12th Annual Jewish Film Festival of Central NJ
Wednesday, October 19th • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Director: Uwe Janson
Country: Germany, 2014
Language: German with English subtitles
Running Time: 90 minutes
FOR 4:30 p.m. SCREENING: FREE child care (with dinner!) for EC parents at the JCC from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.!
Ruth meets Jonas on the day she is evicted from the apartment she’s lived in for decades. He’s one of the moving men sent to impound all her worldly possessions. When she sees Jonas, she’s taken aback by how much he resembles a man she loved in her youth. Ruth is a cabaret singer who feels the best years of her life are behind her and attempts suicide shortly after her eviction. Jonas is down on his luck and suffering from an incurable disease. He saves Ruth from her suicide attempt when he returns to her apartment in an act of goodwill. As their bond grows, Jonas increasingly relies on Ruth. He learns more about her complex past, and the two, despite their difference in age, form a deep connection. As Ruth recovers strength and renewed purpose, Jonas’ battle with his debilitating illness becomes more apparent. With her friendship and wisdom, he learns to confront his fears, stop running and discover new meaning in life. Adapted from the original short story If Stones Could Cry by Stephen Glantz.
Click here to view To Life! trailer
The Kind Words
Wednesday, October 26 • 7:30 p.m.
Director: Shemi Zarhin
Country: Israel, 2015
Language: French and Hebrew with English subtitles
Running Time: 118 minutes
This quirky and wry dramedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings who, in the wake of their mother’s death, learn the man who raised them is not their biological father. This seismic shock sets embittered, spiky-tempered restaurateur Dorona and her two very dissimilar brothers – the older an unsettled Orthodox father Netanel and the younger a bisexual bar owner Shai – on a quest across France to unravel their origins, rooted in their mother’s native Algiers. As they piece together the inscrutable secrets of their past, Dorona attempts to reconcile her strained relationship with her long-suffering husband Ricki, while her brothers grapple with issues of familial, religious and ethnic identity. Nominated for 12 Israeli Academy Awards, The Kind Words is an insightful melodrama that taps both melancholy and humor in its exploration of a family in crisis and the bittersweet journey of self-discovery that follows.
Winner of the 2015 Israeli Academy Awards, Best Film , Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor
Click here to view The Kind Words trailer
The Farewell Party
Tuesday, November 1 • 7:30 p.m.
Director: Sharon Maymon and Tal Granit
Country: Germany & Israel, 2014
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles
Running Time: 93 minutes
The Farewell Party is a bittersweet tragicomedy about a very thorny issue: assisted suicide and the right to die. It is, quite often, a very funny film, as mischievous as the youth that has long since left its characters, but not once does it treat its serious subject matter lightly. It adapts an effective, low-key approach, casually interacting with the moral and religious issues inherent in its premise. This unique, compassionate and surprisingly funny film tells the story of a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma. Despite the fact that the subject of this movie is heavy and controversial, The Farewell Party, nominated for 14 Israeli Academy Awards, somehow manages to stitch moments of high drama with a steady stream of occasionally ribald humor.
Winner of the Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars), Best Actor
Click here to view The Farewell Party trailer
Monday, November 7 • 7:30 p.m.
Director: Rani Sa’ar
Country: Israel, 2015
Language: English, Hebrew, Arabic and French
Running Time: 102 minutes
Sabena Hijacking My Version is a powerful, suspenseful docu-drama based on previously undiscovered audio recordings of the former pilot, Captain Reginald Levy. Captain Levy (now deceased) was in command of the Sabena Flight 571 from Brussels, Belgium to Tel Aviv, Israel on May 8, 1972, when it was hijacked by four members from "Black September," the armed wing of Fatah or Palestine Liberation Organization. The film shares the untold story of what exactly took place on the flight throughout 30 hours of nerve-wrecking captivity. It channels the English pilot’s impartial view of the events and elaborates on them with exclusive access to three revered Israeli political leaders who were in charge of the rescue effort, as well as the only surviving hijacker, each of whom tells his and her own stories. Sabena Hijacking My Version fuses candid interviews with archive material and dramatic reenactments of the tense scenes inside the aircraft and the control tower as Captain Levy was held at gunpoint. It takes viewers into the aircraft to witness the events firsthand as the hijackers threatened to explode hand grenades unless 300 prisoners are released. It also gives insight to the tense negotiations which eventually led to a heroic rescue operation during which a special unit of soldiers (disguised as technicians) stormed the plane. The result is a captivating, fast-paced film full of suspense, which poses significant political and historical questions that are not only still important, but have shaped the Israel of today.
Click here to view Sabena Hijacking trailer
Tuesday, November 15 • 7:30 p.m.
Director: Jerome Cohen-Olivar
Country: Morocco, 2016
Language: Arabic, English, French
Running Time: 102 minutes
The estranged son of a once famous Moroccan musician, Marcel Botbol, is unexpectedly transformed after returning to his homeland in this bittersweet crowd-pleaser. Like many Jews who fled domestic troubles, son Michael Abitbol left Casablanca as a child during the racial tensions of the Yom Kippur War and never looked back. After years of silence and buried memories, the brooding Michael is called back to his home by his father. When death claims his father before they can reunite and reconcile, Michael seeks to understand the legacy of this iconic singer of yesteryear – a man largely unknown to him. With the help of a comical Muslim cab driver and a host of other quirky characters, he sets off on an adventure to track down the surviving members of his father’s orchestra and fulfill the old man’s dying wish, finding friendship and rediscovering his cultural roots along the way. The story is full of vibrant characters traumatized by the unexpected departure of Marcel Botbol, characters that we remember long after the moving and poignant finale.
Winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival
Click here to view Midnight Orchestra trailer
$12 JCC Member/Senior 62+/Student
$14 General Public
At the Door:
$15 General Admission (for all ages)
1 ticket for each film $55 JCC Member/Senior 62+/Student
$65 General Public