Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in creating the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. The movie includes interviews with songwriters and luminaries, including Mel Brooks and Carol Channing as well as archival footage of standout performances. Narrated by Joel Grey.
“Engaging, humorous, and provocative.”
Sunday, May 15, 7 p.m.
Mrs. Theodore Bikel will attend and speak about her husband and the film
Portraits of two beloved icons–Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel–are woven together in this enchanting documentary.
Theodore Bikel, who died last year, had an acting career spanning more than 150 screen roles and countless stage and musical productions. Bikel played Tevye the Milkman in Fiddler on the Roof on stage more than 2,000 times.
Sholom Aleichem is a pioneer of modern Jewish literature Fiddler on the Roof is based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman. Aleichem created dozens of indelible characters — “shtetl Jews” for whom humor and pathos were two sides of the same Yiddish coin and remain invaluable windows into pre-war Eastern European Jewish life.
“A moving and thoroughly entertaining portrait…had audience members laughing and clapping after every precious Bikel performance. It was truly a memorable highlight of the festival.“
Monday, May 16, 7 p.m.
A devout 18-year-old Israeli woman is pressured to marry an older widower, the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv’s ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi’s word are absolute. This film was made in Israel and released in 2013. It received seven Israeli Academy Awards including best picture and best actress and was an official selection in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
“The compelling story is remarkably focused — even as it hints at such influences as Jane Austen, “The Godfather” and “Fiddler on the Roof” — and the emotional stakes lofty, both for the characters onscreen and, especially, the audience.”
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Released in 2015, this thought-provoking and spirited documentary looks at the life of noted German-American philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported in 1961 for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
While observing the legal proceedings, the Holocaust survivor concluded that Eichmann was not a simple monster, but an ordinary man who thoughtlessly buried his conscience through his obedience to the Nazi regime and its ideology. Arendt’s expansion of this idea, presented in the articles for The New Yorker, would create the concept of “the banality of evil” that she thought even sucked in some Jewish leaders of the era into unwittingly participating in the Holocaust. The result was a bitter public controversy in which Arendt was accused of blaming the Holocaust’s victims. The strong-willed intellectual was then forced to defend her daringly innovative ideas about moral complexity in a struggle that exacted a heavy personal cost.
This film was sold out at its premiere at the Munich International Film Festival, sold out at the Jerusalem Film Festival and won the Best Documentary award in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Read an excerpt from Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.
The movie will be accompanied by remarks by Dr. Pierre Atlas on the issue of terrorism. Atlas is an associate professor of political science at Marian University.
Inspired by true events, God’s Slave exposes the appalling cost of extremist acts carried out in the name of religious conviction. It is the story of Ahmed and David, two extremist characters, one Islamic and the other Jewish, who cross paths over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina.
Ahmed is operating undercover as a doctor and family man. David Goldberg is a cold-blooded and embittered Israeli Mossad agent who will stop at nothing to terminate the terrorist sleeper cell. Both men embark on parallel paths of martyrdom, blinded by hatred born of childhood trauma and prepared to sacrifice everything for their beliefs.
“Every action, every line, every glance alludes to a past that threatens to repeat itself…I was no longer a festival attendee, but both a terrorist and a victim, as unsure of whose crusade to champion as I was surprised by my conflicting loyalty.” 4.5 out of 5 stars
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Deli Man will be preceded by a short film about Brian Shapiro, called Indy’s Deli Man. There will also be a cooking competition in the atrium near the theater entrance before the screening.
Deli Man is a documentary film about the recipes from Hungary, Poland, Russia, Romania that flowed into late 19th and early 20th century America and soon became part of an American culinary and cultural vernacular – deli. For some, delicatessen food is close to a religious experience. A tender, crumbling cut of corned beef steeped in its juices. A full-bodied garlic dill pickle. Spicy brown mustard with grain. A blintz that melts in your mouth like a creamsicle on a summer’s day.
Although authentic Jewish delis once seemed to be on every street corner in metropolitan areas, today there are fewer than 200 left in the U.S. The effusive and charming Ziggy Gruber is the film’s principal guide. Gruber is a third-generation delicatessen man, owner and maven (as well as a Yiddish-speaking French trained chef) and operates one of the country’s top delis, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston.
Saturday, May 21, 7 p.m.
A gripping documentary about Sir Nicholas Winton, who personally and by his own initiative saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and brought them across Hitler’s Germany to Britain in 1939. For nearly 50 years, he kept secret how he rescued these children; not even his wife knew anything about it.
The story emerged in 1988 when the BBC broadcast a touching show about the first meeting of approximately 100 people with their secret rescuer. Today he is often called Britain’s Schindler. Winton subsequently died in 2015, but his fascinating story continues to inspire people to make this world a better place.
Nicky’s Family won the Best Documentary award at the 2011 Montreal World Film Festival.
“Nicky’s Family is that rare Holocaust documentary that is largely uplifting.”