Using exquisite stop-motion, based on a poem by Marie Jacobs, Oscar-winning animator Co Hoedeman honors Dutch ingenuity and sacrifice during the dark days of Nazi occupation.
Co Hoedeman | /Canada, Netherlands | 2011 | 8 min | English | Short
Shown with:» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
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Only 60 physical miles separate 17-year-old Tal, living in Israel, and 20-year-old Naim, a Palestinian living in Gaza. But the miles are eclipsed by a cultural, religious, and historical gulf that serves to keep them light years apart. When Tal puts a letter in a bottle—a letter in which she beseeches anyone for a path to peace for the Israel/Palestine conflict—and throws it into the Sea of Gaza, her correspondence with Naim begins. Bottle in the Sea of Gaza is based on the classic young-adult novel of the same name. It is a tale of our troubled times that shows how human beings can connect, no matter the distance, provided they share one simple thing: hope.
Thierry Binisti | France/Israel | 2011 | 100 minutes | French/Arabic/Hebrew | Drama
A Day in the Negev provides an opportunity to examine life and events in San Diego's sister city, the Sha'ar HaNegev, located in the southern region of Israel. You will meet distinguished visiting guests from the Negev and see the work of film students at Sapir College. The films we have selected to exhibit were culled from more than 30 shorts created by these students and screened at Cinema South film festival. The challenge the students met was to give creative shape to everyday life as it is experienced in their region. We know you will find a connection between our community and theirs through this cinematic bridge.
2012 | Special Event
Animated fingerprints tell the story of an Auschwitz prisoner auditioning for the camp orchestra.
Udo Prinsen | Netherlands | 2011 | 7min | No dialogue | Short
Shown with:» Matkot» Life in Stills
Eli is your typical Bar Mitzvah boy – a 13-year-old barely out of childhood – but put him on the competitive breakdance floor, and he’s E-Break, part of nationally recognized breakdancing crew.Lisa Cohen/USA/2012/15min./English
Oshrat Meirovitch | Israel | 2011 | 25 min | Hebrew | Short
Shown with:» 55 Socks» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
Uri, a young officer, together with two soldiers under his command, are manning a checkpoint in the territories. Two women from the “Watch” organization try to interfere with their work. Uri is confused as he receives an order to close the checkpoint because of a bomb threat amidst the women’s screaming. An unpredictable outcome ensues.
Golan Rise | Israel | 2011 | 22 minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Short
Shown with:» Ben-Gurion Hosting» The Divide» The Other Side» Wherever You Go
Stuck at the security checkpoint outside Jerusalem, Israeli and Palestinian boys forge a fleeting friendship.
Rafael Balulu | Germany, Israel | 2012 | 8min | Arabic, Hebrew | Short
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
Not everyone was thrilled that the New Jersey Nets would relocate to become the Brooklyn Nets. Why? Because developing their basketball arena meant bulldozing many beloved buildings in Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood. The fight against this demolition is the subject of Battle for Brooklyn, a powerful documentary centered on a reluctant activist, Daniel Goldstein, a graphic designer whose apartment was in the line of fire. He fought for more than eight years to keep it, becoming the final holdout, and during that time, the cameras were rolling. This documentary brings the true, human costs of urban redevelopment into clear focus.
Michael Galinsky , Suki Hawley | US | 2011 | 93 minutes | English | Documentary
An animated biography of Israel's first prime minister from the creators of Oscar nominee Waltz with Bashir.
Nadav Ben-Israel | Israel | 2011 | 13 minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Short
Shown with:» Barriers» The Divide» The Other Side» Wherever You Go
Even if you don’t know the name, you know the work. Bert Stern’s photos captured the world’s most beautiful women—Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and more—at their most luminous. His ad campaigns made Smirnoff a household name. And while he was at it, he reinvented what it meant to be on the other side of the lens, being the first celebrity photographer to become a celebrity himself. So why is he the original madman? Two reasons: he worked on Madison Avenue in its advertising heyday, and he lived his life at a pace that would burn out any other man many times over. Meet the inimitable man himself in Bert Stern: Original Madman.
