JxJ | Washington Jewish Film Festival
May 8–26

Presented by the Edlavitch DCJCC, JxJ is a new multidisciplinary arts project that encompasses the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Washington Jewish Music Festival, alongside original cutting-edge hybrid arts programming — all presented as one massive three-week experience, taking over the greater Washington region. Washington Jewish Film Festival, now in its 29th year, presents a robust lineup of international film premieres, Q&As, panel discussions and sneak previews. 

For complete listings, and to purchase tickets and festival passes, visit jxjdc.org

All screenings listed below take place at AFI Silver Theatre.

No AFI Silver Member passes accepted.

Opening Night
One of the leading lights of contemporary Israeli cinema, Joseph Madmony (RESTORATION), returns for this spiritually rousing, emotionally intelligent story of despair, exhilaration and faith. Menachem is a middle-aged single father struggling to finance his cancer-stricken six-year-old daughter's medical treatment with his meager income as a grocery clerk. He had fronted a rock-and-roll band until personal tragedies prompted his retirement from music and the adoption of a devoted Hasidic practice that alienated most of his old friends. Playing music promises to be more lucrative than stocking shelves, but would a return to singing be compatible with a life of worship? DIR/SCR Joseph Madmony, Boaz Yehonatan Yacov; SCR Erez Kav El; PROD Marek Rozenbaum, Michael Rozenbaum, Jonathan Rozenbaum. Israel, 2018, color, 104 min. In Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Wed, May 8, 6:45 p.m.
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A gifted but self-destructive young man leaves his suffocating Lutheran upbringing in the country for the metropolitan Copenhagen of the 1880s. An engineer with progressive ideas, he is welcomed by a wealthy Jewish family and assimilates himself into their opulent milieu, embarking on a journey of personal and professional ambition that teeters on the razor's edge between triumph and catastrophe. A sprawling story of grand scope and high romance from the Academy Award®–winning director Bille August (PELLE THE CONQUEROR), A FORTUNATE MAN is a rare kind of film — beautifully realized, full of exceptional performances and with a dramatic sweep on par with the great classics of cinema. DIR/SCR Bille August, from the novel by Henrik Pontoppidan; PROD Thomas Heinesen, Karin Trolle. Denmark, 2018, color, 168 min. In Danish and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Thurs, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
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Screening as part of Kino-Q, a film and discussion series accompanying the exhibition and programs encompassed by "Queer as German Folk" – reflecting on 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, in both Germany and the United States. Presented in partnership with GLOE – the Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach & Engagement and the Goethe-Insitut
In 1897, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld — a gay Jewish sexologist based in Berlin — founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the first LGBTQ+ rights organization in history. Von Praunheim's film, a mixture of fact and fiction, examines Hirschfeld's close inner circle of friends and their collective efforts to achieve equal rights for queer people — including the 1919 establishment of the Institute for Sex Research, and their battle to continue their movement despite the rise of the Nazis. Screening as part of Kino-Q, a film and discussion series accompanying the exhibition and programs encompassed by "Queer as German Folk" — reflecting on 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, in both Germany and the United States. Presented with the Goethe-Insitut Washington. DIR Rosa von Praunheim; SCR Chris Kraus, Valentin Passoni; PROD Dietmar Schings. Germany/Netherlands, 1999, color, 100 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Krystyna Janda, in a role that won her Best Actress honors at the Sundance Film Festival, plays Maria Linde, a free-spirited, Jewish-Polish Nobel Prize winner who now lives in Tuscany. A loving mother and grandmother, she also fosters a secret flirtation with the much younger Egyptian man who runs a nearby seaside inn. After a terrorist attack in Rome, Maria refuses to succumb to the hysterical fear and anti-immigrant sentiment that quickly emerges, deciding in her acceptance speech of a local honor to boldly decry Europe's eroding democracy — but she is unprepared for the backlash. (Note adapted from the Sundance Film Festival.) DIR/SCR Jacek Borcuch; SCR Marcin Cecko, Szczepan Twardoch; PROD Marta Habior, Marta Lewandowska. Poland, 2018, color, 90 min. In Italian, Polish and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, May 11, 3:40 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Aviva Kempner and Franklin Foer, national correspondent for The Atlantic
Moe Berg led two lives: one was of public accomplishment, easy grace and dazzling intellect. Hidden from view was his career as an OSS operative, whose daring deeds helped prevent the Axis powers from developing an atom bomb. Tagged the "brainiest man in baseball," the son of Jewish immigrants stumped collegiate competitors by calling signals in Latin and was eventually called up to the majors — playing catcher for the Washington Senators and other clubs during baseball's Golden Age. He went on to join Babe Ruth on an All-Star tour to Japan, which brought his heroism, athletic career and spycraft together, in a tale put to screen by dynamic documentarian Aviva Kempner. DIR/SCR/PROD Aviva Kempner. U.S., 2019, color/b&w, 90 min. NOT RATED

