- Films

888-Go-Kosher

USA / 2007 / 11 Minutes / English / Director: Lauren Slweder Biel

Monday, May 18 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceding Making Trouble
Wednesday, May 20 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceding Making Trouble
Monday, May 20 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceding Love Comes Lately
Thursday, May 21 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceding Love Comes Lately

Need your kitchen koshered?

888-go-kosher follows a day in the life of New York
City’s only rapid-response kitchen koshering service.
Operating out of his office in Brooklyn, Rabbi Lebovic helps
those in need, answering calls and snapping into action
with his full-service team to kosher kitchens across the
New York area. 888-go-kosher offers a light-hearted
portrait of this unique service and demonstrates the
relationship of kashrut to Jewish identity.


Arranged

Click below to watch the trailer

USA / 2007 / 89 Minutes / English /Co-Directors Stefan Schaefer & Diane Crespo

Monday, May 18 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by Nice Jewish Boys
Thursday, May 21 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by Nice Jewish Boys

“Arranged” is one of the most spiritually literate films of the year.

Rochel and Nasira are both first year teachers at a public
school in Brooklyn, NY. They share a passion for their
careers and a devotion to their faiths. Even though Rochel
is an Orthodox Jew and Nasira is an observant Muslim,
the two quickly form a close friendship and lean on each
other while they are going through the process of arranged
marriages. They are both under pressure from their
parents to find husbands and have children before it’s too
late. Rochel goes through the process of meeting men she
could not possibly consider, all schlemiels, while Nasira meets men old enough to be her father.
This beautiful film celebrates the integrity and zeal of these two deeply religious women as they
question tradition, but in the end discover they can support it as a path with meaning. Arranged offers some really wonderful messages tucked into a tale of friendship, loyalty, duty, and tradition.

H Best Picture - 2008 Skip City International Cinema Festival
H Audience Award - 2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival


The Band’s Visit

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Israel / 2007 / 87 Minutes / English, Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles
/ Director: Eran Kolirin

Tuesday, May 19 8:00 pm / Wednesday, May 20 1:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Funny, lonely, inspiring, sad, and beautiful all at once.

On an ordinary day, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police
Orchestra arrives in Israel from Egypt for a cultural event,
only to find there is no delegation to meet them, nor any
arrangements to get to their destination. When they find
their own ride, they arrive instead at a remote Negev
town. Stuck there until the next morning’s bus, the band,
led by the repressed Colonel Zacharaya, gets help from the
worldly café owner, Dina, who offers to put them up for the
night. The band settles in and each of the members attempts
to get along with the natives. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them. The Band’s Visit is a subtle, heartfelt, and humane work that goes a long way toward dissolving the incredibly complex cultural divide that continues to plague the Middle East.

H Best Film (and seven other awards) - 2007 Israeli Film Academy
H Tokyo Grand Prix - 2007 Tokyo International Film Festival


Black Book

Holland / 2006 / 145 Minutes / Dutch, German, Hebrew, with English subtitles
/ Director: Paul Verhoeven

Sunday, May 17 8:00 pm / Thursday, May 21 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.
A complex and vivid espionage thriller and story of courage and determination

During the final days of World War II in Holland. A Jewish
singer named Rachel Stein attempts to avoid the Nazis.
She remains in quiet hiding but when her family is brutally
slain, she joins the resistance movement. On an undercover
mission, Rachel encounters a German general named
Ludwig Muntze and begins a relationship in order to feed
vital information back to her colleagues. As the action and
bloodshed escalate, Rachel realizes that she has genuine
feelings for Muntze and soon finds she is in enormous danger.
There are daring escapes, conspiracies, betrayals, camaraderie and love but few things go as planned. We are kept on the edge of our seats throughout this story of human frailties and strengths. Rated: R.

This film is co-sponsored by The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo.

H Golden Calf for Best Film - 2007 Netherlands Film Festival H Best Film - 2007 Rembrandt Awards
H Young Cinema Award for Best International Film - 2007 Venice Film Festival


The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost, with Alan Dershowitz

USA & Israel / 2008 / 77 minutes / English / Director Michael Yohay

Sunday, May 3 12:30 pm (JCC Amherst) Part of the Israel Independence Day Celebration

Presenting a vigorous case for Israel - for its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from
terrorism, and to defend its borders from hostile enemies.

Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at
Harvard Law School, has achieved international distinction
as one of Israel’s most prominent and articulate advocates.
Dershowitz plays a central role in the film and engages
leading political, judicial and academic leaders from Israel
and North America in honest and intelligent discourse on
the critical challenges facing Israel and the West.

