Director Richard Trank’s Films Are Sadly More Relevant Than Ever

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Richard Trank will attend the Boulder Jewish Film Festival for a tribute program that includes a Colorado premiere, the showing of his Academy Award-winning documentary, and screenings of earlier films on subjects that include Winston Churchill and Theodor Herzl.

On January 28th, after attending the commemoration ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Trank posted a short article on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s website. This highly personal rumination examines the ground swell of anti-Semitism engulfing much of the modern world. To read this piece, click here.

Trank works as a director, writer and executive producer of  Moriah Films, the center’s highly successful film division. Moriah Films has produced a dozen acclaimed documentaries that shed light on the 3,500 year old Jewish experience as well as contemporary human rights and ethical issues. The Holocaust is examined from numerous angles in many of their films, most notably Against the Tide, which focuses on the unsung hero of the American Holocaust resistance movement, Peter Bergson. Another trademark of Moriah Films is the wonderful choice of actors who lend their voices to historical figures such as Herzl (Christoph Waltz), and narrators that include Ben Kingsley and Dustin Hoffman.

Moriah’s goal is to produce theatrical documentaries on a regular basis that both enlighten and educate while at the same time reach national and international audiences. Two of Moriahs’ films have been recipients of Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, “Genocide” (1981) and “The Long Way Home” (1997).” according to their website.

Trank will attend all the screenings in his tribute program and will be on hand for an in-depth Q&A following each film, described below. Tickets to the film festival go on sale February 9 at thedairy.org.

Richard Trank, right, with actor/narrator Michael Douglas, and Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, its Museum of Tolerance and Moriah Films.
Richard Trank, right, with actor/narrator Michael Douglas, and Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, its Museum of Tolerance and Moriah Films.

OPENING NIGHT SCREENING AND RECEPTION

The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers” – Part 1

Saturday, March 14, 7:45 pm in the Boe

Based on the best-selling book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, this masterful appraisal of Israel’s formative years provides context for well-known but not easily understood events, casting light on the Six-Day War, Israel’s strategic relationship with the United States, the fight against terrorism, and the impact of the Yom Kippur War.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Starring the voices of Sandra Bullock, Michael Douglas, Leonard Nimoy and Cristoph Waltz

Running time: 115 minutes / Language: Hebrew and English

Talkback: Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by: HW Home

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OPENING WEEKEND TRIBUTE TO RICHARD TRANK

 “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers” – Part 2

Sunday, March 15, 6:30 pm in the Performance Space

This riveting account of Israel’s leadership details negotiating agreements with Egypt, the raid on Entebbe, Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem, the Camp David Accords, the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility, the war in Lebanon, the Oslo Accords, and Israel’s ongoing struggle to make peace with its neighbors.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Voiced by Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz

Running time: 106 minutes / Language: Hebrew and English

Talkback: Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by: Linda Brotman-Evans

It is no Dream - HerzlIt Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl

Sunday, March 15, Noon in the Boe

This inspiring historical biography examines how a well-known journalist, playwright, and assimilated Budapest-born Jew – horrified by the Dreyfus trial in Paris and the anti-Semitism he saw spreading across Europe – took upon himself the task of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Narrated by Ben Kingsley and starring the voice of Christoph Waltz

Running time: 87 minutes / Language: English

Talkback: Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by: Stand by Israel

churchill2Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny

Sunday, March 15, 2:00 pm in the Boe

An inspirational look at the famed English leader’s early and unpopular opposition to Hitler and Nazism, this biography makes a case for historian Martin Gilbert’s assertion that if Churchill’s warnings about Nazi Germany’s policies towards Jews had been heeded in the early 1930’s, the Holocaust may never have occurred.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Narrated by Ben Kingsley

Running time: 101 minutes / Language: English

Talkback: Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by: Marilyn and Jerry Pinsker

Against the Tide

 Against the Tide

Sunday, March 15, 4:15 pm in the Boe

This compelling film documents a shameful and largely ignored chapter in American Holocaust history, dramatically depicting how activist Peter Bergson fought valiantly to rescue Europe’s Jews, challenging both Washington’s apathy and the Jewish establishment’s astounding opposition to the rescue efforts.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Narrated by: Dustin Hoffman

Running time: 102 minutes / Language: English

Talkback:  Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by AEA Consultants: Graham Walker and Howard Bernstein

LONG_WAY_HOME

 The Long Way Home

Monday, March 16, 1 pm in the Boe

This heartbreaking and illuminating Academy Award winner depicts the tragic plight of Jews after the gates of the death camps were thrown open, marking the end of one ordeal and the beginning of another for Jews with no home, family or financial resources, facing an uncertain future and an indifferent world.

Directed by: Richard Trank / Narrated by: Morgan Freeman

Running Time: 120 minutes / Language: English and other European languages

Talkback: Director Richard Trank

Sponsored by: Susan Litt

College Career Consulting

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. 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." kathryn.bernheimer@gmail.com

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