I am bursting with movie news, all of it good.
- On Thursday at noon I finally showed “Israel Inside,” an acclaimed one-hour documentary that is perfect for Yom Ha’atzmaut since it celebrates the amazing achievements of the Jewish homeland without touching on politics at all. The inspiring film reveals the secret of happiness in a nation beset by challenges. Menorah’s lunch and learn pays tribute to the resilience and indomitable spirit of the Israeli people.
- For fans of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, there are two films that were wildly popular that can now be seen. I received a lovely personal email from Nancy Spielberg announcing that “Above and Beyond” will be available on April 28 through iTunes, Amazon, YouTube/Google Play, Playstation Sony, Xbox, Vudu, M-Go, and On-Demand, including Verizon, AT&T, Charter and Direct TV. Starting May 22, the film will be available On-Demand on Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications.
- The other notable and very timely festival film, “24 Days,” is coming out on ITunes on April 24 – and is opening in theaters around the globe the same day.
- The festival’s year-round collaboration with the Boe continues with a four-day run of “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” which has been a hit in theaters and festivals. I will lead the talkback on Wednesday, May 6. Starring and co-directed by Ronit Elkabetz (“Late Marriage,” “The Band’s Visit”), one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses, this portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design won the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture.
In yet another collaboration, the festival is proud to co-sponsor “Treasure Under the Bridge” at the Boulder Public Library on April 28 at 6:00 pm. (Note the time change.) I have not yet seen the film in which Rabbi Marc Soloway invites us on his personal journey to modern day Ukraine to visit the graves of the Hasidic Masters, as he tries to establish a connection with the names that have so long occupied a place in his imagination. Along the way, he introduces to the colorful characters he meets and we get to see for ourselves the burial places of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch, Rebbe Nahman of Bratzlav, and Reb Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, as Soloway tells us stories and anecdotes of each. (Run Time: 58 minutes) This film features Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi and is dedicated to his memory.
Moving from Hasidic masters to Hollywood, “Woman in Gold” is now playing in Boulder and is well worth a look. I happen to love Klimt, and have been following this incredible true story for many years, so it was a wonderful treat to see. Helen Mirren is terrific as the valiant Holocaust survivor who overcame huge legal obstacles to reclaim the priceless art collection stolen from her family by the Nazis.
And now – drum roll please – I am pleased to announce the winner of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival’s audience awards. “Above and Beyond” won best documentary and “Run Boy Run” won best feature. These results are being duplicated in festivals across the country, so no surprise, just confirmation that our audience has great taste.
I thank everyone who voted and who took the film festival survey. The positive response was impressive and the flattering comments were personally gratifying. High scores (9 out of 10) were given in almost every category: quality of films, talkbacks, hospitality, receptions, guest speakers, and venue. We are all fortunate to live in this cinema literate city.