The Westchester Jewish Film Festival, with 33 programs that celebrate the diversity of the Jewish experience is coming to the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville in April. Included are some wonderful new films that come straight from Israel. In addition to a crop of fascinating documentaries and dramas there will be live appearances by more than a dozen guests.
Take a look at the entire line-up here http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/films/film-series/detail/43156 and reserve your tickets now as many shows are already selling out. This promises to be an extraordinary three weeks.
God’s Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz –April 12 at 7:30 pm
Film screening plus Q and A with filmmaker Peter Rose and Michael Boriskin:
God's Fiddler: When Itzhak Perlman met Jascha Heifetz, he thought, “I can’t believe I’m talking with God.” There was no one like Heifetz, the first modern violin virtuoso, legendary for his demonic speed and perfectionism as well as his stoic, even cold demeanor. His only film biography features home movies, interviews with great violinists, and the opportunity to get to know Heifetz a bit better, through footage shot over six decades all over the world.
Deaf Jam April 15th at 5:00 pm:
Film screening and presentation by filmmaker Judy Lieff with poets Aneta Brodski and Tahani Salah, who will present their extraordinary poetry. With ASL interpreter.
Poet Aneta Brodski, a deaf teen, expresses her passions and frustrations through the dramatic shapes and movements of American Sign Language. Boldly joining the spoken-word poetry slam scene, she creates stunning equivalents of rhythm and rhyme in her energetic performances. And when Aneta, an Israeli immigrant, joins up with hearing Palestinian slam poet Tahani Salah, there are no limits to their joyful art.
Paul Goodman Changed My Life: April 17th at 7:30 pm
Film screening and discussion with filmmaker Jonathan Lee and Janet Maslin:
Today, much of what passes as common knowledge in the fields of education, politics, psychology, urban planning, civil rights, and sexual politics was first posited by Paul Goodman. His 1960 Growing Up Absurd was a cornerstone of countercultural thinking; he co-founded Gestalt therapy;;he was candid about his bisexuality. All this—and more—comes to light in this rich portrait of an intellectual heavyweight whose ideas are long overdue for rediscovery.
Delicious Peace Grows in Ugandan Coffee Bean April 18 at 5:15 pm
Film screening and interfaith discussion with Rabbi Jason Nevarez (Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Corners), Rev. Paul Alcorn (Bedford Presbyterian Church), and Dr. Kareem Adeeb (American Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies), with JBFC Executive Director Steve Apkon and coffee tasting!
Living in the wake of the Idi Amin regime of terror, a group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Ugandan coffee farmers united to make a difference. They formed the Delicious Peace cooperative and joined up with Thanksgiving Coffee, which distributes their product in the US. Today, the farmers have an improved standard of living, and their message of peace and fair wages is spreading. An inspiring story of interfaith harmony and economic success.
Between Two Worlds: April 25 at 7:30 pm:
Film screening and Q and A with filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman
Who gets to decide what it means to be a Jew? Between Two Worlds takes on nothing less than the culture wars being waged in American Judaism—over censorship, ethnic continuity, Israel, the Holocaust, and more. Follow the filmmakers’ journey through their years curating the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and into a deep and thoughtful exploration of today’s passionate debates.
Dolphin Boy: April 29 at 5 pm:
Film screening and Q and A with filmmaker Dani Menkin
An emotional documentary that allows us to follow an almost magical healing process in real time. After suffering a brutal beating, an Arab Israeli teenager recovers from his physical injuries but remains mute and disconnected from the world. His doctors are talking about institutionalization. Instead, his desperate father takes him to the Red Sea for an extraordinary dolphin-based form of therapy, where he’s cared for by a team led by a Jewish doctor.
Kafka’s Last Story: May 1 at 5 pm: Film screening and Q and A with Brian Ackerman of the Jacob Burns Film Center and rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz
When Franz Kafka died, he told his friend Max Brod that “all that is left in my estate must be burned completely, without reading.” Not only did Brod plainly ignore the writer’s last wishes, but he managed to take a bag crammed full of Kafka’s papers with him when he fled Prague for Palestine in 1939. The film follows the manuscripts on their subsequent twisted journey, a gripping legal and moral battle whose absurdity Kafka would surely have appreciated.