SACRAMENTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS
Thu, Mar 7
Sun, Mar 10
Sacramento Jewish Film Festival - Festival Pass
1013 K Street
Sacramento, CA, 95814
Sacramento Jewish Film Festival - Festival Pass
Thursday, March 7
Theme 1 STRINGS OF A PEOPLE – THE JEWISH VIOLIN
JOE’S VIOLIN [6:30pm, Short Film, United States, 2016, 24 minutes, English] A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year-old schoolgirl from The Bronx and, unexpectedly, his own. Nominated for 2017 Best Documentary – Short Subject.
After Joe’s Violin, Lilian Lu, winner of the Dan Gorfain Memorial Scholarship award, will perform. Sacramento Youth Orchestra Artistic Director Michael Neumann will introduce Lilian and her accompanist, Adrian Pu.
ITZHAK [7:15pm, Feature Film, Israel/United States, 2017, 82 minutes, Hebrew/English w/English subtitles] Itzhak Perlman “prays with his violin,” according to renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick’s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime artistry of the musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.
Theme 2 LOVE IS LOVE
A KISS IS A KISS [8:55pm, Short Film, Israel, 2003, 7 minutes, Hebrew w/English subtitles] Can you conquer your kissing fears?
FAMILY IN TRANSITION [9:12pm, Feature Film, Israel, 2018, 70 minutes, Hebrew w/English subtitles] In the small, traditional town of Nahariya in Israel, a family is forever changed by the father’s revelation that he is in truth a transgender woman. When he (she) decides to go through the full surgery, her loyal wife remains by her side. And, just as it seems that life has finally returned to normal, it’s the wife’s turn to shake everything up.
Saturday, March 9
Theme 3 WELCOME ABOARD – BECOMING JEWISH
WELCOME AND… OUR CONDOLENCES [7:30pm, Short Film, Israel, 26 minutes, Russian/Hebrew w/English subtitles] The year is 1991. The beginning of the massive Jewish immigration wave from the USSR to Israel. The already traumatic immigration experience is enhanced up to absurd proportions when the family’s old aunt dies on the plane just before they reach the land of their ancestors. Now, the family will have to go through various levels of bureaucracy with an immigrating corpse.
SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME [8:00pm, Feature Film, United States, 2018, 100 minutes, English] Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me examines Davis’ immense talent and search for identity through the movement for civil rights and racial equality during 20th-century America. Sammy Davis, Jr.’s career was indisputably legendary, so monumental in scope and scale it was dizzying to everyone who followed it. Yet his life was also complex and contradictory. Davis frequently found himself bracketed between the bigotry of white America and the disapproval of black America. He was the most conspicuous African American figure to embrace Judaism, courageously merging his identity with another persecuted minority.
Theme 4 THE PERILS OF IDENTITY AND ASYLUM
SHELTER [9:55pm, Feature Film, Israel, 2017, Hebrew/Arabic/German/English, w/English subtitles] Shelter is a suspense-laden thriller set in Germany involving Mona, a Lebanese woman, and Naomi, the Israeli Mossad agent sent to protect her. The women are together for two weeks in Hamburg in a safe house, never suspecting their refuge would soon be transformed into a danger zone and the intimacy developing between them would expose them to the same terrorism that engulfs the world today. In such a game of deception, beliefs are questioned, assumptions shattered. Yet their fates take a surprising turn in this elegantly rendered neo-noir.
Sunday, March 10
Theme 5 FAMILY DISCOVERY
THE SAMUEL PROJECT [10:00am, Feature Film, United States, 2018, 100 minutes, English] The Samuel Project is a comedic drama about Eli (Ryan Ochoa), a teenager who gets to know his grandfather Samuel (Hal Linden) for the first time when he makes him the subject of a senior-year animated art project. When the teen discovers that his grandpa, a Jewish dry cleaner, was heroically saved from Nazi capture in Germany by a young woman when he was a boy, Samuel agrees to tell his story — one he hasn’t told in more than 75 years. Eli unveils his animated movie at a county art showcase with the help of his unlikely friend Kasim, an electric guitar-wielding school misfit, and his project makes the finals. After many decades, three generations of Eli’s family finally connect with one another.
Theme 6 UNCOVERING FAMILY TREASURES
CHASING PORTRAITS [12:30pm, Feature Film, United States, 2018, 75 minutes, English] Elizabeth Rynecki’s great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, was a talented and devoted Jewish-Polish artist. He was able to hide his paintings with family and friends before being captured and killed by Nazis. Chasing Portraits tells the true story of Elizabeth’s discovery of Moshe’s work and her journey to piece together his legacy.
Filmmaker Elizabeth Rynecki will be in Sacramento to introduce her film and lead a post-film discussion, moderated by Donna Apidone of Capital Public Radio.
Theme 7 ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DYNAMICS
OPEN YOUR EYES [2:30pm, Short Film, Israel, 2018, 14 minutes, Hebrew/Arabic w/English subtitles] llana arrives for treatment at an eye clinic with her son Yohai. Her Israeli doctor is absent and is replaced by a Palestinian one. There is no way Ilana will allow an Arab doctor to give her a shot in the eye. Yohai knows his mother is losing her eyesight and forces her to stay and open her eyes.
ACROSS THE LINE [2:50pm, Short Film, Israel, 2017, 29 minutes, Hebrew w/English subtitles] Hananel, a young religious Jew, is hurrying home for Shabbat. An unexpected encounter with Mundir, an unwanted and stubborn Palestinian hitchhiker, leads Hananel on a series of mix-ups that eventually teach him a lesson in communication, friendship, and love.
THE 90-MINUTE WAR [3:20pm, Feature Film, Israel/Germany, 2016, 93 minutes, Hebrew/ Arabic, w/English subtitles] The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on for decades, with no end in sight. Fed up with one failed deal after another, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agree to settle things once and for all… with a soccer match. Losing side must pick up and find a new homeland. The 90-Minute War reveals the often petty, ridiculous nature of the differences dividing the Middle East, and takes a fresh and hilarious lens to the conflict.
Theme 8 FULFILLING A PROMISE
THE LAST SUIT [5:05pm, Feature Film, Spain/Argentina, 2017, 92 minutes, Spanish/ German/Polish/Yiddish, w/ English subtitles] Abraham Bursztein is an 88-year old Polish Holocaust survivor and retired tailor living in Buenos Aires. Despite a bum right leg he nicknamed “tzuris” because of the aggravation it causes him, Abraham decides to travel to Lodz to fulfill a promise made nearly 70 years before to find the Christian friend who saved him from certain death at the end of World War II. With its klezmer-driven score, evocative cinematography and tight pacing, The Last Suit tenders its weighty themes with a light touch that illuminates a most serious story.
Theme 9 FAMILY AND FAITH IN CONFLICT
THE OTHER STORY [7:00pm, Feature Film, Israel, 2018, 117 minutes, Hebrew w/English subtitles] Young, secular Jews turning to Orthodox Judaism? Cults in Jerusalem? The Other Story is the latest film by acclaimed Israeli filmmaker, Avi Nesher. More than 200,000 moviegoers saw the film in its first two weeks, breaking previous records in Israel. The movie deals with a young woman (Joy Rieger) who has become ultra-Orthodox, and her estranged father (Yuval Segal), who returns to Jerusalem to try to talk her out of a hastily arranged marriage. Songwriter Nathan Goshen plays the daughter’s fiancé and wrote the eight songs featured in the film. The movie’s theme song became a runaway hit.
$50 - $80 (Including Facility Fee)
The Festival pass includes the Saturday night 6 PM reception.