Contains substantial Nudity
Shannah Laumeister | US | 2011 | 93 minutes | English | Documentary
A political thriller set in Israel—with a narrative fueled in part by the horrific assassination of Yitzhak Rabin—Blank Bullet introduces us to Amos Snir, head of Shin Bet, who has less than three days to prevent the assassination of Ariel Sharon at the newly built and dedication at Yad Vashem. Set in the turbulent months leading up to Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Blank Bulletfollows Snir as he uncovers intelligence and stops at nothing to protect Israel’s Prime Minister from the murderous intentions of shady individuals. This film spares nothing and no one as it exposes the dark truths behind what it sometimes takes to keep the bright light of peace shining.
Haim Bouzaglo | Israel/Spain | 2010 | 100 minutes | Hebrew/Arabic/Spanish | Drama
In one of the more unique Holocaust films ever shot, a young Jewish man being given shelter by a German husband and wife in the Black Forest must comply with an unusual request: the couple has been unable to conceive and the husband asks their “guest” to intercede on his behalf. Complications of the heart and of the war expectedly intrude as the film delivers an engaging tale of how wartime (like politics) can indeed make for strange bedfellows. Gorgeously shot and perfectly paced, this dramatic tale unfolds throughout WWII and into the 1970s when the now-adult child of this complex union learns the strange truth behind his parentage.
Contains: Sexual content and nudity
Franziska Schlotterer | 2012 | 100 minutes | German/English | Drama
Awards: Best Actress, Brigitte Hobmeier, Montréal World Film Festival, 2012 Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Montréal World Film Festival, 2012 Nominated: Grand Prix des Amériques, Montréal World Film Festival, 2012
When it comes to Holocaust documentaries, some people think they have heard it all. But until you have heard the music made by the survivors at Terezin, you haven’t heard a thing. The unyielding power of music (in this case, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem) gave a group of Jewish prisoners the strength to survive. Memorizing it from one single score, and performing it as a chorus 16 times during their internment, the requiem gave the prisoners a tool for defiance, and a reason to persevere. Defiant Requiem lets us see through the eyes, words, actions, and music of those who were there how to
fight back through art alone.
Doug Shultz | US | 2012 | 85 minutes | English | Documentary
Awards: Best Feature Documentary, Big Apple Film Festival, 2012
Deb Dorfman is a young lady living out her dreams… sort of. Nebbish, incidentally complacent, and prone to more than a little magical thinking Deb gets a chance to leave her parents’ home in the San Fernando valley—where she cares for her ailing, widower father, played by Elliot Gould—to spend a week housesitting in Los Angeles for the man of her day-dreams. What ensues is a coming-of-age story, a romance, a comedy and a love letter to Los Angeles that celebrates the renaissance and rebirth both of the city and of the film’s protagonist, the unforgettable Dorfman.
Mixer starts at 3:00 PM.
Brad Leong | US | 2011 | 97 minutes | English | Comedy
Awards: Winner Best Comedy, Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, 2012; Winner Best Feature, Miami Jewish Film Festival, 2012
Starring Russian violinist—and Grammy nominee—Philippe Quint, Downtown Express tells the tale of Sasha, a Juilliard-trained violinist (as is Quint himself) at a crossroads. One path is traditional in every way, playing classical music recitals, heading toward a career in the great concert halls of the world and living a life overseen by his loving yet domineering father. The other is the path less traveled, which takes him into New York City’s bohemian underground where he is playing music, and falling in love with a singer/songwriter played by the acclaimed and singular musician, Nellie McKay. An engaging film with an equally eclectic and dynamic soundtrack. This Downtown Express is one you must not miss.
David Grubin | US | 2011 | 90 minutes | English | Drama
Erwitt has made some of the most memorable photographs of the twentieth century including astonishing scenes of everyday life, filled with poetry and special wit. Dogs are a subject of constant fascination.
Douglas Sloan | USA | 2011 | 12 min | English | Short
Shown with:» Lia
Based on the true, yet still nearly unbelievable story of the life and actions of Si Kaddour Ben Gabrit, the rector of the Paris Mosque during WWII, who saved as many as 1600 Jews from the Nazis, Ensemble is a fictional retelling of this story through the eyes of Isaac, a boy on the run who finds refuge at the Paris Mosque, and its Imam, Ahmed. This is a short film that will leave a lasting impression.
Mohamed Fekrane | France | 2009 | 17 minutes | French | Short
Shown with:» The Brother Who Sent the Rosenbergs to the Electric Chair
This amusing, animated short tells the tale of an unusual outsider: the only heterosexual flamingo in a flock of gay flamingos. When a female stork flies by, our hero falls in love and has to step outside his comfort zone.
