Remember (Festival Opening Event)
In partnership with Indie Memphis.
Remember tells the story of Zev Guttman (Academy Award® Winner Christopher Plummer), a 90-year-old struggling with memory loss who is living out his final years in a serene retirement home. A week following the death of his beloved wife Ruth, he suddenly gets a mysterious package from his close friend Max (Academy Award® Winner Martin Landau), containing a stack of money and a letter detailing a shocking plan. Both Zev and Max were prisoners in Auschwitz, and the same sadistic guard was responsible for the death of both their families—a guard who, immediately after the war, escaped Germany and has been living in the U.S. ever since under an assumed identity. Max is wheelchair-bound but in full command of his mental faculties; with his guidance, Zev will embark on a cross-continental road-trip to bring justice once and for all to the man who destroyed both their lives.
Special thanks to Jill and Ken Steinberg.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Director: Atom Egoyan
MOOS is a delightful comedy in which love, laughter and friendship prove to be more important than beauty and appearances. Moos Troostwijk is a young woman living with her widowed father, helping to take care of her brother and the family business in their typical middle-class, Jewish, Dutch neighborhood. She long ago set aside her dream of becoming a singer to care for her father, but the return of Moos’ childhood friend Sam from Israel inspires Moos to follow her dreams, even if it means bending reality here and there.
Running Time: 91 minutes
Director: Job Gosschalk
Language: Dutch/English Subtitles
Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown
Celebrating his 90th year, Jerry Lewis candidly reflects back on his remarkable life and decades-long career, from his legendary partnership with crooner Dean Martin, to his incredible rise to Beatles-like fame, to his great love affair with filmmaking. Blending archival footage, photos throughout Lewis’s life and extracts from his most notable films, director Gregory Monro invites audiences to rediscover Jerry Lewis with never-before interviewed friends, filmmakers and critics, who give an insightful view to his brilliant, yet deeply-conflicted persona, as well as his influential mark on the world.
World Premiere - Telluride Film Festival
Official Selection - Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
A FIRST-RATE DOCUMENTARY! - Leonard Maltin
Running Time: 61 minutes
Director: Gregory Monro
In Search of Israeli Cuisine
In Search of Israeli Cuisine is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food. The film profiles chefs, home cooks, vintners, and cheese-makers drawn from the more than 100 cultures that make up Israel today.
Chef/guide Michael Solomonov, the James Beard award winning chef/owner of Zahav and a number of other restaurants in Philadelphia, was born in Israel and raised in the States. His book Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine was recently released and is on the NY Times bestseller list.
Mike enters peoples’ lives and their kitchens to discuss their roots, inspirations, what their grandmothers cooked, and how they’re preserving traditions and updating recipes with global influences.
Prior to the film, join us for a Kosher Israeli-style gourmet buffet!
Running Time: 97 minutes
Director: Roger Sherman
In partnership with Facing History and Ourselves.
Freedom Runners tells the story of Rotem Genossar, a teacher at the Bialik-Rogozin campus in south Tel Aviv, who found a running group for refugees who fled their homelands with their families but lack legal status in Israel. Running quickly becomes a way to fight for the civil rights of the students. Two of the more talented and prominent members of the team are Rachel Gebretsadik, 16, from Eritrea and Ramzi AbdulJaber, 17, from Darfur. Since Israel does not recognize Rachel and Ramzi as citizens, Rotem and his students set out on a struggle to pull them out of the margins of Israeli society.
Running Time: 50 minutes
Director: David Wachsman
Language: Hebrew/English Subtitles
Two short films by Maaleh Israeli Film School will be shown followed by a short discussion led by Rabbi Feivel Strauss.
Barriers is about Uri, a young officer, together with two soldiers under his command, is manning a checkpoint. Two women from the “Watch” organization are filming events at the checkpoint. Uri receives an order to close the checkpoint because of a bomb threat, and tension rises as an ambulance carrying a sick child arrives from a Palestinian village. Uri’s choices will either save or sacrifice people’s lives.
Running Time: 22 minutes
Language: Hebrew/English subtitles
The Little Dictator tells the story of Yossi Kleinmann, a dull history professor and expert on the political leaders of totalitarian regimes. He feels unappreciated both by his students and his domineering wife. One weekend, at the 90th birthday party of his wife’s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, Yossi finds himself in a surreal situation that forces him to face up to himself and his family.
Running Time: 28 minutes
Language: Hebrew/English subtitles
In partnership with Jewish Family Service at the MJCC.
This year’s “Celebrating Differences” film is an emotional coming-of-age story that follows Owen Suskind as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics, Owen found ways to re-connect with the world around him. Life, Animated evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for Disney characters gave him a means to understand himself and his world. Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.
Running Time: 89 minutes
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Sabena Hijacking: My Version
On the eighth of May 1972, four hijackers from the Palestinian organization “Black September” took control of Belgian Sabena Flight 571 from Brussels to Tel Aviv. The hijacking marked the beginning of thirty nerve-wracking hours, bounding together fascinating human, military and political drama inside and outside of the plane. This docudrama will have audiences on the edge of their seats.
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director: Rani Sa’ar
Language: Hebrew/English/Arabic/French/ English Subtitles
A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt
A Blind Hero is a powerful docudrama of Berlin brushmaker Otto Weidt’s daring and cunning rescue of his blind and deaf Jewish employees from being sent to concentration camps as well as his tragic love of Alice Licht, and his desperate journey to save her and her entire family from the gas chamber, all while he himself was almost completely blind.
Grand Remy Award Winner - Worldfest Houston 2014
Best Actor Award (for Edgar Selge) - Seoul Int'l Drama Award
World Gold Medal for Best Docudrama - New York Festivals 2015
Official Selection - Haifa Int'l Film Festival
"This highly nuanced film will leave many viewers reflecting about the nature of goodness… and courage!" - San Diego Jewish World
Running Time: 90 minutes
Director: Kai Christiansen
Language: German/ English Subtitles
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The MJCC’s International Jewish Film Festival is named in memory of Morris and Mollye Fogelman, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Wendy and Avron Fogelman.
“The MJCC is thrilled that the Fogelmans are sponsoring the annual International Jewish Film Festival and honoring the memory of Avron’s parents in this way. Morris Fogelman was the 6th president of our MJCC from 1959–1961 and was instrumental in the purchase of the land and subsequent development of our current MJCC campus.”
—Larry Skolnick, MJCC President and CEO
MJCC FILM FESTIVAL COMMITTEE
Jeri Moskovitz • Janice Ringel • Betsy Saslawsky
Sheryl Alexander • Hallie Charney • Tova Cooper • Karen Franklin • Lisa Frisch • Sandy Goldstein • Mimi Grossman • Elise Jordan • Jackie Mandell • Jill Notowich • Allison Parker • Wendy Thomas • Joy Wilk
PASSPORT TO DISCOVERY PATRONS 2017 (as of 1/10/17)
Sharon and Michael Goldstein • Mimi Grossman • John Pregulman • Debra and Alex Saharovich • Laurie and Elkan Scheidt • Jill and Ken Steinberg • Cathy and Craig Weiss
SPECIAL THANKS TO
JEWISH COMMUNITY PARTNERS • UNITED WAY OF THE MID-SOUTH
THE MEMPHIS AND SHELBY COUNTY FILM AND TELEVISION COMMISSION • INDIE MEMPHIS • FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES • JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE AT THE MJCC