Featured commentators: Aharon Barak, Ehud Barak,
Gabriel Barkay, Anne Bayefsky, David Benjamin, Phyllis Chesler,
Irwin Cotler, Alan Dershowitz, Daniel Diker, Dan Gillerman,
Caroline Glick, Dore Gold, Israel Kimhi, Tzipi Livni, Eilat Mazar,
Ofer Mey-Tal, Benny Morris, Benjamin Netanyahu, Michael Oren,
Shimon Peres, Micky Rosenfeld, Dennis Ross, Amnon Rubinstein,
Alex Safian, Jonathan Sarna, Eytan Schwartz, Natan Sharansky,
Eliezer Shkedi, Gerald Steinberg


Children of the Sun

Click below to watch the trailer

Israel / 2007/ 70 Minutes / Hebrew with English subtitles / Director: Ran Tal

Monday, May 18 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Born into a Utopia… a fascinating collage of archival materials brings to life the kibbutz
experiment in collective living.

The Kibbutz Movement of the early twentieth century was
characterized by unbounded idealism and a strong vision of
Israel as a utopian, socialist refuge. The earliest inhabitants
of the collective communities had high hopes for a better
way of life and raised their children according to these new
ideas. In this society, traditional family was replaced by the
collective, the individual served the common good and
everyone was equal. The children became a new breed that
placed little value on material possessions while immersing
themselves in physical labor and strict ideology. Meticulously researched and composed of more than eighty amateur films taken between 1930 and 1970, Children Of The Sun offers a vivid portrait this singular epoch from the perspective of the first generation of children raised on a kibbutz.


The Counterfeiters

Click below to watch the trailer

Austria / 2007 / 98 Minutes / German, Russian, Hebrew with English subtitles
/ Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Tuesday, May 19 6:00 pm / Wednesday, May 20 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Oscar-winning account of the starkest of basic moral questions.

The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest
counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis
in 1936. Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch is the king of
counterfeiters. He lives a mischievous life of cards,
booze, and women in Berlin during the Nazi-era. His luck
runs out, he is arrested and thrown into the Mauthausen
concentration camp. Salomon exhibits exceptional
skills and is soon transferred to the upgraded camp of
Sachsenhausen where he and a group of professionals are
forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program Operation Bernhard. The team is given
luxury barracks for their efforts to undermine the economy of Germany’s allied opponents with huge quantities of fake money. Faced with a moral dilemma, Salomon must decide whether his actions,
which could prolong the war and risk the lives of fellow prisoners, are the right ones. Rated: R.

This film is co-sponsored by The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo.

H Best Foreign Language Film - 2007 Academy Awards


La France Divisee

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USA / 2004 / 36 Minutes / English & French with English subtitles
/ Written, produced and directed by: Barbara P. Barnett & Eileen M. Angelini

Sunday, May 17 1:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

The two sides of France during WWII - collaboration and resistance.

La France Divisée explores the two sides of France during
World War II. Both collaborators and resisters are seen
through the eyes of seven French people: four survivors of
the Holocaust (one deportee who returned from a series of
concentration camps and three child survivors who were
hidden children in Vichy France), two historians (including
Serge Klarsfeld) and leader of the French Resistance, Lucie
Aubrac. Each interviewee presents a very different account
of the times by virtue of his/her personal experiences.
Also included are the historic public apologies by the French government for its role in the deportation
of Jews and by the Catholic Church for its silence during the German Occupation.

This film is co-sponsored by The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo. Eileen M. Angelini, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at Canisius College will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening.


Love Comes Lately

Click below to watch the trailer

Germany, Austria, USA / 2007 / 86 Minutes / English / Director: Jan Schuttë

Wednesday, May 20 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by 888-Go-Kosher
Thursday, May 21 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by 888-Go-Kosher

A completely different idea about love and age.

Love Comes Lately is a bittersweet film woven out of three
Isaac Bashevis Singer stories about old age and the erotic
imagination. Max Kohn (played by Austrian actor Otto Tausig
with wonderfully precise petulance), a diminutive old writer
striving to reconcile deeper existential worries with prostate
trouble and a restless libido, tangles with the real and fictive
women who have shaped his life and work-among them an
elusive Miami dowager (Caroline Aaron), a disenchanted
former student (Barbara Hershey), a widow mourning her
happy marriage (Tovah Feldshuh), and his sorely tested companion (Rhea Perlman). Love Comes
Lately is a film about real and imagined longings, the never ending dream of love and the power of
fiction. Director Schütte brilliantly captures the humor and bittersweet melancholy of Singer’s writing.


Making Trouble

Click below to watch the trailer

USA / 2006 / 85 Minutes / English / Director: Rachel Talbot

Monday, May 18 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by 888-Go-Kosher
Wednesday, May 20 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by 888-Go-Kosher

Female comedic legends that made us laugh and changed all the rules.

Produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive, four of today’s funniest women - Judy Gold, Jackie
Hoffman, Cory Kahaney, and Jessica Kirson - meet at Katz’s
Deli to discuss the current state and the history of women
in comedy. Through archival footage and commentary,
Making Trouble tells the story of six of the greatest
female comic performers of the last century - Molly Picon,
Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and
Wendy Wasserstein. From Yiddish film and Ziegfeld Follies
to Saturday Night Live, each of these stars brought something new and unique to the world through
their talents. This clever and entertaining documentary tells the inspiring and continuing history of
funny Jewish women.