Tomer Eshed | Germany | 2011 | 7 minutes | English | Short
Shown with:» Melting Away
Following his grandmother’s death and his army service, a young Israeli rooms with an elderly Holocaust survivor in New York City, confronting unresolved feelings and prejudices.
Shachar Langlev | USA | 2011 | 21 min | English | Short
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
Chances are that if you read the movie’s title, the melody and words of “Hava Navgila” are bouncing through your brain right now. When did this song start? Who’s behind it? Who sang it best? And how—the fascinating subject of this fascinating film—did this song move from the shtetls of Eastern Europe into the neighborhoods of the US, getting more and more popular with every step? Loaded with rollicking interviews with people like Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, The Klezmatics, and Glen Campbell (yes, “Rhinestone Cowboy” Glen Campbell), Hava Navgila: The Movie shares how one song rose above boundaries of time, space, and culture to unite people in music, no matter what.
Roberta Grossman | US | 2012 | 75 minutes | English | Documentary
Ever wonder what it’s like to grow up with a last name like Himmler, Goering, or Hoess? Meet the descendants of some of the most infamous names in human history. Learn how, over the past 60 years, they have learned to strike a peculiar balance between a child’s natural inclination to look-up to his or her parents and the horror they—just like anyone—feel when they examine the acts perpetrated by those same people. This is a view of the Holocaust from survivors of a different stripe, and will provide unique insights into how people cope with horror and shame, and come to terms with the past.
Chanoch Ze’evi | Israel | 2012 | 80 minutes | English , German | Documentary
Awards: Nominated Best Documentary, Warsaw International Film Festival, 2012 Audience Choice Award, Documentary, Boston Jewish Film Festival 2012
“I believe great art is for everyone,” said Joe Papp Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Park, and a driving force behind game-changing Broadway shows like Hair and A Chorus Line. Joe Papp was nothing short of an artistic revolutionary, and this stirring documentary celebrates the great heights he scaled while turning a sober light on his personal pitfalls as well. Featuring Meryl Street, Kevin Kline, Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, and other luminaries, Joe Papp in Five Acts is a compelling portrait of a man who transformed New York theater, a man who stood up to the House of Un-American Activities in the 1950s, a man whose name is synonymous with revolution in the arts—Brooklyn-born Joseph Papirofsky, better known as Joe Papp.
Tracie Holder, Karen Thorsen | US | 2011 | 82 minutes | English | Documentary
Ed Koch was born to be Mayor of New York City. This documentary puts us in close company with the former mayor, digging into his upbringing, his faith, his personal life, and, of course, his tenure as mayor (1978-1989), as he shepherded the city through the tumultuous and transitional 1980s, when it began a seismic shift from gritty urbanism to the more family-friendly place we see today. While celebrating his accomplishments—and giving the Mayor a chance to fully discuss his legacy—this revealing portrait does not shy away from Koch’s complicated relationships with the African-American community, his challenges in dealing with the city burgeoning AIDS epidemic, and other controversies he faced—or created.
Neil Barsky | US | 2012 | 100 minutes | English | Documentary
Lia Van Leer’s love affair with film began in the 1950s when the typical shelf life of a film print was 1) tour the cinemas, 2) languish for a few years, and then 3) be destroyed. But Lia saw films as artworks that should last a lifetime—rather than diversions to last a couple of hours—and devoted her life to collecting and archiving films from across the globe. Her passion for the preservation and archival of these works of art led to the formation of the Israel Film Archive, as well as the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the Win Van Leer Award for emerging filmmakers. LIA tells us the story of a singular woman who transformed film.
Taly Goldenberg | Israel | 2011 | 65 minutes | Hebrew, English | Documentary
Shown with:» Elliott Erwitt: I Bark at Dogs
Many of Israel’s definitive moments were captured in the photographs on display at Tel-Aviv’s
Pri-Or Photo Shop—of a young Itzhak Rabin, of the city itself in the formative 1930s, and of the Declaration of Independence by David Ben Gurion. So when the shop was slated for demolition, Miriam Weissenstein—a 96-year-old woman whose husband founded the shop—and her grandson Ben come together to save it. This documentary tells the story of three relationships: Miriam’s and Ben’s; their relationship to the shop and its history; and the relationship of the shop to Israel itself. A historical, personal story that is concurrently fun and profound, tells you as much
about family as it does about Israel.
