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 2000 Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival:
Newly arrived in Tel-Aviv on the eve of the Gulf War, Yana, a young and beautiful Russian woman, is abandoned by her husband. As Israel is threatened by poison-gas missile attacks, an intense bond develops between Yana and her Israeli roommate Eli, a videographer who captures, on video, Yana's desperate attempts to return home to Russia. This beautifully crafted romantic comedy explores the complexity of, and challenges facing, the vibrant Russian community in Israel, where one in every five citizens is Russian.
After the End of the World
With humor and warmth, renowned director Ivan Nitchev offers a delightful tale from the lost Balkan world of the late 1940s. At that time, Jews, ethnic Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians, Greeks, and Gypsies coexisted peacefully in the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv. The town's rabbi, priest, and mullah played cards together, Communist leaders and Gypsies danced together at parties, and the young Berto Cohen pledged his love to an Armenian girl named Araksi. Then, with Stalin's purges, came the expulsion of the Turks, the immigration of Berto's family to Israel, and the decision by Araksi's family to flee to France. Now a well-known historian, Berto returns to a much changed Plovdiv, and a chance meeting with Araksi offers him the opportunity to relive childhood memories.
THE GIRAFFE moves between Germany and America as businessman David Fish attempts to understand his mother's mysterious death in a Manhattan hotel shortly after the firebombing of a Jewish-owned factory. David is magnetically drawn to charming set-designer Lena Katz, even though David's lawyer believes that Lena is hiding something. German filmmaker Dani Levy wrote, directed, and stars in THE GIRAFFE, which also stars the esteemed German actress and co-writer, Maria Schrader.
Aimee & Jaguar
In 1943, as bombs fall on Berlin and the Gestapo purges Jews from the capital, a dangerous love affair develops between two women. Lilly Wust, married with four children, enjoys her status as a model of Nazi motherhood. For Lilly, this love affair will be the most significant experience of her life. For Felice Schragenheim, a Jew and member of the underground, their relationship instills in her the hope that she will survive.
Solomon & Gaenor
Against a backdrop of industrial unrest and racial tension in an early Twentieth Century Welsh coal-mining town, SOLOMON & GAENOR tells the moving story of a passionate love affair between an Orthodox Jewish boy and a Welsh girl. The beautiful Gaenor (Nia Roberts) belongs to a traditional family of pious chapel-goers. Solomon (Ioan Gruffudd), the son of merchants, sells fabric door-to-door. He meets and falls in love with Gaenor, but hides his religious identity until forced to disclose the truth. Lead actor Gruffudd also stars in the Emmy Award winning Horatio Hornblower and Great Expectations, and in the soon to be released 102 Dalmations.