Fresh off their wedding ceremony, Anna and Adam — a Jewish couple from Paris — travel to Poland for a memorial service. The eye-opening trip awkwardly doubles as their honeymoon, in this delightful romantic comedy from noted French director Élise Otzenberger. They will attend a ceremony in memory of the Jewish community in Adam's grandfather village, which was destroyed 75 years prior. Adam is not particularly enthusiastic about the trip, but views it as an opportunity to spend quality time with his wife, away from their baby boy. Anna, on the other hand, is both anxious and eager about the journey. She is hoping to reconnect with her own roots and finally discover more about her own family's history, which has always been a mystery. DIR/SCR Élise Otzenberger; PROD Edouard Weil. France, 2018, color, 88 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, May 11, 8:45 p.m.
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This dystopian drama from SHTISEL creator Yehonatan Indursky stars some of Israel's top acting talent. AUTONOMIES is set in an alternate reality of present-day Israeli, a nation torn and divided by a wall into the secular "State of Israel," with Tel Aviv as its capital, and the "Haredi Autonomy" in Jerusalem, run by the ultra-Orthodox. Broide is an ultra-Orthodox smuggler who makes his living sneaking minor contraband between the two regions. One day, he receives a lifechanging proposal to kidnap a little girl at the heart of a custody battle between two families that live in opposite regions. DIR/SCR Yehonatan Indursky; SCR Ori Elon; PROD Fanta Naama Azulay, Uzi Karin. Israel, 2018, color, 210 min with one 10-min intermission. In Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 12, 1:30 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Lucille Smith and subject Lady Irene Hatter
When Lady Irene Hatter was a little girl, she remembers strangers running up to her father, Sally Noach, to thank him effusively for saving them during WWII. He'd politely, but firmly, dismiss all comers with a tossed off, "forget about it," and they'd be on their way. During his post-war life, Noach maintained this stoic demeanor, and kept a tight lid on his truly incredible deeds in the wake of the "Grande Exode," when he joined some six million refugees fleeing the Nazi advance, eventually finding his way to Lyon, capital of the Resistance. Now, forty years after his death, Lady Hatter is determined to discover the truth about her father's wartime heroism. DIR/SCR Lucile Smith; PROD Paul Goldin. UK, 2018, color/b&w, 69 min. NOT RATED

Sun, May 12, 3:15 p.m.
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A sweeping epic that covers Jewish history in Portugal from the times of the Crypto Jews in 1496 — when King Manuel I prohibited the open practice of Judaism — through to the Nazi regime to modern times, SEFARAD centers on the life of army captain Arturo de Barros Basto, founder of the Oporto Jewish Community. As his fledgling community contends with claims of centuries-old secret societies of Jews in their midst, the rise of Nazism and the ever-present dangers of anti-Semitism in other forms prove a volatile mix. DIR/SCR Luis Ismael; PROD Maria Pacheco. Portugal, 2018, color, 100 min. In English, Portuguese, Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Q&A with filmmaker Michelle Paymar
In 1896, Solomon Schechter entered the sacred storeroom of an ancient synagogue in Cairo and discovered a vast treasure trove of manuscripts that revolutionized our understanding of Jewish history and illuminated a thousand years of vibrant Jewish life in the heart of the Islamic world. An accidental archive of more than half a million documents, the Cairo Geniza reveals the richness of Judeo-Arabic culture and reflects periods of relative religious co-existence nearly unimaginable today. DIR/SCR/PROD Michelle Paymar. Canada/U.S./Egypt/France/Israel/UK, 2018, color, 92 min. NOT RATED