Tamar Tal | Israel | 2011 | 60 minutes | Hebrew & German, with English subtitles | Documentary
Awards: Audience Award, Berlin Jewish Film Festival, June 2012; Audience Award, Krakow Film Festival, June 2012; Best Documentary Magnolia Awards, Shanghai TV Festival, June, 2012; Winner, Documentary Edge Festival 2012;
Shown with:» Audition » Matkot
Is Matkot the most annoying ball game in the world? A satirical short about Israel’s infamous Chutzpah.
Tom Shinan and Liran Goldberg | Israel | 2012 | 15min | Hebrew | Short
Shown with:» Audition » Life in Stills
This heartfelt and heartbreaking drama centers on a family coming to terms with its transgender son. Kicked out of his own home as a teenager, Anna (formerly Assaf) returns to the fold in near-secret as a nurse tending to her dying father. But will she find it in her heart to forgive them for turning her away? And will they find it in themselves to adapt and embrace their child once more? In the end, Melting Away is a story about one thing only: Family.
Doron Eran | Israel | 2011 | 86 minutes | Hebrew, English | Drama
Awards: Nominated Award of the Israeli Film Academy, Awards of the Israeli Film Academy, 2011 Audience Choice Award, Feature, Boston Jewish Film Festival 2012
Shown with:» Flamingo Pride
Never-before-seen footage of one of America’s greatest comic minds abounds in this documentary that will bring you face-to-face with the walloping charisma and astounding show-business acumen of Jerry Lewis. On stage since the age of five, his show-biz career spans more than eight decades with greats such as Dean Martin. During this time he has made many friends who appear in the film, such as Alec Baldwin, Carl Reiner, Eddie Murphy, and more, not to mention a few enemies. Don’t miss this
insightful look at the films, fun times, and career of a man some call “the Marlon Brando of comedy.”
Gregg Barson | US | 2011 | 115 minutes | English | TV Drama
An Israeli mother whose son was killed by a Palestinian sniper has one thing on her mind. Contrary to what many might think, it’s not revenge but reconciliation. One Day After Peace documents the story of Robi Damelin as she journeys from Israel to her native South Africa, where reconciliation after Apartheid is exemplified by Adriaan Vlok, a former Minister of Law and Order who spends the better part of his days now serving those he once oppressed. Traveling through past and present, anger and forgiveness, Robi’s story gives hope for a better future to all people affected by war.
Erez and Miri Laufer | Israel, South Africa | 2012 | 88 minutes | English, Hebrew | Documentary
If you want to change the world, you have to capture its attention first. The Photo League of New York City believed that the one way this was possible was through photography. Its photos helped keep its causes—labor rights, racial equality, and, freedom, liberty and justice for all—front and center in the minds of New Yorkers and the world. This exciting and inspiring documentary merges the League’s powerful photography with historical footage and modern day interviews with the League’s members to deliver a thrilling, true story of a band of ideological artists who set out to change the world… and did.
Daniel Allentuck and Nina Rosenblum | USA | 2012 | 74 minutes | English | Documentary
Did you ever think that the answers to life’s problems can be found in Woody Allen’s movies? Alice does. A single woman whose “man of her dreams” slipped through her fingers and into her own sister’s hands 20 years ago, Alice’s life is now informed by the wisdom of Woody, and it has made meeting Mr. Right a dizzying challenge (who can measure up to Woody?). And then she meets Victor, who is smart and charming and has never seen a single Woody Allen film. This funny, enchanting French film is for the romantic in everyone. As Woody says, “Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.”
Sophie Lellouche | France | 2012 | 72 minutes | French | Comedy
Filmmaker Laurent Bouzereau, a close friend of the legendary director since 1964, sits down with Roman Polanski and together they discuss in detail the life, times, and tragedies of one of the most sensational and sensationalized people in contemporary cinema. And everything is on the table: his turmoil from his heartbreaking childhood in the Warsaw and Krakow ghettos through the murder of his pregnant wife at the hands of the Manson Family to his exile in France and eventual house arrest in Switzerland. Bouzereau also explores Polanski’s triumphs through ground-breaking works like Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist. This documentary presents the definitive statement on Roman Polanski.
