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 2004 Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival:
Eleven year old David Wiseman loves cricket but is a terrible player. When a Jamaican family moves in next door and builds a cricket net in the back garden, David is in seventh heaven. But when the neighbors start to make life difficult for the new arrivals, David's family is caught in the middle, and he has to choose between fitting in and standing up for new friends who have turned his world around. Oscar nominated director Paul Morrison (SOLOMON AND GAENOR) delivers an engaging, uplifting comic drama offering a view of a working class Jewish community in London in the 1960s.
A Lost Embrace
Ariel's world is a multiethnic shopping center in contemporary downtown Buenos Aires, where his mother owns a lingerie shop. His search for identity and his struggle to understand why his father left the family to fight in Israel leads him to uncover family secrets. The story unfolds with fascinating character insights and a surprise ending.
Hiding and Seeking
Director Menachem Daum, troubled by his ultra-Orthodox sons' narrow and insular views of the Gentile world, takes them on an emotional journey to find the Polish family who saved their grandfather during the Holocaust. A deeply moving intergenerational saga, this rich documentary addresses both the wounds of the past and the ongoing challenge of combating intolerance. Seethe special features at PBS
In June 2002, a bus en route from Tel Aviv to Tiberius was the victim of a suicide bomber. Seventeen people were killed, but only sixteen were identified - leaving No. 17. The police stopped searching for his identity believing that he must have been an undocumented foreign worker. This is where the filmmakers step in, documenting the search for his identity over a period of six months. Forensic evidence, interviews with surviving passengers, and drawings by a Hasidic police sketch artist provide clues to uncover this mystery.
This bittersweet comedy portrays an Israeli family's struggles to persevere in the wake of the father's sudden death. His widow, Dafna, juggles financial and professional pressures with her desire for romance and the demands of her children. Her older son, Yair, is a talented high-school dropout; her older daughter, Maya, an aspiring singer. A crisis involving Dafna's younger children provokes the family to unite and address their frustrations and dreams.
Yossi & Jagger
Based on a true story, YOSSI & JAGGER portrays the pressures of military life on a remote army base at the Israeli-Lebanese border. In this desolate setting, a secret romance has bloomed between two male officers, with the added tension of a female soldier who is in love with one of the officers. Through these complex relationships, YOSSI & JAGGER explores the challenges of life in the Israeli military today.
Ruthie & Connie
RUTHIE & CONNIE is a film about love, friendship, passion and politics-and the price two women paid to be themselves. Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz were both married mothers of young children, living in a working-class Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Then their passionate interest in social justice turned them into community leaders and their romantic interest in each other suddenly turned their world upside down. See www.ruthieandconniethemovie.com
A Good Uplift
A light-hearted look at a famous lingerie shop on the Lower East Side where owner and Jewish grandmother, Magda, will size you up, hook you in, and set you free in the perfect bra.
MY ARCHITECT tells a story of love and art, betrayal and forgiveness. Louis Kahn, a world-renowned architect who left a great artistic legacy, led a personal life filled with secrets and contradictions. He died bankrupt and unidentified, leaving behind three different families. MY ARCHITECT depicts a son's complicated journey to understand the life and work of his legendary and mysterious father. See www.myarchitectfilm.com