Sun, May 12, 8:00 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Dan Shadur
Twenty years before the spectacle of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu already understood the political benefits of fomenting an adversarial relationship with the media and taking his message directly to the public. KING BIBI explores Netanyahu's rise to power using archival footage of his media performances over the years: from his days as a popular guest expert on American TV, through his public confession of adultery and his mastery of social media. Follow Bibi's maturation as he evolves from Israel's great political hope to a controversial figure who some perceive as Israel's savior and others see as a cynical politician clinging to power at all cost. DIR/SCR Dan Shadur; PROD Liran Atzmor. Israel/U.S., 2018, color, 87 minutes. In Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Mon, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Ryan Porush, David Elcott of the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, and Laura Katz Cutler, Managing Director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University
THE PASSENGERS tells the story of the Ethiopian Jews and the struggle for a final, abandoned community to immigrate to Israel. The film follows the unlikely journey of two young men on a fateful trip to America as representatives of a grassroots advocacy campaign. When the pressure of representing its desperate community builds and an increasingly conservative Israeli government remains uninterested despite pervasive cries of racism, the pair must reconcile with an uncertain and fateful future. DIR/SCR/PROD Ryan Porush. U.S./Israel/Ethiopia, 2019, color, 72 min. In English, Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Tue, May 14, 6:30 p.m.
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When Yakov Cohen's (Shuli Rand, USHPIZIN) daughter is expelled from school for "ethnic reasons," he decides to fight back. It's 1983, and Cohen is a regular Jerusalemite with no money, connections or political experience. What he has in spades, however, is the passionate will to take action on behalf of Sephardic Jews who've too long been treated as second class citizens. THE UNORTHODOX brings to life the stunning rise of Israel's Shas political party, though the story of Cohen's improbable campaign — one full of love for his fellow man and equally animated by a great sense of humor and a whole lot of rage. DIR/SCR Eliran Malka; PROD Ra'anan Gershoni, Yoni Paran. Israel, 2018, color, 99 min. In Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Tue, May 14, 8:40 p.m.
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The sharply intellectual and marvelously zany comedic duo behind the viral Yiddish-language web series YIDLIFE CRISIS return to their city of birth, Montreal, on a mission. On the verge of middle age, Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman have a hankering for the Jewish Montreal of their youth, not to mention its rich culinary heritage. They set out to eat their way through the city, along the way reengaging and discovering the Le Metropole's storied Jewish community, its mouth-watering eateries and of course the scrumptious Jewish cooking that powers it all. DIR/SCR/PROD Eli Batalion, Jamie Elman. Canada, 2018, color, 62 min. In English, French and Yiddish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Wed, May 15, 6:30 p.m.
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LEONA (2018)
Q&A with filmmaker Isaac Cherem
A young Jewish woman from Mexico City finds herself torn between her conservative family and forbidden love with a non-Jewish man. He helps her discover the world outside her tight-knit community, but the transition is as fraught as it is exciting. Textured with the unrelenting drama of a Jane Austen novel, LEONA centers on a tightrope navigation of familial pressure, religious precedent and her most fervent desires. The choices before her aren't easy, and director Isaac Cherem's debut film masterfully ratchets up the tension while maintaining a grounded accessibility throughout. DIR/SCR Isaac Cherem; SCR Naian González Norvind; PROD Salomón Askenazi. Mexico, 2018, color, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Wed, May 15, 8:00 p.m.
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Renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield's most personal and romantic film to date captures the beautiful, yet tragic, love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse, Marianne Ihlen. In 1960, on the Greek island of Hydra, Leonard — then a struggling and unknown fiction writer — and Marianne — a single mother with a young son — joined an expat community of artists, writers and musicians. Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of this idyllic 1960s bohemia. It was a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths just months apart in 2016. DIR/SCR Nick Broomfield; PROD Kyle Gibbon, Shani Hinton, Marc Hoeferlin. U.S., 2018, color, 97 min. In English and Norwegian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Thurs, May 16, 7:15 p.m.

