

THE APPLE
Dir. Menahem Golan (86min, USA/West Germany, 1980)
Narrative

A piece of classic 80s kitsch, this wildly entertaining dystopic vision of a futuristic 1994, The Apple rivals Rocky Horror and Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the cult musical genre.

ARABANI
Dir. Adi Adwan (82min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Narrative

The first feature by an Israeli Druze filmmaker, Adi Adwan’s Arabani is a beautifully crafted tale about Yosef, who, newly divorced from his Jewish wife, returns to his Druze village.

AUDITION
Dir. Udo Prinsen (6min, The Netherlands, 2011)
Narrative Short

Inspired by drawings of Auschwitz prisoners, Audition depicts a young trumpet player trying out for the camp’s orchestra to improve his chances for survival.

  AUSCHWITZ ON MY MIND
Dir. Assaf Machnes (16min, Israel/Poland/UK, 2012)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short

Roy, a young Israeli teenager, visits Poland on a school trip between death camps and memorials. However, for Roy, Holocaust remembrance is not the only purpose of the journey.

BAREA
Dir. Vincent Moloi (15min, South Africa, 2013)
Narrative Short

Long after his friends and family have moved on, Jewish pensioner Aaron Zukerman remains in his inner-city apartment, his world getting ever smaller and smaller, as the city closes in on his memories and happiness.

BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
Dir. Dan Shadur (60min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Documentary

Hard as it may be to imagine today, Tehran, the capital city of Iran, was once considered a paradise for Israelis.

BETHLEHEM
Dir. Yuval Adler (99min, Israel/UK/Belgium/Germany, 2013) 
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Narrative

Israel’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Bethlehem tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant.

BINDING
Dir. Katarzyna Plazinska and Aaron Ellis (10min, Poland/USA, 2013)
Narrative Short

A wonderfully stylized update to the story of Isaac, which harkens to the paintings of Carravagio and the early German expressionism of Fritz Lang and Carl Meyer.

COHEN ON THE TELEPHONE
Dir. Robert Ross (9min, USA, 1929)
Narrative Short 

Trying to make a call and unfamiliar with the newfangled invention of the telephone, Cohen (played by George Sidney) embroils himself in a comic monologue of misunderstanding.

CUPCAKES (Closing Night)
Dir. Eytan Fox (90min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative

When a group of tightknit friends accidentally (!) enter a Eurovision-style musical contest, their endearing tune – originally written to console a heartbroken buddy – is picked to represent Israel.

DANCING IN JAFFA
Dir. Hilla Medalia (84min, Israel/USA, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Documentary

Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine has a burning desire to use dance for social good, teaming Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children as ballroom partners.

DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
(77min)

A collection of short works that reveals that nothing is ever really what it seems. The films range from meditations on newfangled technologies, to an accounting of how the NY Times missed the biggest story of the century, and a novel take on familiar psalms.
DOVE'S CRY
Dir. Ganit Ilouz (52min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Documentary

Hadeel is a young charismatic teacher from Wadi Ara who teaches Arabic in a Jewish primary school.

ELEVATION
Dir. Ophir Ben-Shimon (21min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative Short

The Sabbath is only a few hours away and the Orthodox Victor is stuck in the cosmopolitan Tel Aviv after missing the last bus home.
AN EVENING OF YIDDISH SONG
Tuesday, March 4, 7:30 pm

Join us for a tribute to the musical world of Molly Picon, the star of Yiddish theater and films whose credits include 
Yidl Mitn Fidl (Yiddle With His Fiddle), the most successful Yiddish film of all time. 

FADING GIGOLO (Centerpiece Film)
Dir. John Turturro (98min, USA, 2013)
Narrative

Facing the imminent closure of his business, a New York City bookstore owner (Woody Allen) teams up with his florist friend (John Turturro) on an outlandish scheme.

FOR A WOMAN
Dir. Diane Kurys (110min, France, 2013)
In French with English Subtitles, Narrative

In her mid-thirties, Anne knows practically nothing of her family’s past. After her mother’s death, Anne discovers old photos and letters that convince her to take a closer look at her parents’ life after the concentration camps of World War II.

