Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

16 December 2005

2006 Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival

You don't need to be Jewish to appreciate Jewish film... you do have to like films though to appreciate them... In any case, I just received an e-mail with details of the upcoming 2006 Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival. I am pasting below from Don Brown's e-mail. I haven't seen any of them. -- Drew

"All films are at the Spalding Auditorium on the UH Manoa campus and are $6 for each program. Five-Film Flash Passes will be available at the Temple for $25 in January."

Opening Night
Paper Clips
Dir: Eliot Berlin, Joe Fab. 2004 USA 87 min.
Whitwell Middle School in rural Tennessee is the setting for this documentary about an extraordinary experiment in Holocaust education. Struggling to grasp the concept of six million Holocaust victims, the students decide to collect six million paper clips to better understand the extent of this crime against humanity. The film details how the students met Holocaust survivors from around the world and how the experience transformed them and their community.
Friday, February 17 at 7:30 PM

Le Grande Role
Dir: Steven Suissa. 2004 France 89 min.
Maurice, Sami, Simon, Elie and Edouard are still unknown actors despite their late thirties. But one day, Grinchenberg, the famous American director, comes to Paris looking for the lead role in his Yiddish adaptation of the Merchant of Venice. Maurice gets the part! It is the major breakthrough he has been waiting for. He rushes home to proudly announce the big news to his wife Perla. But Perla also has news for him: she is very ill. Unfortunately, the part eventually goes to a famous American star. Maurice doesn't have the heart to tell Perla, so with his friends' help, he will go all the way to make his wife believe that he still has the part, and will end up playing the role of his life to protect her.
Saturday, February 18 at noon, Sunday, February 19 at 7 PM

The Legacy of Rosina Lhevinne
Dir: Salome Ramras Arkatov. 2003 USA 65 min.
This love letter to the creative spirit explores the nature of art and human potential through the extraordinary life and accomplishments of a legendary pianist and master teacher. Lhevinne's teaching career flourished after age 65 and her pupils included such world famous artists as Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter, James Levine and John Williams. Mme. Lhevinne's remarkable solo career began at age 75 and climaxed at age 82 when she made her spectacular debut with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. Intimate conversations with and stunning performances by her renowned students, along with Mme. Lhevinne's own exceptionally beautiful performances, reveal the inspiring story of her productive life.

A Bridge to Peace
Dir: Rob Simonds. 2005 Great Britain 52 min.
Four American, Bosnian and Dutch musicians discuss their European cultural roots as they perform in a concert tour of Poland with the Mostar Sinfonietta, 60 years after WWII and 10 years after the war in Bosnia. Through their touching musical and verbal messages they support and strengthen the multicultural society in which we live.
Saturday, February 18 at 2:30 PM

Only Human (Seres Queridos)
Dir: Dominic Harari. 2004 Spain 89 min.
Leni arrives home to introduce her fiancé Rafi to her Jewish family for the first time. Her mother Gloria, her promiscuous sister Tania, Tania's contrary 8-year-old daughter Paula, her recently orthodox brother David and her blind grandfather Dudu. Everything goes wonderfully until the lovers reveal that Rafi is Palestinian. With his future mother-in-law Gloria unhinged by the news, Rafi tries to ingratiate himself by helping in the kitchen. To make matters worse he accidentally drops the soup he was meant to defrost out the seventh floor window, hitting a pedestrian below. Rafi sneaks downstairs to check on the body and retrieve the soup. Having seen the victim, Rafi rushes upstairs not knowing what to do! As he returns to the kitchen he notices a family portrait of Leni's father, which bears a very close resemblance to the corpse lying outside.
Saturday, February 18 at 5 PM, Sunday, February 19 at noon

Go For Zucker!
Dir: Dani Levy. 2004 Germany 95 min.
This film about a comically dysfunctional Jewish family. Mixing slapstick humor with a jaundiced eye for sharply drawn social satire, not to mention a disarming dose of political incorrectness, Two estranged brothers‹one a hard-living former East German celebrity sportscaster now very much down-on-his luck, and the other, his quasi-Orthodox brother from the West. The two are awkwardly reunited when they learn that in order to share their mother's inheritance they will need to reconcile before burying her according to Jewish custom in her native East Germany. The first German-Jewish comedy made in Germany since WWII.
Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 PM, Monday, February 20 at noon

Rasheviski's Tango
Dir: Sam Garbarski. 2004 Belgium/France/Luxembourg 100 min.
This charming comedy drama focuses on a family's search for their Jewish identity after their grandmother, Rosa, dies. The Rashevski clan have become assimiliated, but Rosa's death, and the process of organizing her funeral, makes them rethink their own levels of Jewish observance, especially her granddaughter Nina, who sets about finding herself a Jewish husband. However, Rosa's fondness for tango dancing has an even more profound effect on their lives.
Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 PM

Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa
Dir: Marlene Booth. 1998 USA 58 min. (with filmmaker Marlene Booth in person)
With warmth and wisdom, award-winning filmmaker and Honolulu resident Marlene Booth provides a missing link in discussions of Jewish identity--the "negotiated identity" of Jews in small-town America who adapt their behavior to accommodate to local norms. Using home movies, conversations with old friends and footage of her 30th high school reunion, we witness the forging of an identity composed of conflicting parts.
Sunday, February 19 at 5 PM

The Burial Society
Dir: Nicholas Racz. USA 2004 89 min.
Sheldon Kasner, a man of quiet desperation who works as a loan manager at the Hebrew National Bank is overworked and under-appreciated. He struggles to surpass the limitations of his mundane life. Sheldon, the most unlikely of criminals, is drawn into the underworld of money laundering in a desperate attempt to overcome his mediocre existence. Unfortunately for Sheldon, events don¹t unfold as he expects and the missing two million dollars has him begging for his life. Forced to reconsider his strategy, Sheldon concocts an elaborate plan involving the Chevrah Kadisha or Burial Society - devout Jewish men who prepare dead bodies for burial. Their quick, quiet, and anonymous nature is perfectly suited to Sheldon¹s plan and as far as he's concerned, his plans are back on track. But nothing is as it seems and the old men of the Burial Society are hardly the innocents that they appear.
Monday, February 20 at 2:30 PM

Resisting Forces
Dir: Renée Sanders. 2003 The Netherlands 85 min. (with filmmaker Renée Sanders in person)
During WWII, nearly 80% of all Dutch Jews were killed-- the highest percentage in occupied Western Europe. "Resisting Forces" presents the largely-unknown story of the Jewish Council of Enschede, a Dutch city near the German border, whose Jewish Council saved more than a third of its Jewish citizens, high by Dutch standards. Enschede Council member Gerard Sanders, grandfather of the filmmaker, was one of the heroes who saved many, ultimately at the expense of his own life. The film's depiction of people taking action at the risk of almost-certain death remains relevant in our own time. The film tells the story of a remarkable team of individuals who sent numerous people into hiding. With the help of eyewitness reports and remarkable archival material, this film discovers the subtleties of the story.
Monday, February 20 at 5 PM

Walk on Water
Dir: Eytan Fox. 2004 Israel 89 min.
Eyal, a fierce Mossad agent and second-generation Holocaust survivor, is on assignment to track down an aging Nazi war criminal, Alfred Himmelman. Posing as a tour guide, Eyal befriends Himmelman's German grandchildren in Tel Aviv: Pia and her openly gay brother, Axel. What begins as a deceptive mission evolves into a deeply personal and political journey of conflicting ideologies, changing Eyal's view of the world forever.
Monday, February 20 at 7:30 PM

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