JIFF is up and rolling for 2018

October 25, 2018 by Elana Bowman
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Over 80 people came to the opening of the Jewish International Film Festival in Sydney.

The festival was launched by Slovakia’s entry for the 2019 Oscars “The Interpreter”.

A scene from The Interpreter

80-year-old Ali Ungar comes across a book by a former SS officer describing his wartime activities in Slovakia. He realises his parents were executed by him. So he sets out to take revenge but finds instead his 70-year-old son, Georg, a retired teacher. After a strange initial meeting, Georg, who had avoided his father all his life, decides to find out more about him, so asks Ali to be his interpreter.

So two men with conflicting personalities (one larger than life, the other serious and rather old-fashioned) and backgrounds embark on a road trip to confront Graubner’s father’s past stories, people in the photographs, and what happened in the villages.

The film is filled with some unexpected humour and revelations which camouflages the pain of a fledgeling friendship between the two men; one a victim of the war and the other the son of the perpetrator.

Ali’s life is in some ways the happier for being more principled. His long, faithful marriage to his now-deceased wife and his loving relationship with his principled, smart daughter (Zuzana Mauréry) are riches that Georg, lonely underneath all his seemingly jolly humour, has never experienced.

It’s a beautiful film, with lovely performances by both leads, and it draws upon important and topical subjects about our relationship to history and our past experiences.

Definitely a must see!

JIFF hunts down the best films getting the distribution right.  During the year the artistic directors view over 400 films and select 63 which makes JIFF new and current.

JIFF is one of the longest-running film festivals in Australia and had its roots in Melbourne where it realised the ambitions of Eddie and Lindy Tamir.

In the cocktail preceding the opening film, Lindy Tamir told of the work goes into finding the films for the program.

One of the festival’s highlight films is “Sobibor” which is Russia’s foreign entry for the Oscars in 2019. Another of the films “Unorthodox” opened in Jerusalem and JIFF gained the distribution rights just before this year’s program went to print.

Lindy Tamir – the co-artistic director of JIFF said that “we most importantly had to see 30 films each.”

Lindy recommends that readers see The Oslo Diaries which is a fantastic documentary with rare footage from the Oslo talks and to enjoy Redemption as one of the feature films.

JIFF will present the movies in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

For the full program in your city


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