Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

28 December 2006

The Fifth Annual (2007) Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival

I thought some of you might be interested in this e-mail, which I received today:

Special Preview at Temple Emanu-el
Sunday, January 14 at 6:30 PM January

Jazzman From the Gulag
Dir: France, 2000 58 min.
Set mainly against the unfolding events of WWII, this film examines Eddie Rosner's legendary life to the height of his career as the premier jazz performer in Europe at that time. Born Adolf Rosner, the man considered by some to be one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, is known mostly for having been king of le jazz hot in Stalin's Russia. He placed second to Louis Armstrong in an American jazz competition and was nicknamed the "White Armstrong" by Louis himself.
The son of Jewish-Polish immigrants. Eddie was a child prodigy on the violin, but left a promising career in classical music to pursue his love of jazz. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Rosner, then a prominent jazz trumpeter, was on a European tour with his band, the Weintraubs Syncopators. Not to return to his homeland for another 40 years, Rosner began on a long journey east. Landing in Warsaw in 1939, Rosner soon headed a wildly popular jazz orchestra and married the daughter of famous Polish actress, Ida Kaminska.
They fled further east to Bialystok, freshly liberated by the Red Army and in the Soviet Union, Rosner's career rose to unprecedented heights. Thanks to mad jazz fans in the higher ranks of Stalin's army, Rosner found himself one of the biggest names in the union.
Thanks to fans in high places, Rosner and his band were hot stuff in Moscow for several years. But due to his own success and the logic of Stalin's regime, Rosner was declared, a "peddler of depraved Western music" and an "enemy of the state" in late 1946. A few months later, he was sentenced to 10 years in a Siberian labour camp for treason. Rosner's reputation followed him, and the camp commander soon ordered him to assemble a band. The power of Rosner's music, perhaps the purest expression of art, emotion and humanity in the Siberian Gulag, made life somewhat bearable for his fellow inmates.

The Fifth Annual Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival
February 15 - 19, 2007 (No Friday screening)

Opening Night - Thursday, February 15 at 7 PM
More Than 1000 Words
Dir: Solo Avital. Germany 2006, 77 m
Ziv Koren's photographs have become instantly recognizable icons that have helped to shape our perception of the conflict in the Middle East. Director Solo Avital followed internationally awarded Ziv over a two-year period, shooting in the heart of riots, terror attack scenes, secret meetings with wanted militants, all the way to Israel's pullout from Gaza. This film is not about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, however; it' is about a married man's struggle with the history of a fierce war in which he is involved on a daily basis, and the place he finds for himself in it.
Playing with:

Director: Julia Kots. 2006. 8 min.
Russian-born parents are alarmed and somewhat bewildered at their Americanized son's decision to have a bris.

Saturday, February 17 at 7 PM
The Rape of Europa
Prod: Richard Berge, Bonnie Cohen, and Nicole Newnham 2006 U.S. 117 min.
This film tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and Second World War. The Rape of Europa interweaves the history of Nazi art looting with the stories of contemporary restitution cases. The film also tells the dramatic story of the heroic efforts of the U.S. Monuments Men who were sent to Europe to safeguard and return displaced art at the end of the war.

Sunday, February 18 at 2 PM FREE SCREENING
Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness (with speaker Dru Gladney)
In 1939, Chiune Sugihara "the Japanese Schindler" was appointed Japanese consul to Lithuania just as Nazi Germany launched its attack on Poland. For the next year, Sugihara defied Japanese immigration laws by personally handwriting 2000 transit visas to Eastern European Jews seeking sanctuary from Nazi persecution and extermination--sometimes working up to 16 hours a day to secure the émigrés' safe passage through Russia and Japan. Remarkably, the modest Sugihara did so without any desire for compensation or regard for his own well-being (indeed, his actions prompted the Japanese government to ask for his resignation and virtually ruined his career) and his amazing courage remained unknown to the world until one of the survivors searched for and contacted him in the late 1960s. This film illuminate this inspirational figure through archival footage, voice-over narration, interviews with historians, and home movies, photographs, documents, and personal recollections of both Sugihara's surviving family members and the descendents of those he helped save.

Sunday, February 18 at 4:30 PM
Dir: Yaron Zilberman. 2004 Germany 88 min.
The story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. Hakoahwas founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. Its founders were eager to popularize sport among a community renowned for such great minds as Freud, Mahler and Zweig, but traditionally alien to physical recreation. Hakoah rapidly grew into one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, while achieving astonishing success in many diverse sports. In the 1930s Hakoah's best-known triumphs came from its women swimmers, who dominated national competitions in Austria. After the political unification of Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers managed to flee the country before war broke out, thanks to an escape operation organized by Hakoah. Sixty-five years later, director Yaron Zilberman meets the members of the women's swim team in their homes around the world, and arranges for them to have a reunion in their old swimming pool in Vienna.