FRIENDS FROM FRANCE
Dir. Anne Weil, Philippe Kotlarski (100min, France/Germany/Canada/Russia, 2013)
In French, Russian and Hebrew with English Subtitles
, Narrative

During the day, they pose as simple tourists and visit monuments and museums. In the evening, they secretly rendezvous with refuseniks, Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime for wanting to leave the country.
G-DCAST

If you've ever felt awkward about your Jewish knowledge, welcome home. G-dcast is for you! A place to tune in to Torah for a few minutes at a time, through  dozens of animated short films and mobile apps for adults and kids.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Dir. Ran Tal (74min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Documentary

The astounding beauty and serenity of Gan HaShlosha, better known as Sakhne (hot spring), serves simultaneously as the backdrop and central character in Ran Tal’s uniquely compelling documentary.

 

GOD IS KIDDING
Dir. Boaz Balachsan (7min, Israel, 2012)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Documentary Short

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design students Boaz Balachsan and Dima Tretyakov recorded Israeli children from different backgrounds giving their opinions about God and faith, and interpreted their thoughts through animation.

HANDA HANDA 4
Dir. David Ofek and Neta Shoshani (59min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Russian with English Subtitles, Documentary


Ronen and Orit, two young Bukharins living in Israel, have been dating for almost three years. Ronen and his brother make up the Handa Handa theater troupe, a runaway hit among the worldwide Bukhari community.
HANNAH COHEN'S HOLY COMMUNION
Dir. Shimmy Marcus
(13min, Ireland/UK, 2012)
Narrative Short 

Set in Dublin in the 1970s this film explores a rarely glimpsed Ireland, as seen through the eyes of spirited seven-year-old, Hannah Cohen.

HANNA'S JOURNEY
Dir. Julia Von Heinz (99min, Germany/Israel, 2013)
In German and Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative


Hanna’s motives for spending several months in Israel working with disabled youths and elderly Holocaust survivors aren’t noble, but meeting Itay might just change her self-centered ways.

HOW I KILLED RABIN
Dir. Michael Alalu (17min, Israel, 2012) 
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short

Itmar’s world is turned upside down when Freddy Mercury dies. Four years later Itmar is older and more experienced, yet the death of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin affects his life in a strange way.

I THINK THIS IS THE CLOSEST TO HOW THE FOOTAGE LOOKED
Dir. Yuval Hameiri and Michal Vaknin (9min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Documentary Short

A man with poor means recreates a lost memory of the last day with his mom.

IDA
Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski (80min, Poland, 2013)
In Polish with English Subtitle
s, Narrative

Direct from its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, this Oscar-contender seamlessly weaves together two deeply resonant narratives of identity set in Poland in 1962
.
  ISACCO
Dir. Federico Tocchella (15min, Italy, 2013)
In Italian with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short 

A child is playing in the park with some clay figures that he molds and animates with his hands. He makes up stories using them as his protagonists.

THE JEWISH CARDINAL
Dir. Ilan Duran Cohen (90min, France, 2013)
In French, Latin and Polish with English S
ubtitles, Narrative

The Jewish Cardinal is based on the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his Jewish identity even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joined the priesthood.
  JONAH
Dir. Kibwe Tavares (17min, Tanzania/UK, 2012)
Narrative Short 

When two young men photograph a gigantic fish leaping from the sea, their small town becomes a tourist attraction in this story about the old and the new.

MAMELE
Dir. Joseph Green and Konrad Tom (97min, Poland/USA, 1938)
In Yiddish and English with English Subtitles, Narrative

Molly Picon, Queen of the Yiddish Musical, shines as Mamele (little mother), the dutiful daughter keeping her family intact after the death of their mother.
THE MAN WHO BURIED HIS OWN LEG
Dir. Sarah Lefton (3min, USA, 2013)
Narrative Short  

What would drive a man to bury his own amputated leg? Jewish paranoia, of course. Find out about what's possibly the weirdest religious custom ever in three minutes of animated narashkeit.

