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Four films focusing on four Jewish activists will be presented on four consecutive Saturday nights in January as part of MoVeRs: Jewish Mavericks, Visionaries and Rebels.

MoVeRs at the MoViEs in January

Four films focusing on four Jewish activists will be presented on four consecutive Saturday nights in January at the Boulder Jewish Community Center. The series, “Blazing Trails: MoVeRs at the MoViEs,” is presented by Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education as part of MoVeRs: Jewish Mavericks, Visionaries and Rebels. This year-long series of diverse programs presented by organizations throughout the Jewish community examines the contributions made by Jews who dared to think out of the box. The MoVeRs series of films, panels, lectures, classes and performances seeks to shed light on individuals who throughout history have been agents of social, cultural and political change. Whether in science, politics, the arts and entertainment, philosophy, theology or business, whether through ideas or action, Jews have continually pushed the envelope, rejected conventional wisdom and rebelled against authority. MoVeRs looks at the phenomenon of radical thinking in Jewish history and the accomplishments of these trail blazers.

Blazing Trails: MoVeRs at the MoViEs begins Saturday January 9 at 7 pm. Each film features a guest speaker who will facilitate a discussion following the screening.

On January 9, the series begins with “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg” with director Jerry Aronson in person. Visionary, radical, spiritual seeker, renowned poet, founding member of a major literary movement, champion of gay rights, Buddhist and Jew, political activist and teacher, Allen Ginsberg led a remarkable life that challenged the very soul of America. This revealing documentary, which includes the poet’s readings of work such as his masterpiece “Howl,” chronicles Ginsberg’s life from his childhood days in New Jersey to his years spent at Columbia University collaborating with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, to his position as sage poet and teacher in Boulder.

Documentarian Jerry Aronson’s film is a walk down memory lane for children of the ’60s who have forgotten what the throbbing idealism of that era was all about. And where it came from: the preceding decade’s Beat Generation.” – Moving Pictures Magazine

On January, 16, the series continues with “Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner,” with guest speaker Lisa Bornstein, the final theater critic of the Rocky Mountain News. Tony Kushner, whose epochal Angels in America,” won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, has emerged as one of the country’s leading and most controversial playwrights — as well as its fiercest moral critics. Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock follows Kushner’s personal and political life for three tumultuous years, from Sept. 11, 2001 to the 2004 presidential election, to delve into the passions that keep him reaching for the great American play.

Academy and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Freida Lee Mock delivers a rich and uplifting film that succeeds largely because of its hugely talented subject.” – Film Journal International

On January 23, Blazing Trails presents “An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman: The Radical Life of Emma Goldman,” with guest speaker Anna Torres, a Harvard student who worked in the Emma Goldman archives. The remarkable anarchist, revolutionary and passionate fighter for women’s rights, ‘Red Emma’ as she was labeled by the tabloids, was a self-educated immigrant who spent three decades battling injustice. Many of her ideas remain as relevant – and disputed – today as they were in early 20th Century America. Mel Bucklin’s incisive and comprehensive documentary goes beyond her politics to get at the passionate, driven human being who influenced and impressed so many.

The series concludes on January 30 with “The Times of Harvey Milk,” with guest speaker Gregg Drinkwater, the director of Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, president of Limmud Colorado, and co-editor of the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. This Oscar-winning documentary film covers the successful career and tragic assassination of San Francisco’s first openly gay man to be elected to office. Directed by Rob Epstein and narrated by Harvey Fierstein, the film documents Milk’s rise from a neighborhood activist to a symbol of gay political achievement, through to his assassination at San Francisco’s city hall, and the Dan White trial and aftermath, interweaving  newsreel footage and personal interviews to construct a compelling portrait of these turbulent times.

This is an enormously absorbing film, for the light it sheds on a decade in the life of a great American city and on the lives of Milk and Moscone, who made it a better, and certainly a more interesting, place to live.” – Roger Ebert

Tickets are $6 for JCC members, $8 for the general public and free for students with ID. For information, call Kathryn Bernheimer, 303-998-1021, email kathryn@boulderjcc.org. or visit boulderjcc.org. For information on the ongoing MoVeRs series, visit JewishMovers.org.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time." She was also Director of Menorah and ACE at the J from 2003 through August, 2019.

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