Sunday, February 18 at 7 PM
Live and Become
Dir: Radu Mihaileanu. 2006 Israel. 139 min.
This is the beautiful epic story of a nine-year-old Ethiopian boy who is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel in 1984 during Operation Moses. Israel and the U.S. helped to transport several thousand Ethiopian Jews, so-called Falashas, to the Holy Land. Although he thrives as an adoptive son of a loving family, he is plagued by two big secrets. Schlomo, as the boy will be called later, is the son of a Christian mother, who persuades her child to pretend to be a Jew so as to avoid dying of hunger. Though not one of the boy's descendants was Jewish, he manages to get to Israel by pretending to be an orphan. And so he is adopted by a family of Sephardic Jews, who have emigrated to Israel from France. He is a very intelligent pupil, but he is living in constant fear that the others will discover that he is neither a Jew nor an orphan, but just an African goy . Growing up in Tel Aviv, he learns about Judaism and western values. But he also has to experience the war in the country's occupied zones and racism.

Monday, February 19 at 2:30 PM
Isn't This a Time: A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal
Dir: Jim Brown. 2005 USA 90 min.
"Wasn't That a Time" (1981) took a winsome look at the seemingly last reunion of the legendary folk group The Weavers. Nearly two decades later, The Weavers are surprisingly back - now well into their 70s and 80's, yet as outspoken as ever at Carnegie Hall, and featuring many of folk music's leading lights, to honor an unsung American hero: music impresario Harold Leventhal. A magical evening: that of a family of artists who were never stymied by hardship, censorship or even generation gaps - to bring an intoxicating, heart-stirring brew of American history, political chronicles and powerful music. Certainly no one could have foreseen Pete Seeger, Fred Hellerman, Ronnie Gilbert and Erik Darling getting together again in 2003 joined by Peter, Paul and Mary, Theodore Bikel, Leon Bibb, Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger. Then again, no one could have foreseen the incredible shifts and rifts in American society that have once again sparked The Weavers' irrepressible spirit of speaking out through music.

Monday, February 19 at 5 PM
When I Was Fourteen: A Survivor Remembers
Dir: Marlene Booth. USA 1995 57 min. (with filmmaker Marlene Booth in person)
Holocaust survivor Gloria Lyin tells her story to students of her experiences being in several different concentration camps. Shetravels back to Germany to see the home she lost, to see what is left of the camps, and to be reunited with the Swedish family that looked after her at the end of the war.

Monday, February 19 at 7 PM
Wrestling with Angels
Dir: Frieda Lee Mock. 2006 USA 98 min.
Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner is one of America¹s most prodigiously talented and politically engaged artists. In this entertaining portrait from Academy Award-winning director Freida Lee Mock, Kushner takes us on a trip through his life and times, from his Jewish boyhood in small-town Louisiana to his development as a writer, politically active gay man, and endlessly quotable globe-trotting force for a more literate and compassionate universe. Mock follows the now-50-year-old writer from just after 9/11 to the 2004 presidential election, capturing the fierce moral responsibility that pervades his work as well as the unique dynamics of his creative process. We go behind the scenes of early rehearsals and performances of his musical Caroline, or Change and the children¹s Holocaust opera Brundibar; visit with Mike Nichols on the set of HBO¹s Angels in America; and make a trip to Kushner¹s hometown. With Maurice Sendak, Marcia Gay Harden, Meryl Streep, Frank Rich and others.

Film Festival ticketing information
All individual film programs are
$6.00 at the door

A Five-film Festival Flash Pass is also available:

5-film Flash Pass: $25.00
All Flash Passes are transferable, and will admit an individual or guests to any film in this program. Available at Temple Emanu-El or at the auditorium on the day of performance. Cash only accepted at the door.
Passes available in advance at :

Temple Emanu-El
Visa and Mastercard accepted
2550 Pali Highway, Honolulu, HI 96817
For more information call: 595-7521, star 814

2 Comment(s):

  • Gil Ronen has made a new short film, this one showing Chanukah scenes in Israel. While Chanukah has passed, these wonderful images and the happy sounds of singing children are timeless and a joy the year round. Please help make sure it reaches a wide audience. If you like it, I hope you'll consider posting a link to it on your blog or passing it on to your friends by email.


    Thank you!

    Brenda Turpen

    By Blogger Brenda, at Friday, December 29, 2006 2:04:00 PM  

  • Thanks Brenda.

    I don't know anything about that film, and am not involved with the film festival, but perhaps someoene will see the link you provided.

    I've only been in Israel once, and it was during Chanukah. I have to say that one of the best parts was that Chanukah was almost a non-event.

    It was not like Chanukah in the US, which is something that many American Jews emphasize so Jewish kids don't feel left out by Christmas, and thus is pretty commercial like Christmas here.

    I used to get annoyed how Christians used to encourage Chanukah displays so that they could say that their Christmas parties were multicultural. Of course, Chanukah is a really minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, so it was far from multicultural since we were never asked during the more important holidays.

    Oh well. I didn't mean to rant. Happy holidays everyone!

    By Blogger Dr. Drew, at Saturday, December 30, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

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