Laurent Bouzereau | UK | 2011 | 90 minutes | English | Documentary
The harsh realities of the Holocaust are starkly dramatized via animation, puppets and real actors’ eyes in this tense tale of a Jewish 8-year-old living amidst the perils of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Johan Oettinger | Denmark | 2012 | 8 min | No dialogue | Short
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
Shalom Sesame - Back by popular demand!
Please join us for a wonderful program full of singing, an interactive learning experience and fun, with one of our Nierman Preschool teachers!
Grover can't seem to figure out why everyone is so busy just before a day of rest. Join him as he learns all about Shabbat, and sing along to Avigail's favorite Shabbat song Bim Bam! Featuring a guest appearance by Cedric the Entertainer, "Shalom Sesame 2010" is a brand new series of 12 episodes from the creators of "Sesame Street" starring the loveable "Sesame Street" cast of furry pals, new friends from Israel and celebrities. Each episode introduces Jewish holidays, traditions and culture to viewers of all ages. Follow Grover as he explores Israel, its people and places, and learns new things. Get ready to laugh and sing along in this next generation of the popular classic, "Shalom Sesame".
There is a $5 recommended donation and tickets are on a first come, first serve basis. All seats will be released 5 minutes prior to the program. Please make your reservations early and arrive a little early too! Last year this program was sold out!
Recommended for ages 3-7
90 minute program | 2010 | English | Comedy
What happens when a restless rabbi, tired of the monotony in his life, seeks to find meaning. His chance encounter on a subway with a loud, bold woman leads him on a quest to find God and himself in a world that is alien to him.
Michael Feinstein | USA | 2011 | 12 min | English | Short
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Sister of Mine
A collection of short films from talented emerging filmmakers
1900 | Special Event
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat» Sister of Mine
You may not have realized it, but Garth Drabinksy has changed how all of us see movies in the theatre. A film and theater producer, he also founded the Cineplex chain, which took movie houses from one screen to who knows how many. Along the way, he also discovered a young actor named Tom Cruise… or so he claims, and he brought celebrated musicals to Broadway. So where is he now? Drabinsky, who is both lauded and lampooned is in prison for forgery and fraud. Show
Stopper is a whirlwind ride through the life of a driven auteur whose balloon eventually collapsed under the weight of his own ambition.
Barry Avrich | Canada | 2012 | 99 minutes | English | Documentary
Like all young ultra-orthodox girls, Ruchi, the favorite daughter of a Jerusalem family, dreams of becoming a wife and mother. But the young man who has been chosen for her is not in any sense her equal. Ruchi's younger sister, who has Down's syndrome, asks searching and uncomfortable questions about the match, underlining for Ruchi the extreme limitations on her freedom.
Shown with:» 55 Socks» B-Boy» Batman at the Checkpoint» Folkswagon» Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto» Shlomo Pussycat
Based on a true story, Sonny Boy spans the decades before and after WWII in Holland. Waldemer, a black immigrant from Surinam, and Rika, a white Dutch woman, fall in love at a time when interracial couples are verboten. Their love must weather two tests: The first is the birth of their child, the titular Sonny Boy. The second comes ten years later when they decide to open their home and risk their lives to shelter Jews hiding from the Nazis. A majestic, heart-rending film, Sonny Boy hits all the right notes emotionally and thematically, and is a lush, transporting visual experience.
Maria Peters | The Netherlands | 2011 | 132 minutes | Dutch with subtitles | Drama
Awards: Submission from the Netherlands for the Academy Award category Best Foreign Language Film 2012
“Stories from an Undeclared War” is the powerful story of 150 at-risk students from Long Beach, Calif., who were once considered unteachable. But inspired by their teacher, Erin Gruwell, and the writings of Anne Frank, the students discover a new way to express themselves. The documentary follows the students’ story from the first day of freshman year in 1994 to the present day. In a racially divided community where adolescents have been exposed to drugs, gang warfare, and homicides,
Gruwell makes it her goal to teach the students to put down their fists and guns and to pick up a pen. To do this, she juxtaposes their typical reality in urban America with some of the worst examples of man’s inhumanity to man. The once-hardened teens have an epiphany that they live in an undeclared war, and writing becomes their salvation.
