Thursday, January 20, 2022
Cynthia Madansky, USA, 2020, 18 min.
Russian and English
The late Anna Alchuk was a Russian poet, feminist, and photographer whose work has been described as “a free-spirited romp across complex and significant ideas about personhood, identity, representation, linguistic performance, and political action.” Filmmaker Cynthia Madansky (NYJFF, Treyf) envisions Alchuk’s “dream diaries” in this imaginative tribute from one multidisciplinary artist to another.
Yoav Potash, USA, 2021, 4 min.
Named for Moshe Beregovsky, a folklorist and ethnomusicologist who spent the 1920s-40s collecting secular Jewish music throughout Soviet Ukraine and preserving it for future generations, Yoav Potash’s beguiling short accompanies archival footage of prewar Jewish life (contemporaneous to Beregovsky’s efforts) with a recent live, outdoor performance by Saul Goodman’s Klezmer band, shot in Berkeley, California.
The Violin Upstairs
Asali Echols, USA, 2019, 3 min.
Filmmaker Asali Echols utilizes animation to recount the provenance of her beloved violin, from its origins in 18th-century Austria to its present existence in San Francisco; interim owners cherished the instrument, often with little else in the world to cherish. The inspired choice of stop-motion showcases the violin’s texture, with age marks and scratches manifesting its character.
Eli Zuzovsky, Israel/USA, 2021, 25 min.
Hebrew, French, and Arabic with English subtitles
Bar mitzvahs signify the arrival of adulthood, but 13-year-old Adam Weizmann must grow up extra quickly, as his coming-of-age ritual coincides with a war, family turmoil, and Adam’s apprehension of his sexuality. Director Eli Zuzovsky’s vivid semi autobiographical film was shortlisted for an Israeli Academy Award.
Adrienne Gruben, USA, 2019, 26 min.
Lily Renée was perhaps the first female comic-book artist, gifting the world with strong female personages, but (to borrow a term from her industry) Lily’s own origin story is even more compelling. Adrienne Gruben lovingly traces her escape from Nazi-occupied Vienna and life in New York City, where she still resides at the venerable age of 100.
Untitled (Tania Project)
Rima Yamazaki, USA, 2020, 25 min.
A familiar Greenwich Village site is the 13-story geometric “wall painting,” but few know the identity or biography of its artist. The mononymic Tania (born Tatiana Lewin in 1920 Poland) fled to North America during WWII and left behind a formidable oeuvre. Untitled movingly portrays filmmaker Rima Yamazaki’s encounter with Tania’s work at the behest of her widower.