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Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer

Art and Heart, Catherine Tambini’s spirited documentary celebrates the life of Isaiah Sheffer, the founding artistic director of Symphony Space and host of Selected Shorts on public radio who inspired everyone from Leonard Nimoy to Stephen Colbert. Paired with Making Morning Star. Academy Award–nominated filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s intimate documentary relates the creation of Morning Star, a new opera by composer Ricky Ian Gordon as he brings 11 years of ideation to life. —Neha Talreja Preceded by Making Morning Star
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 3:20 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 1:30 PM
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 1:40 PM
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Baba Joon

Israel’s submission to the 2015 Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film surprises in many ways. For starters, the screenplay is almost entirely in Farsi, not Hebrew. The semi-autobiographical feature film debut from writer/director Yuval Delshad depicts three generations in the Morgian family, Persian immigrants from Iran to Israel eking out a living as rural turkey farmers. Sensitive performances, gentle pacing and refreshing plot twists combine to weave a richly satisfying story. —Emily Kaiser Thelin
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 1:50 PM
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 8:20 PM
Sat, Jul 30, 2016 2:10 PM
Sat, Aug 6, 2016 2:05 PM
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The Bentwich Syndrome

Humorously examining Anglo-Jewish life of the 19th and 20th centuries, directors Gur Bentwich and Maya Kenig embark on a road trip to dissect the origins of their family. An array of aunts and cousins hold court, as well as long-departed Bentwiches, who come to life through zany Monty Python-esque animation. In the end, we become Bentwiches-by-proxy, crammed into the back seat of the family car, enjoying the ride. —Alexis Whitman Preceded by Spring Chicken, Dir. Tamir Elterman.
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 1:20 PM
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 11:50 AM
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False Flag

Not since Prisoners of War has there been such a provocative, nail-biting espionage thriller on Israeli TV. In False Flag five Israeli citizens wake up one morning to discover that they are suspects in the kidnapping of the Iranian minister of defense. The five become wanted and news coverage turns their world upside down. Their attempts to deny involvement are in vain. Even their loved ones question, could they be guilty? —Lexi Leban
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 8:30 PM
Sat, Jul 30, 2016 6:50 PM
Sun, Jul 31, 2016 6:30 PM
Sat, Aug 6, 2016 6:30 PM
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Fever At Dawn

A Swedish refugee camp doctor gives Holocaust survivor Miklós six months to live. But the young man refuses to die before meeting the love of his life. He sends letters to 117 Hungarian women in sex-segregated camps throughout Sweden. The response of 19-year old Lilli captures his heart and his imagination. Péter Gárdos’s romantic drama, based upon his novel of his parents’ post-Holocaust courtship creates indelible images of heartbreak and hope. —Sara L. Rubin
Tue, Jul 26, 2016 8:55 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 3:45 PM
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 9:00 PM
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A German Life

From 1942 until the end of the war, Brunhilde Pomsel worked as a stenographer for Joseph Goebbels, the infamous Nazi minister of propaganda. Now 105 years old, she is the last living witness to have seen the machinations of Nazi power from the inside. With her face in close-up, she recounts her past with lucidity and forces us to ask the timely question, “What would I have done in this situation?” —Jay Rosenblatt
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 12:15 PM
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 3:15 PM
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 2:15 PM
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Germans and Jews

This thoughtful documentary is a subtle examination of the history of Germany’s postwar Jewish population and of the fraught and fragile relations between Jews and non-Jews. Structured around a dinner party attended by Germans and Jews—some of whom were born in Germany, some who are “Germans by choice”—the film negotiates sensitive questions of memory, guilt, identity and redemption with grace and aplomb while giving access to both sides of a crucial historical dialogue. —Seth Barron *SJM: Single Jewish Mom Free Screening
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 12:00 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 12:00 PM
Tue, Aug 2, 2016 4:40 PM
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Holy Zoo

In Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, Israelis and Palestinians work alongside one another to tend to the zoo’s elephants, crocodiles and rhinos. Inevitably, tensions within and across animal species reflect themselves in the mostly good-natured, always edgy interactions between employees, who lead regular tours of Muslim and Jewish schoolchildren through the zoo’s grounds. Katharina Waisburd’s keen eye results in an unforgettable lens into the current conflict in the Holy Land. Preceded by The Mute’s House. —Zoe Pollak
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 12:50 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 4:10 PM
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 4:05 PM
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How to Win Enemies

Take a classic Woody Allen–style antihero, add Alfred Hitchcock–level intrigue and a strong dose of Argentine sex appeal, and you have this comic, poignant and smart feature. Director Gabriel Lichtmann shows the complicated family relations of Lucas, a young Buenos Aires Jewish lawyer and a mystery buff (he even has a dog named Sherlock) as he solves the mystery of who conned him out of a down payment on a house. —Emily Kaiser Thelin
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 6:00 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 6:30 PM
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 8:45 PM
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Hummus! The Movie

