At a time when the Middle East is in the news hearts & minds turn to exploration of Judaism through feature films & documentaries at the 9th Annual Temple Emanu-El Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival which will run from Saturday February 12th through the 20th 2011 at the delightful Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Acaemy of the Arts.
Previous festivals have garnered raves for their daring, their introspective lens into the diversity of Jewish films, affording attendees entry into other Worlds an opportunity to explore a variety of films many might have never known to exist. Tickets for opening night are $10 for members and $12 for general public. Purchase tickets in advance at honoluluacademy.tix.com. Members screening pass: $25 General screening pass: $35 gets you into all 7 screenings.
The Opening Night Reception is always an event, Saturday February 12th 2011 from 6PM to 7:30 PM Da Spot will serve up pupu courtesy of James and Sally Zukerkorn Foundation, those needing a bit of a wet will find The Pavilion Cafe selling beer & wine.
‘Brothers’opens the festival, showing at 7:30 PM on the 12th and shown once more on February 17th at 1PM; “Director: Igaal Niddam: Switzerland, 2008,116 min. Hebrew, Spanish w/English subtitles: See the trailer.: Buyt ickets online.:: Long estranged brothers Dan and Aaron reunite in Israel, only to discover how different they have become. Dan, a secular Jew, lives on a kibbutz, while Aaron, an Orthodox lawyer and Torah scholar, resides in the United States. When Aaron travels to Israel for work, he and Dan must face a conflict that has been unresolved since their childhood in Argentina. The conflict between the brothers is echoed in a legal battle that highlights the issue of separation of state and religion in modern Israel.””
Sunday February 13th 2011 a dose of laughter, always one of the highlights of the Jewish Film Festival is on going proof that the best comedies spring from the wild imaginations of Jewish writers & performers. In 2008, ‘ A Matter of Size’ stole patron’s hearts while tickling their funny bone, this year let ‘The Yankles’ stir your passion for funny. Scheduled Thrice, February 13th at 1PM, February 16th at 7:30PM, and February 18th at 1PM. “Director: David R. Brooks, United States, 2009, 115 min: See the trailer.: Buy tickets online.: In this entertaining, uplifting comedy, professional baseball player Charley Jones is released from his team because hes serving time for his third DUI. Ordered to fulfill 192 hours of community service, he offers to volunteer as a baseball coach, but the only team that will give him a second chance is a group of orthodox yeshiva students desperate to compete in a small college league. As Charley does his best to whip himself and his team into shape, he realizes he needs to makes some amends along the way.”
A more sobering film at 4PM on February 13th 2011, to be re-shown February 15th at 7:30 PM, ‘Anita,’ by Director: Marcos Carnevale, Argentina, 2009, 104 min., In Spanish w/English subtitles; See the trailer. : Buy tickets online.: In 1994 in Buenos Aires, a Jewish Community Center has been bombed. Anita, a young woman with Downs syndrome, is disoriented when her doting mother fails to return home from an errand. Bewildered and confused, Anita wanders the city, reaching out to people who try to help her along the way, and subtly but profoundly transforms their lives. Alejandra Manzo, who has Downs syndrome, was nominated for the Best New Actress Award from the Argentine Film Academy for her extraordinary debut performance..”
Sunday wraps up with a delightful documentary, perfect for Hawai’i’s LGBT community and those who have open hearts & minds, at 7:30 on the 13th, to be reshow February 16th at 1PM, ‘Off and Running,’ Director: Nicole Opper, United States, 2008, 76 min. See the trailer.: Buy tickets online.; Brooklyn teenager Avery, an adoptee, grows up in a loving, unique family. Her parents are white Jewish lesbians and she has two adopted brothers. But as her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This propels Avery into an exploration of race, identity and family.”
Sharing the Marquee with ‘Off and Running on February 13th at 7:30PM and again on Feb.16th at 1PM, :‘Ingelore’ might be a bit jarring, incorporating stark black & white imagery, it explores the life of “Ingelore Herz Honigstein (born deaf in 1924) was so isolated by her disability and her family’s shame that she didnt speak until she was six-years-old. In this compelling documentary, the real-life Ingelore shares the account of her lonely childhood, played out against the terrifying rise of the Third Reich. An uplifting testament to a woman who has achieved personal freedom against great odds.,” a film by Director: Frank Stiefel: United States, Germany, 2009, 40 min: See the trailer.: Buy tickets online.”
No films are scheduled for Valentine’s Day, but then on Tuesday February 15th 2011 at 1PM and again on February 20th at 7:30PM, spend ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ a film by Director: Omri Givon: Israel, 2008 94 min., in Hebrew with English subtitles: See the trailer. Buyt ickets online.: Galia has spent a year recovering from a terrorist bus bombing and suffers from unbearable burn scars, panic attacks and a fractured memory. When her boyfriend Oren, also a victim of the attack is removed from life support, Galia must remember the events surrounding the bombing to move forward with her life. Subtle clues woven into a deeply intricate plot help her unlock the key to her past.”
Wednesday February 16th catch up on films you might have missed, the next film to debut on Thursday February 17th 2011 at 7:30 PM and re-shown February 20th 2011 at 1PM, is an intriguing ‘understated’ comedy, “Nora’s Will’ by Director: Mariana Chenillo, Mexico, 2008, 92 min. Spanish with English subtitles: See the trailer. : Buy tickets online.: In this affecting, understated comedy set in a close-knit Jewish community in New Mexico, Jos discovers that his ex-wife, Nora, has committed suicide on the eve of Passover. To reunite family and friends, she leaves behind meticulous plans for a final Seder, and, inadvertently, a mysterious photo that may unlock a longtime secret. As Jos reluctantly prepares for the funeral, a cast of colorful characters assemble in Nora’s apartment.”
February 18th at 1PM is another chance to watch ‘The Yankles,’ before honoring the Sabbath. The final film to make a debut at the 9th Jewish Film Festival ‘Le Rafele’ is a truly sobering spectacle, one that has earned terrific reviews in spite of its horrific tale, comparable to to ‘Schindler’s List,’ one of those stories too long ignored, thus the importance of the Question and Answer session following the showing on Saturday February 19th, this film to be reshow on the final day the 20th at 4 PM. “”Le Rafle,’ Director: Rose Bosch: France, Germany, Hungary, 2010 115 min., French, German, Yiddish w/English subtitles: See the trailer. : Buy tickets online.: Based on a true story. In 1942, Paris police arrested 13,000 Jews before sending them to Auschwitz. With this tragic, taboo chapter in Frances history as the backdrop, the film focuses on Joseph Weismann, a charming 11-year-old boy (he is now 80) whose friends, family, and close-knit community gave each other hope and strength to endure their terrible reality.
Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Advertiser journalist, will introduce the film and be available for Q + A.”
Film lovers rejoice, this is always a great film festival, a true gateway to a variety of cultures and one more reason to celebrate the memory of Attorney Kirk Cashmere for whom the festival honors, a brilliant man who fought for civil rights for all humanity.