The Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are delighted to continue their partnership to bring you the 27th annual New York Jewish Film Festival, presenting films from around the world that explore the diversity of Jewish experience.
This year’s festival features an exciting lineup of documentary, narrative, and short films, including new work by fresh voices in international cinema as well as restored classics.
Opening Night · U.S. Premiere · Q&As with director/co-writer Nabil AyouchFive Moroccans are pushed to the fringes in Casablanca by the extremist government in this kaleidoscopic drama, an honest and deeply humanistic portrait of contemporary Moroccans yearning for connection amidst political crisis.
Centerpiece Screening · New York Premiere · Q&As with director Ofir Raul GraizerA gay German baker and the Israeli widow of the man they both loved connect after his death by auto accident in this delicate and graceful exploration of the fluidity of desire and sexuality.
Closing Night · U.S. Premiere · Q&As with director Amos Gitai (moderated by Richard Peña at the 12:30pm screening)In this powerful and moving new documentary, Amos Gitai returns to the West Bank to better understand the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian citizens to try to overcome the consequences of the 50-year occupation.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Nicolo Donato and screenwriter Per DaumillerA Jewish guitarist and his family barely escape Copenhagen after the Nazis seize control, and set off to a remote fishing village in the north of the country in this masterful suspense thriller.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Jean van de VeldeBased on the true story of the Rivonia Trial in apartheid South Africa, An Act of Defiance is the story of Bram Fischer, the lawyer who chose to put his life and freedom at risk to defend Nelson Mandela.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Tzahi GradA Palestinian handyman is accused of assaulting a young girl, and the progressive-minded Israeli actor who has hired him to do work on his house steps up as the lone voice in his defense in this morally complex, comic-tinged drama. Preceded by The Law of Averages.
New York PremiereRadu Jude’s (Aferim!) hauntingly beautiful documentary consists entirely of photographs from photographer Costica Acsinte that present idyllic images of pastoral life and audio of diary excerpts from a Jewish doctor, which portray a surging wave of anti-Semitism.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with director Daniel NajensonDuring the wave of Eastern European Jewish emigration, thousands of Jewish women were lured with promises of wealth to Argentinian brothels. This trenchant documentary investigates this history, and weaves in the filmmaker’s own personal revelations on the matter. Preceded by Compartments.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Claus Raefle, co-writer Alejandra Lopez, and actress Ruby FeeThis extraordinary film tells the story of four of the 1,700 Jews who hid in plain sight in Berlin throughout the war, though the capital was famously declared Berlin “judenfrei”—free of Jews.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with director Valerio Ciriaci and producer Isaak LiptzinAn intoxicating short documentary chronicling a day in the life of the contemporary Roman Jewish community is accompanied by two shorts: one made up of a Jewish-Italian family’s heartwarming home movies, recently unearthed by the Centro Primo Levi, the other a hypnotic story of an archivist who becomes part of her own work. Followed by Della Seta Home Movies and Counterlight.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with subjects Joyce Federman and Gerry WagschalWhen director Su Goldfish discovers as an adult that she has siblings she’s never met, she burrows through her parents’ pasts to uncover the truth in this introspective autobiographical documentary.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Francesco AmatoA detached psychoanalyst finds his life recharged by the presence of a young, attractive, and undisciplined personal trainer in this comedy, which veers from the intellectual to the delightfully slapstick. Preceded by The Backseat.
New York City PremiereThis hilarious and absurd take on the romantic comedy slyly toys with the cliché of writer and muse, following a man as he transforms from non-committal aspiring writer to fame-obsessed egotist.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with director Chen ShelachThis documentary explores one of the biggest taboos in Judaism—pork—and how the existence of Israel’s pork industry came to exemplify much of the tension inherent in Zionism. Preceded by The Red House.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with The Prince and the Dybbuk directors Elwira Niewira & Piotr Rosolowski and A Hunger Artist director Daria Martin on 1/11Michał Waszyński is remembered as a Polish aristocrat, Hollywood producer, a reprobate and liar, an open homosexual and husband to an Italian countess, and director of one of the most important Jewish films of all time, The Dybbuk. But who was he really? Preceded by A Hunger Artist.
Q&A with director Sam PollardIn this exhilarating documentary, long-time Spike Lee collaborator Sam Pollard pays tribute to multi-talented, multi-racial entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. by scrutinizing the political complexities and contradictions that defined his career.
New York Premiere · Q&As with director Peter Stephan Jungk and producer Lillian BirnbaumThis documentary follows filmmaker Peter Stephan Jungk’s journey to understand his great aunt, the Austro-British photographer Edith Tudor-Hart, who lived a double life as a spy for the KGB and created the Cambridge Five, the Soviet Union’s most successful spy ring in the United Kingdom.
Q&A with directors Bas Berkhout, Margaux Fitoussi & Mo Scarpelli, Pearl Gluck, Leonhard Hofmann, and Frank StiefelSix shorts from around the world run the gamut from documentary artist portraits to character dramas to experimental narratives.
From the Vaults
Introduction by Lisa RivoA rich, ethnographic tapestry of Jewish legend, The Dybbuk is one of the finest films ever produced in the Yiddish language, filmed just before the outbreak of WWII and presented here in a brand-new restoration.
Q&A with director Renen SchorrLate Summer Blues follows a group of high school graduates during the summer before they’re conscripted into the army. Restored after thirty years, this Israeli classic portrays the paradox of Israeli adolescence in raw, deeply human terms.
Q&A with director Alexander Rodnyanskiy on 1/15The Mission of Raoul Wallenberg investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death of Raoul Wallenberg—who had saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in Budapest—following the end of WWII.
Q&As with director Amos GitaiWhen a middle-aged French businessman, discovers a trove of wartime letters from his late father, he discovers that his mother, Rivka (Jeanne Moreau), is a Jew. Moreau is splendid in this film, directed by Amos Gitai, screening in tribute to the legendary late actress.
Free EventJoin Sam Pollard, director of NYJFF Main Slate selection Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, for a behind-the-scenes master class on documentary filmmaking. An Emmy and Peabody award-winning director, Sam Pollard has directed and produced numerous documentary films.
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