Where can you find the best hummus in the world? From Suheila, a single Muslim woman who is known for her legendary hummus, to Jalil, a Christian Arab hipster in Ramle who runs his father’s hummus joint, to Eliyahu, a born-again Orthodox Jew who owns a hummus restaurant chain, this fun and fascinating film about the highly competitive hummus restaurant business in Israel shows how powerful this chickpea spread can be. —Tamar Fox
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 12:30 PM
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 10:30 AM
Fri, Aug 5, 2016 12:15 PM
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In Search of Israeli Cuisine

Renowned chef Michael Solomonov explores a diverse world of food drawn from more than 100 cultures. Chefs, farmers, vintners, cheese makers and home cooks discuss their roots and show specialties that both preserve and update traditional recipes using global inspiration. Uniquely and lovingly prepared shakshuka, boreka, maqluba, couscous and a kugel that challenges expectations are just a few of the irresistible dishes featured. Warning: This movie will make you hungry!
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 3:50 PM
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 2:15 PM
Sat, Jul 30, 2016 12:00 PM
Fri, Aug 5, 2016 4:20 PM
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Mountain

This haunting debut feature from Israeli director Yaelle Kayam explores religious themes in a tale of a young woman’s struggle to find herself. It depicts an Orthodox woman suffering in a loveless marriage, searching for companionship amidst the tombstones, pimps and prostitutes of Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. Even as the plot turns dark, actress Shani Klein (Zero Motivation, SFJFF 2014) imbues the character Tsiva with an unforgettable tenderness. —Emily Kaiser Thelin
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 8:55 PM
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 8:55 PM
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 6:45 PM
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Natasha

Jewish Canadian writer David Bezmozgis directs his acclaimed short story of forbidden teenage love between Mark, a Toronto slacker and his troubled Russian cousin by marriage. Bezmozgis’s highly provocative and deeply poignant coming-of-age drama features the extraordinarily measured performances of Alex Ozerov as Mark and newcomer Sasha K. Gordon as the sexually precocious Natasha, the dark star who forever alters Mark’s staid, suburban existence. —Thomas Logoreci
Tue, Jul 26, 2016 6:20 PM
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 7:50 PM
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 6:25 PM
Sat, Aug 6, 2016 8:30 PM
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Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

Norman Lear wrote, produced, created, and developed more than a hundred television shows. His legendary body of work includes such iconic programs as: All in the Family; Maude; Good Times; The Jeffersons; and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Now about to turn 94, this Jewish World War II veteran is the focus of the documentary Norman Lear: Another Version of You and the author of an autobiography, Even This I Get to Experience. The Festival is honored to present this year’s Freedom of Expression Award to Norman Lear, the television pioneer and founder of the advocacy organization, People for the American Way, whose passionate, inspiring involvement may be needed now more than ever. —Lexi Leban Screened at Sundance 2016
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 3:15 PM
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 6:15 PM
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 2:10 PM
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On the Map

Led by the magnetic Tal Brody, the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, a combination of NBA also-rans and Israeli players, rallied a nation in its David-and-Goliath pursuit of the 1977 European Championship. Director Dani Menkin presents the context for what was a much-needed morale boost amid Israel’s sagging economy, the lingering sorrow of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the battle-weariness in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. —Sara L. Rubin
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 6:15 PM
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 6:30 PM
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 4:40 PM
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Origin of Violence

Nathan Fabre, a teacher in a French-German school, is working on his thesis about the French Resistance during World War II. During a research trip to Buchenwald, he finds a photo of a prisoner with an uncanny resemblance to his father. When his father ignores his queries, Nathan pursues the matter himself, and his research becomes much more than academic, complicated further by his romance with a young German woman. —Sara L. Rubin
Fri, Jul 22, 2016 6:30 PM
Tue, Jul 26, 2016 8:35 PM
Fri, Aug 5, 2016 9:20 PM
Sat, Aug 6, 2016 6:30 PM
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The People Vs. Fritz Bauer

In late 1950s Germany attorney general Fritz Bauer (played by The White Ribbon’s lauded Burghart Klaussner) is intent on bringing the infamous Nazi Adolf Eichmann to trial. This riveting historical thriller chronicles the hindrances and the potentially mortal dangers Bauer faces as a closeted gay Jewish lawyer working alongside men in the government who can bring criminals like Eichmann to justice but who ultimately have the power to conceal their own Nazi pasts. —Zoe Pollak Screened at Berlinale 2016
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 6:30 PM
Tue, Jul 26, 2016 6:15 PM
Fri, Aug 5, 2016 6:30 PM
Sat, Aug 6, 2016 4:10 PM
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Rabin in his Own Words

This examination of the life and times of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is constructed largely from archival footage, photographs and interviews, from Rabin’s early days to his tragic death. Director Erez Laufer (One Day After Peace, SFJFF 2012) takes us from Rabin’s childhood, through his experience fighting in three wars, to his assassination, and reminds us of the possibility for peace that remains for those who want it. —Seth Barron
Fri, Jul 22, 2016 4:15 PM
Sun, Jul 24, 2016 12:00 PM
Wed, Aug 3, 2016 4:15 PM
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