Plenty of Jewish Films to Watch at Home

The Boulder Jewish Film Festival may have come to an abrupt end two-thirds of the way through last week, but our BJCC team has been busy exploring alternatives for viewing and even discussing films while we are all staying safe at home.

The festival is pleased to introduce the “Zoomback” – a talkback conducted on the popular video conferencing platform, Zoom.

The festival’s sold-out closing night film, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” is now available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Video. Audiences are invited to watch the satirical Palestinian comedy about the hapless writer on a popular soap opera at home, and join a Zoom conversation on Sunday, March 29 at 4:00 pm.

How to Join: Register in advance for the ZOOMBACK.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting: Sunday, March 29 | 4:00 pm

In addition, “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles” is now available to Amazon Prime members for $3.99. We will host a Zoomback discussing the documentary on Sunday, April 5 at 4:00 pm. Register for the Fiddler Zoomback here.

We invite virtual festival attendees to comment on the films they watch at home on the Boulder JCC FB page.

In addition, we are thrilled to share a limited-time offer to watch 34 Jewish titles from Menemsha Films on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes for $.99, including 20 that have been shown during previous festivals. Menemsha Films has established a reputation as a premier Jewish film distributor since its founding in 1998 by Neil Friedman, who has excellent taste.

Every year, I select a handful of Menemsha titles, often European feature films, and this year acquired “Fig Tree,” “The Mover,” “Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive,” and “Those Who Remained.” We were able to present the first two before canceling, and  hope to screen the other two at a later date.

In the meantime, Menemsha Films has responded to the stay-home precautions by offering viewers a discount on 34 of their titles, described below.

Here are the 20 films you may have missed at previous festivals:

1945

1945” – Hungarian feature about a mysterious visit by a group of Orthodox Jews to an anxious village after the Holocaust.

24 Days” – Harrowing French feature detailing the infamous anti-Semitic kidnapping of a young Parisian in 2000.

Aftermath” – Explosive Polish feature based on the discovery of a town’s horrific Holocaust history by the next generation.

Dough” – British comedy about an aging Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) who gets a new lease on life when he begins to put pot in his pastry.

Heading Home

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel” – Heart-warming documentary about the recent Israeli upset victory in the World Baseball Classic Cup, and an even greater triumph of Jewish pride.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine” – Delicious documentary dishing on the rich variety of Israeli food and how it reflects the country’s complex personality.

La Rafle” – Haunting French Holocaust drama about the notorious round-up of Jews in Paris by French police.

Mr. Kaplan” – Serio-comic caper about an elderly Holocaust survivor who thinks he’s discovered a Nazi in Uruguay.

Natasha” – Canadian family drama based on a David Bezmogis short story detailing his teenage experience as a Russian refuge in Toronto.

Nicky’s Family” – Heartwarming docudrama about British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton’s miraculous and unheralded rescue of 669 Czech children during the Holocaust.

Run Boy Run” – Harrowing drama based on the childhood survival of an 8-year-old Jewish boy who spent three years alone, eluding the Nazis in wartime Poland.

Shalom Bollywood” – Documentary tracing the improbable story of Jewish women who dominated the early years of Bollywood, and the Jewish involvement that persists to this day in Indian cinema.

Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” – Nostalgic documentary about changing traditions as a venerable company struggles to survive.

The Interpreter

The Interpreter” – Fascinating and enjoyable European drama asks whether it is worse to be the child of the victim or the child of the perpetrator. One of my favorites from last year!

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” – Bouncy documentary about the amazing, ebullient, influential Jewish icon and American superstar – the Oprah of her day.

The Rape of Europa” – Classic documentary about the theft of Jewish art by the Nazis and the frustrated efforts by survivors to reclaim their stolen family treasures.

The Testament

The Testament” – Provocative Israeli drama about an observant Holocaust researcher who makes a startling discovery about his own family history.

The Waldheim Waltz” – Austrian documentary about Kurt Waldheim, who rose to political power despite his well-documented Nazi past, and the protest movement that shifted European ideas about collective guilt.

To Life!” – Stirring German drama about an aging survivor, a former cabaret star, who meets a young man with his own wounds in this story of healing, courage, and friendship.

Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort” – Bittersweet documentary about the end of an era, as the legendary Jewish hotspot faces the hard reality of changing times.

Here are other available Menemsha titles that were not screened at the Boulder Jewish Film Festival.

Across the Waters” – Drama depicting the daring Danish rescue of Jews.

Closed Season” – German Holocaust drama about a Jewish man hidden at a high price.

Fanny’s Journey

Fanny’s Journey” – French drama depicting a harrowing escape by children during the Holocaust

Inside Hana’s Suitcase” – A Japanese teacher delves into the Holocaust to find the owner of a suitcase in her possession.

Let Yourself Go” – Italian comedy about a staid Jewish therapist and his free-spirited personal trainer.

Once in a Lifetime” – A French teacher finds a way to teach the Holocaust to her underprivileged students.

Rabin In His Words” – Insightful biopic depicts the former Israeli Prime Minister entirely through his own words.

Restoration” – Israeli family drama about a man holding on to the past, forced to cope with the painful realities of the present.

Shelter” – Tense Israeli thriller pits a female Mossad agent against a female Palestinian informant she is assigned to guard.

The Art Dealer” – Delicate French drama about a woman seeking to recover her family’s looted art, whose quest is marked by painful discoveries.

The Matchmaker” – Nostalgic coming-of-age drama about a boy learning the mysteries of life in 1968 Haifa.

The Light of Hope” – Spanish drama honoring a woman who saved Jewish babies during the Holocaust.

The Women’s Balcony” – Popular Israeli drama about a group of Orthodox women who revolt against changes in their synagogue.

The Zigzag Kid” – French comic fantasy focused on a young man’s adventures, with Isabella Rosselini, based on the popular novel by David Grossman.

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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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2 comments

  1. I'm confused. For the Tel Aviv on Fire 'zoomback' it says " Sunday, March 26 at 4:00 pm". Do you mean Sunday March 22 or Sunday March 30?
    Thanks!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH, Kathryn, for this outreach and incredible list of good films for us to take in (and letting us know how/where they are available).