THE MAN WHO MADE ANGELS FLY
Dir. Wiktoria Szymanska (68min, Poland/UK/France, 2013)
In Polish with English Subtitles, Documentary


Renowned puppeteer Michael Meschke and his family escaped from Nazi Germany to Sweden when he was a young boy. His childhood experience, and family lore, informed his philosophically rich marionette work.

MASTER OF A GOOD NAME (BAAL SHEM TOV)
Dir. Tawd B. Dorenfeld (80min, USA, 2013)
Narrative

Follow the Baal Shem Tov – the famed Jewish mystical rabbi often credited as the founder of Hasidic Judaism – on a journey through Eastern Europe during the 17th century, in this fully animated, claymation film.

THE MATURE
Dir. Ori Klein and Omer Golob (4min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short  

What was it like growing up as the eldest brother of two younger and undisciplined siblings, the first fanatically religious, and the second mentally unstable?

MY GERMAN FRIEND
Dir. Jeanine Meerapfel (110min, Germany/Argentina, 2013)
In Spanish and German with English Subtitles, Narrative

She is the daughter of German-Jewish immigrants and he is the son of a senior SS officer – a tragic political legacy that will haunt them both.

NATAN
Dir. David Cairns and Paul Duane (66min, Ireland, 2013)
In French and English with English Subtitles
, Documentary

Bernard Natan, a Romanian Jew, changed the course of French cinema and was destroyed because of it, his name forever linked to sordid tales of pornography and fraud.

NOTHING OLD ABOUT THIS TESTAMENT
(92min)

An ambitious and inventive slate of Biblical tales retold, renewed, and updated. With films hailing from South Africa, Tanzania, Japan, Italy and the UK, we get a truly global glance at the Isaac’s Sacrfice, Noah Flood, Samson and Delilah and more.
 

NOYE'S FLUDDE
Dir. Mark Dornford-May (33min, South Africa, 2013) 
In Xhosa with English Subtitles
, Narrative Short

Sung entirely in Xhosa, casting South African opera star Pauline Malefane as Noah (a fantastic gender reversal), and set in Khayelitsha, one of South Africa's largest townships.

NYOSHA
Dir. Yael Dekel and Liran Kapel (10min, Israel, 2012)
In Hebrew, Yiddish and German with English Subtitles, Documentary Short  

Nyosha is a ten-year-old girl who dreams of buying a pair of shoes during the war. A range of animation techniques beautifully conveys the true story of Holocaust survivor Nomi Kapel.

A PRAYER FOR ALIYAH
Dir. Zorawar Shukla (28min, India, 2012)
In Hindi, Thadou-Kuki, and English with English Subtitles, Documentary

7,500 tribal Kuki-Chin-Mizo from a turbulent corner of Northeast India believe they are the descendants of the Lost Tribe of Menasseh.

QUALITY BALLS: THE DAVID STEINBERG STORY
Dir. Barry Avrich (80min, Canada, 2013)
Documentary


Americans have long depended on Canada for three things: oil, maple syrup and comedians. David Steinberg counts among Canada's biggest comedic exports.

REGINA
Dir. Diana Groo (63min, Hungary, 2013)
Documentary


Regina Jones, played here by Rachel Weisz was the first female Rabbi– a prototypical feminist, who would have never copped to the term.
REPORTING ON THE TIMES: THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE HOLOCAUST
Dir. Emily Harrold (18min, USA, 2013)
Documentary Short 

A short documentary film inspired by Laurel Leff’s award-winning book Buried by The Times. The film explores how The New York Times handled reports of the Holocaust during World War II.

RUSSENDISKO
Dir. Oliver Ziegenbalg (96min, Germany, 2012)
In Russian and German with English Subtitles,
Narrative

Berlin 1989 – Vladimir and his best pals Andrej and Mischa seize their chance to leave Moscow for Berlin, which in the early nineties is one of the most exciting places on the globe.
SHADOW IN BAGHDAD (Sneak Preview)
Dir. Duki Dror (Israel/France, 2013)
In Arabic and Hebrew with English Subtit
les
, Documentary

Jews once played a major role in Iraqi society, and this investigative documentary traces their story, and that of the brutal campaign that eventually drove them out from Baghdad.
  SHADOW PUPPETS (Sneak Preview)
Dir. Adam Bizanski (19min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short

A special bond is formed between a child and his uncle, a shadow puppet artist.

