Presented by: The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life with support from the Karma Foundation
The following critically acclaimed, international dramatic and documentary films were featured at the 2001 Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival:
Against a background of holocaust memories, a liberal Jewish girl becomes the nanny to a retarded strict Jewish young boy, and grows fond of him.
Divided We Fall
In World War II Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, a childless couple, Josef and Marie Cizek, can only watch while the Jewish family of their employers, the Wieners, are first removed from their own home to a spare room in their house by the Nazis, then removed to the far off facility of Thierenstadt. Years later, young David Wiener, the sole surviving member of that family has managed to escape and make it to the Cizeks. Although fully aware of the extreme danger of harbouring a Jew in the Third Reich, the Cizek's can not permit themselves to leave David to certain death and agree to hide him. However, this decision leads to terrible danger of discovery by the Nazis and especially their friend and Nazi collaborator, Horst Prohazka, who is attracted to Marie. With desperate cleverness and luck, the Cizeks struggle to keep the secret, even when Horst begins to suspect. In doing so, they find themselves making unorthodox choices and learning about the true nature of the people around them.
A psychological adventure unfolds as two friends take a risky road trip into the past. Together they revisit scenes of romance and humor, of narrow escapes and life-or-death confrontations. But their journey home becomes a contentious clash of personalities that will ultimately take their friendship to the brink of collapse. Two unconventional 70-year olds, Arnost Lustig and Jan Wiener, set out to revisit the Europe of their childhoods. But the two friends are only partially right: the trip will take take them on an original and unorthodox exploration of the Holocaust, revealing moments of joie de vivre, fighting spirit, romance and humor. It is, however, not nearly as pleasant a journey as they had expected.
Time of Favor
Is today's fanaticism tomorrow's policy? In a West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer has a grand design: he's building a movement "to pray at the Temple Mount." His yeshiva has scholars, and the settlement is getting its own military company to be commanded by Menachem, a disciple of the rabbi. He also wants his daughter, Michal, to marry Pini, the yeshiva's best scholar. Michal has no interest in Pini, but she is attracted to Menachem. When she rebuffs Pini, he hatches a bold and secret plan. Is jealousy the motivation or something else? Meanwhile, the army and Moussad are closely watching the rabbi's activities and Menachem's military training. Who is trustworthy?
Trembling Before G-d
Trembling Before G-d is an unprecedented feature documentary that shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality. As the film unfolds, we meet a range of complex individuals - some hidden, some out - from the world's first openly gay Orthodox rabbi to closeted, married Hasidic gays and lesbians to those abandoned by religious families to Orthodox lesbian high-school sweethearts.