SKIN (2018)
Jamie Bell stars in the story of Bryon Widner, a young man raised by skinheads, for whom turning his back on hatred and violence meant undergoing painful and expensive operations to remove the tattoos that signified his terrible past life — a process only possible with the support of a black activist. The true story of Widner's excruciating transformation inspired this startling chronicle of redemption from Israeli writer-director Guy Nattiv (MAGIC MEN), whose short film with thematic similarities to this tale just won him an Oscar®. Starring Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald and Vera Farmiga. (Note adapted from the Toronto International Film Festival.) DIR/SCR/PROD Guy Nattiv; PROD Dillon D. Jordan, Oren Moverman, Jaime Ray Newman, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler. U.S., 2018, color, 110 min. NOT RATED

Thurs, May 16, 7:30 p.m.
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Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Live
Can't make it to Tel Aviv for the Eurovision Song Contest Finals? No problem! Join JxJ and Eurovision USA for the official DC-area Watch Party — we'll have the full show broadcast live via satellite feed on AFI Silver's giant screen, a pop-up bar, Eurovision prizes, trivia and live musical host Ricky Paul spinning classic Eurovision hits. Come for the revelry, stay for the Eurosong. 

After learning of his father's death, prodigal son Yoav returns to the sparsely populated kibbutz where he was raised alongside his brothers Itai and Avishai, who are about to ship off for military service in Lebanon. Yoav is an ex-officer traumatized by his experiences, while Itai remains a serviceman and believes fiercely in a man's patriotic duty. Their conflicting perspectives generate a deep rift in Avi. The brothers have another duty to perform, however: their father's final request was for the three of them to dive together and deposit his remains in an undersea cave. (Note adapted from the Toronto International Film Festival.) DIR/SCR Yona Rozenkier; PROD Efrat Cohen, Kobi Mizrahi. Israel, 2018, color, 91 min. In Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, May 18, 8:30 p.m.
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In 1980, visionary director Samy Szlingerbaum mined the childhood memories of his parents' immigration to the "promised land" of Belgium to produce the first feature-length Yiddish film in 30 years. Weaving together a dream-like mosaic of stunning visuals, Szilingerbaum's portrayal is suffused with a soft melancholy. While the horrors of the war are behind them, the family's strained attempts to integrate to this foreign land are ultimately in vain, and the resulting alienation and loss of home are palpable. The new European restoration brilliantly brings this landmark artifact of surrealist cinema back to the big screen. DIR/SCR Samy Szlingerbaum; PROD Marilyn Watelet. Belgium, 1980, b&w, 80 min. In Yiddish and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 19, 12:30 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Nina Paley
A disco-dancing Pharaoh, a crooning Angel of Death, Moses and his chorus line of dancing rams — this isn't your bubbe's Passover seder. Visionary animator Nina Paley (SITA SINGS THE BLUES) directs an irreverent musical take on the Book of Exodus, reimagining the freeing of the slaves from Egypt as an eclectic mixtape of funk, rock and Motown, featuring songs by Pat Boone and Led Zeppelin. Sharply witty, but also deeply personal and affecting, Paley's kaleidoscopic animation is filtered through a feminist prism that exposes and explodes the patriarchal tenets of the Passover story. (Note adapted from the Mill Valley Film Festival.) DIR/SCR/PROD Nina Paley. U.S., 2018, color, 78 min. NOT RATED

Sun, May 19, 2:20 p.m.
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The 21%: The Lives of Arab Citizens of Israel
Sponsored by the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC
Lead Support provided by The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and The Lois and Richard England Family Foundation

Join us for our 9th annual in-depth exploration of the daily lives and challenges of Arab Citizens of Israel. The program will feature screenings of two mid-length films — FREEDOM TRAIN from director Tawfik Abu Wael, and BE/LONGING by Amit Brauer — followed by a moderated conversation with the main subject of BE/LONGING, Amal Abou Ramadan and JDC Israel Tevet's Director of Employment Programs for Arabs and for Career Advancement, Suzan Hasan. Both the films and the conversation to follow center on the challenges faced by Arab women in Israel regarding career opportunities, racism and the struggle for equal treatment. The discussion will offer insight into real issues facing Arab Citizens in contemporary Israeli society, while also providing a look at the constructive changes being enacted on the ground by NGOs, government agencies and determined individuals.