SHTISEL
Dir. Alon Zingman (110min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Yiddish with English Subtitles, TV Narrative

The new Israeli hit TV series Shtisel – from the producers of the beloved series Srugim – focuses on a Haredi family living in Jerusalem
.

SIREN
Dir. Jonah Bleicher (18min, Israel/USA, 2013) 
In Hebrew with English Subtitles,
Narrative Short 

Based on a story by Etgar Keret, Siren follows an introverted high-school senior as he struggles to win over the girl of his dreams during Holocaust Memorial Week.

  SNUGGLE WITH THE STARS

Watch the Oscars® in a fun, new way – a modern Pajama Party! Lounge in your favorite pajamas in the Navy Memorial's comfortable underground theater.
 

SPEAKEASYDC'S MAVERICKS AND OUTLIERS:
Stories About Defying Convention and Challenging the Status Quo


Returning to the DCJCC by popular demand, SpeakeasyDC brings another night of hilarious and heartfelt true tales by DC’s finest storytellers.

THE STURGEON QUEENS
Dir. Julie Cohen (50min, USA, 2014)
Documentary

Four generations of a Jewish immigrant family created Russ and Daughters, a Lower East Side lox and herring emporium that thrives to this day.

SUKKAH CITY
Dir. Jason Hutt (67min, USA, 2013)
Documentary


Sukkah City chronicles the architecture competition created by bestselling author Joshua Foer (Moonwalking With Einstein) and Roger Bennett (co-founder, Reboot) that explored the creative potential of the ancient Jewish sukkah. 
SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM (Formerly Surprise Screening)
Dir. Ruben Amar and Lola Bessis (95min, USA/France, 2013)  
Narrative  

Full of art, music and everyday magic, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood depicting three intertwined characters at turning points in their lives.  
TAXMAN
Dir. Avi Nesher (104min, USA, 1999)
Narrative


"In life only two things are certain, death and taxes." This well-worn phrase takes on a gritty new meaning in WJFF’s Visionary Award Winner Avi Nesher’s crisply paced thriller.
TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD (WJFF Visionary Award)
Dir. Avi Nesher (Israel, 108min, 2004)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles. Narrative


In one of WJFF's Visionary Award winner Avi Nesher’s most beloved films, a culture war ensues when a few Indian families move to a small Israeli town, up until then mostly inhabited by Moroccan immigrants.

TWO JEWS WALK INTO A BAR
Shorts Program (125min)

Back by popular demand! Join us for a cinematic pub crawl down U street: 3 bars, 12 films. $30 gets you 3 drinks and admission!

WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY
Dir. Alan Zweig (90min, Canada, 2013)
Documentary

We begin with a simple question: Why were so many TV comedians in the 1950s and 1960s Jewish? As some of America’s most beloved funnymen attest, the answer ranges from simple to complex, to incidental.
THE WOMEN PIONEERS
Dir. Michal Aviad (50min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and English with English Subtitles, Documentary


At the turn of the 20th century, individuals from across Europe brought their pioneering spirit and ideals of a revolution to Palestine, with a dream to create a new and more equal society.

THE WONDERS (Opening Night)
Dir. Avi Nesher (112min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative


A modern day film-noir, Avi Nesher’s latest centers on a bartender who doubles as a graffiti artist in Jerusalem.

THE YELLOW TICKET (Silent Screening with Live Accompaniment)
Dir. Victor Janson and Eugen Illès (63min, USA, 1918)
Narrative
 

Hollywood’s first European superstar Pola Negri was cast in an early social drama, The Yellow Ticket, a tale of a woman who must pose as a prostitute and conceal her Jewish background to pursue an education.