Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Drama, comedy & docs at Windsor Jewish Film Festival

The 12th annual Windsor Jewish Film Festival opened last night with The Jewish Cardinal (2013, Ilan Duran Cohen) with from all reports a great performance by Laurent Lucas based on the true story of the Archbishop of Paris, in real life a Jew who converted to Catholicism at a young age and became a priest, and presided during the Nazi Occupation…..Altogether this year’s festival features 11 films from seven countries and runs through Thursday at the Devonshire Cineplex, where stadium seating affords a very comfortable way to see a film, festival or not…..Today there is the golden oldie Crossing Delancey (1988, Joan Micklin Silver) starring Amy Irving, and then The Consul of Bordeaux (2011, João Correa Francisco Manso), about the Portuguese Consul who rescued thousands of Jews and others during the Holocaust by granting safe passage to his country. And at 8 pm a documentary Brave Miss World (2013, Cecilia Peck) about a woman’s abduction and rape just weeks before she, Linor Abargil, has to represent Italy in the Miss World competition, and who later becomes a lawyer and activist…..On Wednesday there are also a couple of back-to-back docs beginning 2 pm including one about how The New York Times downplayed the Holocaust during World War II. Hmmm. In the evening – the two films I plan to attend – Aftermath (2012, Władysław Pasikowski), a contemporary thriller about an American returning to his family’s Polish birthplace, and Bethlehem (2013, Yuval Adler; poster above), winner of last year’s top award at the Venice film festival - the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and a young Palestinian informant….Finally on Thursday, three films: The Zigzag Kid (2012, Vincent Bal), For a Woman (2014, Diane Kurys) and The Attack (2012, Ziad Doueiri), which I have seen and highly recommend for a nuanced look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with plenty of drama and insight. For complete listings and descriptions go to Windsor Jewish Community Centre website.

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