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Ondřej Trojan (ZELARY) presents a fascinating historical drama revolving around the real-life figure of Zdeněk Toman, a controversial and singular character in modern Czech politics. In the years following World War II, he served as the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, where he orchestrated the coup of 1948 and the Czechoslovak Communist Party's rise to power. He was an unscrupulous careerist and an unsavory politician, blackmailing, exploiting and intimidating his way to the top of the Communist food chain. But he has another unlikely other role in the history books — as a savior of Jews. DIR/SCR/PROD Ondřej Trojan; SCR Zdenka Simandlova. Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2018, color, 144 min. In Czech with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 19, 7:15 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Zack Bernbaum
On a cold winter night, estranged siblings Sarah and Aaron Cotler arrive at an empty train station in Dombrova, Poland. With their only available ride being a determinedly silent driver, they embark on a quest to fulfill their dying grandmother's wish — to find, dig up and bring home the bones of her favorite childhood dog, Peter. While navigating the many obstacles and colorful characters they encounter on their journey, Sarah and Aaron must come to terms with their own demons and differences, while also contending with a country seemingly content to let its past lay buried for good. DIR/SCR/PROD Zack Bernbaum; SCR Michael Whatling; PROD Adrian Moldovan, Stephen Chandler Whitehead. Canada, 2018, color, 102 min. In English and Polish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 19, 7:30 p.m.
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Q&A with film subject Natan Sharansky and Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, moderated by the EDCJCC's CEO Carole R. Zawatsky
FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM portrays the story of Soviet "Refuseniks" through the prism of Natan Sharansky's biography. In 1977, Sharansky, a famous human rights activist, was arrested on charges of spying for the U.S., treason and anti-Soviet agitation. The film takes viewers back to a Soviet era where there was an overwhelming sense of fear and insecurity in the face of the system. No single person symbolizes the era more than Natan Sharansky, who defied the entire Soviet system in his fight for freedom and national identification. After spending years in prison, he ultimately won the struggle, paving the way for all of Soviet Jewry. DIR/SCR Arkady Kogan; PROD Alexander Levin. Israel, 2019, color, 84 min. In Russian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Mon, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
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Silent with live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and violinist Alicia Svigals (founding member, The Klezmatics)
Directed by Ewald André Dupont (PICCADILLY, VARIETE), this 1923 film is a landmark representation of German-Jewish history. Set in the 1860s, the story focuses on young Baruch (Ernst Deutsch), the son of a rabbi in an eastern shtetl, who, after becoming fascinated with the theater, leaves his home to pursue his art. In time Baruch works his way up the ranks from tent show stagehand to celebrated stage actor in Vienna, thanks to the patronage of an archduchess (Henny Porten). But Baruch still longs for home, and the approval of his stern, traditional father. The assimilation narrative and struggle between tradition and modernity strongly prefigure that of THE JAZZ SINGER, which would come along several years later. The scenes of shtetl life are vividly realized, as are the observances of Purim and Yom Kippur. This gem of German-Jewish cinema will be shown with an original live score by the extraordinary violinist Alicia Svigals (The Klezmatics, The Yellow Ticket) and pianist Donald Sosin. DIR Ewald André Dupont; SCR Paul Reno, from memoirs by Heinrich Laube. Germany, 1923, b&w, 135 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Restored by the Deutsche Kinemathek — Museum für Film und Fernsehen.

Q&A with filmmaker Micah Smith
SUSTAINABLE NATION follows three extraordinary individuals doing their part to bring sustainable water access to an increasingly thirsty planet. Using solutions developed in water-poor Israel, they are working to change the status quo of a world where one in ten people lacks access to safe drinking water. But water is just the beginning. The work of this visionary trio highlights the nexus between food, energy and water and underscores how solving these enormous challenges can help liberate women specifically, and the world at large, from life-threatening poverty, illness and lack of opportunity. DIR Micah Smith; SCR Baruch Goldberg, Fernanda Rossi, Rebecca Shore; PROD Raphael Shore. Israel, 2019, color, 60 min. In English, Hebrew, Hindi and Swahili with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Wed, May 22, 6:30 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Alexis Gillespie
During the 1950s, free-spirited, mostly Jewish dancers from New York City fell head over heels for the mambo, a hot dance from Havana, Cuba. Their love for Latin rhythms earned them a nickname: the Mamboniks. DC-based filmmaker Alexis Gillespie tracks their joyous story from the Jewish resorts of the Catskills, to Manhattan's famed Palladium Ballroom, Miami's Gold Coast Ballroom and of course Havana. Featuring the infection sounds of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Mongo Santamaria, Gillespie explores how two cultures, Jewish and Latino, met on the dance floor at a time when America was racially segregated, and anti-Semitism was commonplace. DIR/SCR/PROD Alexis Gillespie. U.S., 2019, color, 90 min. NOT RATED

