Seeking Justice For Deborah

Jewish filmmaker and Jewish lawyer take on the case of an abused woman unfairly imprisoned in California.
06/27/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

We pray the words every day, but they probably don’t register: “matir asurim,” who frees the captive. Perhaps they are too familiar, our recitation too rote. But the commandment, like the instruction to seek justice, is one of the essentials of Jewish thought and life.

Joshua Safran, left and Nadia Costa, right, meet with Peagler to take up her cause.

A French Jewish-Muslim Romance

Satisfying and poignant, ‘The Names of Love’ rises above the constraints of its genre.
06/20/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The original French title of the new comedy “The Names of Love,” which opens on June 24, was “Le Nom des Gens.” That loosely translates as “the name of people” and, for a film that is very much about the nature of identity and self-definition, it is a more apt title. On the other hand, since the film is a sweet-natured romantic comedy, maybe things are best left as they are.

Director Michel Leclerc, top right, showcases the love story of Baya and Arthur.

A ‘Righteous’ Lens: Genocides Then And Now

06/13/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

During his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania, Samuel Goldberg, an Upper West Side native, day school graduate and English/filmmaking major in college, was weighing a career in philanthropy or entertainment.

Then he saw “The Last Survivor.”

Samuel Goldberg, second from right, with the Righteous Pictures team.

The Cauldron That Is Hebron

New documentary looks at IDF’s thankless job as buffer between settlers and Palestinians.
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The first images one sees in the new documentary “This Is My Land ... Hebron” are seemingly familiar ones, young men wearing balaclavas and throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. It is only as the scene continues that one realizes that these young men are also wearing tzitzit and shouting in Hebrew and English. Welcome to Hebron.

Middle men: Scenes from “This Is My Land … Hebron,” with IDF soldiers trying to keep the peace.

‘Bride Flight’ Rocked By Turbulence

With too many competing storylines, film is weighed down by excess baggage
06/06/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 Art is here:

Marjorie (Elise Schaap) and Hans (Mattijn Hartemink) in "Bride Flight."

North Shore Gets A Film Festival

Inaugural Gold Coast fest plays to local demographic.
05/24/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The obvious question is, “Does the New York area really need another film festival?”

The not-so-obvious answer, given by Regina Gil, the founder of the Gold Coast International Film Festival, which opens its inaugural event on June 1, is an emphatic affirmative.

“Infiltration,” top, and “Naomi” are two Israeli films that will screen at the first Gold Coast International Film Festival.

The Rabbi Was A ‘Freedom Rider’

N.J. spiritual leader, part of a new PBS documentary, looks back on his role in the civil rights struggle.
05/10/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Rabbi Israel S. Dresner got a call 50 years ago asking if he’d be willing to go on a Freedom Ride aimed at desegregating bus stations in the South, he did not hesitate.

“Remember, I’m a guy who grew up in the 1930s when Hitler was on the rise,” Rabbi Dresner, now 82, said in a recent interview from his home in Wayne, N.J. “How can I not be against racism?”

Rabbi Israel S. Dresner

Life-Saving Amid Bloodshed

Award-winning film about a Gaza boy and his Israeli doctor wins fans from all sides of the conflict.
05/09/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

In 2008, Shlomi Eldar, a prominent Israeli television journalist, was asked to do a segment on a baby Palestinian boy suffering from a lethal blood disease, and an Israeli doctor’s attempt to save him. But Eldar was reluctant.

Raida, right, with her 4-month-old son Mohammad, middle, in a scene from “Precious Life,” which airs on HBO this month.

Italians, Jews And Death

Marc Meyers’ ‘Harvest’ focuses on a tension-riddled Italian-Jewish family.
05/02/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It takes a filmmaker with a significant amount of chutzpah to base his second feature film on an old chestnut like a family gathering as its patriarch nears death. Marc Meyers not only takes that risk in his second feature film, “Harvest,” which opens on May 6; he also eschews the emotional pyrotechnics that the subject usually encourages to create something more thoughtful, intelligent and, frequently, elegant.

The Monopoli clan, headed by patriarch Siv (Robert Loggia), center, and matriarch Yetta (Barbara Barrie), left.

New Names, New Genres

Second week of Israel Film Festival features slasher, nature and singles scene fare.
05/02/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the pleasant side benefits of this year’s Israel Film Festival, now in its 25th year, is a profusion of unfamiliar names and even unfamiliar genres


Scene from “Land of Genesis,” top, and Keren Berger and Yaron Brovinsky in “2Night.”
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