* Special Mention - 2007 Jerusalem Film Festival


Nice Jewish Boys

Canada / 2008 / English / 2 Minutes, 25 Seconds / Director: Janice Schulman

Monday, May 18 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by Arranged
Thursday, May 21 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceded by Arranged

Nice Jewish Boys… come in all shapes and sizes.

In hand-drawn animation with just a few lines and even
fewer words this film explores dating as seen through the
eyes of today’s modern Jewish woman. The film’s humor
was inspired by director and animator Janice Schulman’s
own dating experiences in Toronto.

Director Janice Schulman is expected to attend one
of the screenings.


Praying With Lior

Click below to watch the trailer

USA / 2007 / 87 Minutes / English / Director: Ilana Trachtman

Sunday, May 17 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

A gentle, tender-hearted portrait of a devout young Jew with Down Syndrome.

An emotionally rich documentary about Lior Liebling, a boy
with Down Syndrome, and the loving community that
supports him as he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah. His Rabbi
father does his best to prepare his son and Lior is given
support and large doses of love by his brother and older
sister. Lior believes that G-d is happy when we commune
with Him and so he prays in his room, in the backyard, and
at the synagogue. Lior (Hebrew for “my light”) has such joy
and enthusiasm for prayer that some wonder if he is a kind
of spiritual genius. The climactic Bar Mitzvah service with
300 people in attendance will bring tears to your eyes.

This film is co-sponsored by Yad B’Yad and The Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County.

* Award for Best Documentary - Jewish Film Festivals in Vancouver, San Diego, Boston,
Seattle and Washington


Refusenik

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USA / 2007 / 120 Minutes / English, Russian, Hebrew with sub-titles / Director: Laura Gialas

Tuesday, May 19 1:30 pm / Thursday, May 21 1:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

This film speaks volumes about the power and beauty of the human spirit in search of freedom.

Refusenik chronicles the thirty-year international movement
to free Soviet Jews. Told through the eyes of activists on
both sides of the Iron Curtain, many of whom survived
punishment in Soviet Gulag labor camps, the film is a
tapestry of first-person accounts of heroism, sacrifice,
and ultimately, liberation. It is the story of ordinary people
who, with no money or political power, successfully
launched a movement that eventually freed one and a half
million Soviet Jews and cracked the seemingly impenetrable
wall of Soviet Communism. The film presents many photographs and covert film footage with rare glimpses of the early years of struggle behind the Iron Curtain. Even now it is


The Secrets

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Israel / 2007 / 120 Minutes / Hebrew & French with English subtitles / Director: Avi Nesher

Saturday, May 16 8:00 pm / Monday, May 18 1:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

A stunning movie about beliefs, rebellion, and camaraderie.

Naomi, the studious, devoutly religious daughter of a
prominent rabbi, convinces her father to postpone her
marriage for a year so that she might study at a Jewish
seminary for women in the ancient Kabalistic seat of Safed.
Naomi’s quest for individuality takes a defiant turn when she
befriends Michelle, a free-spirited and equally headstrong
fellow student. When the pair encounters a Anouk,
mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past they begin
a risky journey into forbidden realms. In the hopes of easing
her suffering, Naomi and Michelle secretly lead Anouk through a series of Kabalistic cleansing rituals. The process opens up new horizons for the girls who find themselves caught between the rigid male establishment they grew up in and the desire to be true to themselves, no matter the cost. Rated: R.

* Official Selection - 2007 Toronto International Film Festival
* Nominated for seven awards - 2007 Israeli Film Academy


Unsettled

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USA / 2007 / 80 Minutes / English & Hebrew with English subtitles / Director: Adam Hootnick

Sunday, May 17 6:00 pm / Tuesday, May 19 4:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

There is no enemy.

In the summer of 2005, the Israeli government plans to
withdraw from the Gaza Strip and will have to uproot
thousands of its own citizens. The eviction means
lifeguards Lior, 21, and Meir, 27 will be forced to leave
their beach front home forever. For Neta, 20, a religious
filmmaker, the pullout plan sets off a desperate struggle
to convince Israelis and the world that the withdrawal is
a crime against G-d. Soldiers Yuval, 21, and Tamar, 20
must prepare for a mission against other Israelis. For young
Israelis, the summer of 2005 will change the meaning - and for some the very location - of home.
Unsettled is about a conflict where the lines are blurred in a society where the first battle for peace is fought at home. Featuring music from superstar Matisyahu.

Co-sponsored by Camp Lakeland Association in honor of filmmaker Adam Hootnick, former camper and staff member.

* Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary - 2007 Slamdance Film Festival