Wed, May 22, 8:30 p.m.
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Music in Yiddish Cinema with Isle of Klezbos and Metropolitan Klezmer
Isle of Klezbos and Metropolitan Klezmer plumb the fascinating range of music found in vintage Yiddish film soundtracks, from tango and tragic lullaby to a tenement wedding dance and much more. This multimedia concert — set against archival film clips — has been a national sensation with packed performances at Lincoln Center and the Museum at Eldridge Street. The band plays original arrangements inspired by scenes in celebrated movies and lesser-known cinematic gems ranging from The Dybbuk and Uncle Moses to newsreels from Moscow's State Yiddish Theater and a host of Molly Picon favorites.

PARIS SONG follows a small-town vocalist as he travels from Soviet-ruled Kazakhstan to the 1925 Paris Expo to compete in an international singing competition. There, the talented singer surprises his well-established competitors, impresses audiences and develops an unlikely friendship with Jewish-American songwriter George Gershwin and photographer Lee Abbo (Abbie Cornish). This enjoyable story, based on the life of Kazakh folk hero Amre Kashaubayev, has a fabulous score including a rousing rendition of "Fascinating Rhythm." DIR/PROD Jeff Vespa; SCR Benjamin A. van der Veen; PROD Anna Chakirtova, Cary Granat, Ed Jones, Igor Pronin, Alidar Utemuratov, Yulia Zayceva. Kazakhstan/Latvia/U.S., 2018, color, 90 min. In English, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, May 25, 1:45 p.m.
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THE LIGHT OF HOPE is the inspiring story of real-life heroine Elisabeth Eidenbenz, who was the director of the Elne maternity camp in the south of France on the Spanish border. Throughout the 1930s and '40s, Elne provided refuge for pregnant women fleeing both the Spanish Civil War and Vichy refugee camps. When Pétain's fascist regime tries to close the home in 1942 — and demands that she hand over all Jewish refugees and their children — Eidenbenz and her staff bravely resist, putting their own lives in great danger. DIR Silvia Quer; SCR Margarita Melgar; PROD Miriam Porté. Spain, 2018, color, 96 min. In Spanish, Catalan and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, May 25, 3:45 p.m.
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Carl Laemmle founded Universal Pictures, produced hundreds of blockbuster comedies, Westerns and monster movies, and gave scores of Hollywood legends their first breaks (among them Walt Disney, John Ford and William Wyler.) His credits as a founding father of modern cinema are unimpeachable, but remarkably, this success pales in comparison with his humanitarian deeds. A German-Jewish immigrant himself, Laemmle did not stand idly by as Hitler's government took power, instead putting his personal clout and political standing on the line to fight this new threat. Along the way, he rescued more than 300 Jewish refugee families fleeing Nazi Germany's advance. DIR/SCR/PROD James L. Freedman. U.S., 2018, color, 91 min. NOT RATED

Sat, May 25, 6:00 p.m.
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After the premiere of Bertolt Brecht, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera" in 1928, the work seemed destined for the silver screen; Brecht wanted to make a film, and a studio was eager to capitalize. Brecht clashed with producers over his desire to make a socially conscious adaptation, while the studio wanted a crowd-pleaser. After a court battle, Brecht and Weill were forced off the project, which was released in 1931 with another director. Joachim Lang's high-sheen dramatization of Brecht's attempts to make the film is itself a frenzied satire, resplendent with historically accurate gems such as Brecht saying to his antagonists, "In the realm of art, you and your people have the mind of an oyster." DIR/SCR Joachim Lang; PROD Till Derenbach, Michael Souvignier. Germany, 2018, color, 130 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED 

