It’s All About the Films

October 25, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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Back and bigger than ever, the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) includes a wide raging variety of movies and documentaries.

Kicking off the festival is Denial, based on true events and stars Rachel Weisz as American academic Deborah Lipstadt who was sued for libel in an English court by David Irving (Timothy Spall) in 1996. This highly anticipated drama premiered at Toronto International Film Festival.

“We are excited and proud to launch Denial in Australia” said JIFF’s Lindy Tamir.

The importance of food is explored In Search of Israeli Cuisine by Roger Sherman while Monsieur Mayonnaise follows Australian artist Phillipe Mora as he traces the journey of his late father, Georges Mora.  Georges was known as a Melbourne art patron and restaurant owner but less well known is his history in the French resistance during World War II.   American comedy The Pickle Recipe deals with a dysfunctional family, an attempted heist, and a particularly good pickle.

With 68 titles to choose from there are gems to discover such as Midnight Orchestra in which a French-Moroccan comes to terms with his past while in Wedding Doll a young Israeli woman with learning difficulties yearns to be independent.  Sylvia: Tracing Blood examines the trajectory of Sylvia Rafael, born in South Africa to an Afrikaner mother and a Jewish father who became an unlikely Mossad agent for Israel.

Sand Storm, the debut feature from Elite Zexer, has been chosen to represent Israel at the Oscars.  It’s a Bedouin story of tradition, modernity and a divided family and portrays a layered relationship between a mother and daughter.  For the young at heart, comes Abulele, an Israeli family fantasy about dealing with loss and the power of love and friendship.

The documentary Aida’s Secrets charts the plight of displaced persons and questions of identity resilience and compassion as two brothers finally meet and visit their elderly mother in an attempt to uncover the truth about their family history.

In the Festival’s closing film, The Last Laugh, comedians can’t agree on how to joke about the Holocaust, or if it is even ethical to try. Filmmaker Ferne Pearlstein puts the debate over comedy’s ultimate taboo to legends such as Carl Reiner and Harry Shearer along with actual survivors and asks questions about just how free speech can really be.

JIFF will screen in Auckland, Brisbane Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Check www.jiff.com.au for full program and booking details.

 

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