Dennis Rice | United States | 2011 | 83 min | Documentary
Go inside the life and mind of a man many consider a comix genius (comix as in comic books). Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman—creator of MAUS, editor of RAW, and overall champion of comics as an art form—shares what makes him tick against a backdrop comprised of some of his most famous and
compelling works. The film not only traces his career arc, but also the rise of his art form, through interviews with the artist, his family, and some of his “comics progeny,” such as Charles Burns. For anyone who is a fan of ground-breaking, fearless art, The Art of Spiegelman should be required viewing.
Clara Kuperberg & Joelle Oosterlinck | US | 2009 | 43 minutes | English | Documentary
Shown with:» Life in Stills
In 2001, David Greenglass—the brother of Ethel Rosenberg who turned in Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for spying against the US—told his story to 60 Minutes. But what he said then was only the beginning. This startling documentary discloses new details on “the deal” Greenglass cut behind closed doors, and features riveting interviews with Robert Meerpol, son of the Rosenbergs, as he discusses exactly how he feels about the uncle who betrayed his parents.
Clara Kuperberg, Robert Kuperberg | France | 2008 | 52 minutes | English | Documentary
Shown with:» Ensemble
Tzvi Yehuda Herling | Israel | 2010 | 23 minutes | Hebrew | Short
Shown with:» Barriers» Ben-Gurion Hosting» The Other Side» Wherever You Go
Isaac “Ikey” Solomon, the real life inspiration for Charles Dicken’s Fagin (from Oliver Twist), is the focus of this docudrama. It delves into the details of Soloman’s life and the tumultuous times in which he lived. Starting as a pickpocket, Solomon moved on to become one of the most infamous, yet “honorable”--he claimed to have done everything he did for the sake of his wife, Ann-- crooks of the
Victorian Age. A period drama with actors portraying Solomon and his contemporaries, The First Faginis fueled by keen historical analysis and revealing information such as how rampant anti-Semitism partially fueled Solomon’s “career path”. The film is compelling with or without the Dickens backstory.
Helen Gaynor, Alan Rosenthal | Australia | 2012 | 87 minutes | English | TV Drama
Khen Shalem | Israel | 2011 | 25 minutes | Hebrew | Short
Shown with:» Barriers» Ben-Gurion Hosting» The Divide» Wherever You Go
On the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking recording, Graceland, Paul Simon returns to South Africa and revisits the passion, people, and controversy that went into his seminal work.
Twenty-five years ago, Paul Simon released, Graceland, tapping the music, people, and passion of South Africa to create a record that not only kick-started interest in “world music,” but also helped sharpen the world’s collective attention to the injustices of apartheid. But did he cross a line in making this seminal recording? Under African Skies documents the singer’s return to South Africa and reveals the unknown, startling backstory of breaking the UN boycott of South Africa, creating political backlash, and more. The film may have you seeing the artist in an entirely new light. Says filmmaker Joe Berlinger, “…it is interesting that Paul Simon allowed [the] film to be made. Some people might walk away feeling Paul made the wrong decision 25 years ago, while I think that many others might come away feeling it was more complex—that it was worth the controversy.” See Under African Skies and decide for yourself.
Joe Berlinger | US /South Africa | 2012 | 108 minutes | English | Documentary
Awards: GRACELAND' DOCUMENTARY 'UNDER AFRICAN SKIES' NOMINATED FOR 3 EMMYS!; SXSW Audience Award, SXSW, 2012
Hitchhikers generally know where they’d like to go or at least the direction they’re headed in. But young Neriman has no idea – anywhere, as long as she escapes the clutches of her intended, a man she doesn’t care for in the least. She longs to unburden herself to Zohara (who happens to be on her way to a wedding) but she hesitates, fearful that the woman will drop her at the nearest corner. At first, the two women don’t trust each other; indeed, they are both hiding their own internal secrets. But they learn to overcome their mistrust through an understanding of each other’s difficult lives. These the film depicts with sufficient emphasis but without any unnecessary affectation that you would draw attention away from the urgency of the situations in which Neriman and, later, Zohara find themselves. Using a high degree of sensitivity, the film unfolds the incipient relationship between the two young women, who are connected by mutual understanding despite their cultural differences. The film succeeds with exceptional speed in building interest in the fate of the characters, maintaining the tension in terms of story development.
Rony Sasson-Angel | Israel | 2011 | 40 minutes | Hebrew | Drama
Shown with:» Barriers» Ben-Gurion Hosting» The Divide» The Other Side
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