Sat, May 25, 8:00 p.m.
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Q&A with filmmaker Celia Lowenstein
Celia Lowenstein's visually audacious tour of the 3,000-year history of the Jewish Diaspora is told through a globetrotting escapade of Jewish spaces of worship. If synagogues could speak, they would tell the story embodied in SACRED SPACES – the architectural and spiritual tale of a people's beliefs, perseverance, and diversity. Starting in Jerusalem and winding through Tunisia, Venice, Cordoba, and even Elkins Park, Pennsylvania (where Frank Lloyd Wright teamed up with Rabbi Mortimer Cohen), SACRED SPACES employs enlightening interviews, stunning drone footage and a spirited intellectual rigor to examine Jewish history from a spectacularly original perspective. DIR Celia Lowenstein; PROD Christine Le Goff. France, 2018, color, 90 min. NOT RATED

Sun, May 26, 12:15 p.m.
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Q&A with producer Ricki Gurwitz
In 2015, 94-year-old Oskar Gröning, known as the Accountant of Auschwitz, was finally prosecuted for the murder of 300,000 Jews. As survivors traveled to Germany to testify, the heinous acts of the Holocaust remained vivid and traumatic for all present. For some, there was no grey area: Gröning was witness to the horrors, and therefore complicit, regardless of his duty to follow orders. For others, he was considered a pitiful, frail man in the twilight years of his life, and they saw no reason to pursue charges. At once a gripping look at the race against time to prosecute the last living Nazi war criminals and a profound examination of the very concept of justice. DIR Matthew Soychet; SCR/PROD Ric Esther Bienstock, Ricki Gurwitz. Canada, 2018, color, 78 minutes. In English, Hebrew and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 26, 2:45 p.m.
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In this delectable charmer fresh from Sundance, twelve-year-old Brooklynite Abe navigates the complicated identity issues that arise from having a Jewish-Israeli mother and a Muslim-Palestinian father. While family political skirmishes play out across the dinner table, Abe's focus is squarely on the kitchen itself, where the cultural fix he seeks is of the food fusion variety. When he meets the Brazilian chef Chico, who emphatically believes that "mixing flavors can bring people together," Abe is inspired to prepare a Thanksgiving feast to help his family bridge their differences. Mixing youthful idealism, the healing power of food, and a dash of Brazilian rhythms (featuring two new tracks from Seu Jorge), ABE is a genuine delight. DIR/SCR Fernando Grostein Andrade; SCR Lameece Issaq, Jacob Kader, Christopher Vogler; PROD Carlos Ciampolini, Caio Gullane, Fabiano Gullane, Noberto Pinheiro Jr. Brazil, 2018, color, 85 min. In English, Arabic and Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 26, 3:00 p.m.
For additional screenings at other venues visit jxjdc.org

Noah Gamliel (Lior Ashkenazi), a world-renowned musician and orchestra conductor, abruptly leaves behind a brilliant career and loving girlfriend to return to the home he left thirty years earlier. Once there, he finds his father's Alzheimers progressing at an alarming pace, with his only remaining joy being able to sing in the local choir. When the choir's conductor passes away, Noah decides to take his place. All the while, he's carrying around a devastating secret — Noah is slowly going deaf. DIR Alon Zingman; SCR Ori Elon; Dikla Barkai, Ischa Gur Luzun, Denise Neustadt. Israel, 2018, color, 84 min (first two episodes). In Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, May 26, 5:00 p.m.
For additional screenings at other venues visit jxjdc.org

Closing Night
Starring the recently passed Bruno Ganz (DOWNFALL, WINGS OF DESIRE) as Sigmund Freud and based on the international bestseller by Robert Seethaler, THE TOBACCONIST is a tender, heartbreaking story about one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna. Seventeen-year-old Franz journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud (Ganz), a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship. When Franz falls desperately in love with the music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that the female sex is as big a mystery to him as it is to Franz. As political and social conditions in Austria dramatically worsen with the Nazis' arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events. Each has a big decision to make: to stay or to flee? DIR/SCR Nikolaus Leytner; SCR Klaus Richter, from the novel by Robert Seethaler. Germany, 2018, color, 108 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED