Denial (Opening Night)
In the 1990s, an impassioned and articulate American Professor Deborah Lipstadt publishes a book titled ‘Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory’. Soon after, a prominent ‘denier’ referenced in Lipstadt’s work, David Irving, sues her for defamation. Suddenly, under the rule of the English legal system, Lipstadt must prove that the Holocaust occurred in order to discredit Irving and clear her name. She is matched with a brilliant but eccentric barrister, Richard Rampton, and the exceptionally smart lawyer Anthony Julius, who ask Deborah to buy into a unique and daring strategy – remain silent. Neither Deborah nor a single Holocaust survivor is to take the stand during their defense, thereby avoiding any possibility of emotional bias.
????? Slant Magazine
????? The Hollywood News
Twenty years after the assassination that plunged Israel and the peace process into turmoil, Rabin In His Own Words is a moving firsthand account of the late prime minister and statesmen’s dramatic life story. Through a combination of rare recordings and documents, Yitzhak Rabin narrates his own biography; from his childhood in Tel Aviv as the son of a labor leader before the founding of the State of Israel, to farm worker, through to his service in the Israel Defense Force and his later diplomatic and political career. These candid public and private thoughts from a famously introverted personality illuminate the lesser known chapters of Rabin’s story, as well as some of the most critical junctures of the Jewish State.
????? Monsters And Critics
????? Spectrum Culture
Jerry Lewis had the masses laughing with his visual gags, pantomime sketches and signature slapstick humor. Yet Lewis was far more than just a clown. He was also a groundbreaking filmmaker whose unquenchable curiosity led him to write, produce, stage and direct many of the films he appeared in, resulting in such adored classics as The Bellboy, The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, and The Nutty Professor. Celebrating his 90th year, Jerry Lewis candidly reflects on his remarkable life and decades-long career, from his legendary partnership with crooner Dean Martin, his incredible rise to Beatles-like fame, to his great love affair with filmmaking.
Joey Miller is the undisputed king of Detroit party emcees. He is also a single father and deeply in debt. To make matters worse, during his latest, one-of a-kind wedding performance, all of his prized sound equipment is destroyed in a freak accident—and as luck would have it, his daughter Julie’s bat mitzvah is only four weeks away. After exhausting all of his options, he finally turns to his shady Uncle Morty, who agrees to give him the money to get back into business–but under one condition: Joey must go and steal his grandmother Rose’s famous top secret pickle recipe which she has vowed to take to her grave.
????? Flick Direct
With the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the situation for Anne and her family grows dire. To avoid deportation, the family hides in a secret annexe in the rear of a house in Amsterdam—a claustrophobic existence combining everyday routine with imminent danger. Between birthday parties, bomb scares and the fear of being discovered, the young Anne records her daily life in her diary, where she details her fears and desires as she comes of age behind locked doors. Her clever observations and insightful descriptions have helped generations of young people picture the horrors of the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Sylvia Rafael was born in Cape Town, South Africa, to an Afrikaner mother and a Jewish father—an unlikely beginning for a Mossad agent who came to infiltrate the inner sanctums of Israel’s foremost enemies. Raphael took over from Israeli spy, Eli Cohen, following his public hanging in Damascus in May 1965, defying the Syrian assumption that Israel would never replace him with a woman. This documentary traces the trajectory of Raphael’s cloaked life; from her involvement in the infamous Lillehammer Affair, to her subsequent imprisonment for espionage. With testimony from friends, family and lovers, director Saxon Logon paints a detailed picture of a mysterious, captivating and alluring woman who formed an integral part of Israel’s secret service.
A homage to Israel’s most infamous river, the Yarkon, Winding offers an immersive study of an oft-maligned feature of Israel’s geography. Painting a portrait of a river that flows through the heart of Israeli society, this documentary tracks the history of its flow: from the settlers at the advent of the 19th century, to its modern day reputation as toxic eyesore, and to the Maccabiah disaster.
Waking up one morning to discover their passports smeared across television screens around the world, five ordinary Israeli citizens are plunged into a gripping international espionage affair. The five soon discover they have been implicated as prime suspects in a high-profile and brutal kidnapping—that of Iranian Minister of Defense, Farhead Sulimani, during his recent visit to Moscow. Inspired by the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai in 2010, False Flag immerses the viewer in the suspect world of spying and double-agents, with a tension that manages to retain a degree of irony, all performed with incredible virtuosity.
Ancient legends warn children about the Abulele: enormous, furry and sometimes dangerous monsters who are able to hide among the human race by making themselves invisible except to special children who are in need of a friend. Adam, a young boy grieving from the loss of his brother, discovers an Abulele living in his building. But when Adam realises that it is not the Abulele but the humans who are the real monsters, he risks everything to save his friendly giant.
Director Gur Bentwich wryly explores his family’s unique malady: a psychosomatic affliction that causes sufferers to glorify their family heritage and exaggerate its importance. From humble origins in Whitechapel, the eccentric and ambitious nineteenth century lawyer Herbert Bentwich set out to establish an aristocratic Jewish dynasty, rivalling that of Theodore Herzl and the other great founders of the Jewish state – at least according to the Bentwichs. With charming chutzpah, Gur’s family leave their home in Israel to step back in time, running amok in London to paint an intimate portrait of their family history.
Three brothers, child survivors of the Holocaust, go in search of a cave in the Tuscan countryside where their family hid 70 years earlier during World War Two. But more than a search to find a geographical location, the brothers are on their way to locate the common ground of memory, the nexus where the conflicting versions of their stories can come to rest. Lively, outspoken, and polar opposites in their personalities and professional lives, the men’s complex but loving relationships come to light, while questions arise about the nature of memory.
The Last Laugh (Closing Night)
The world’s foremost comedians can’t agree on how to joke about the Holocaust, or if it’s even ethical to try. Filmmaker Ferne Pearlstein puts the fascinating debate over comedy’s ultimate taboo to legends including Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried and Harry Shearer, along with actual survivors such as Renee Firestone and other critical thinkers. Many, like Sarah Silverman, think jokes have the ability to keep history’s greatest tragedy present, while Mel Brooks and others reject the premise entirely. A most intriguing conversation emerges over where to draw the line between bad taste and bad jokes, shedding new light on the Soup Nazi, Hogan’s Heroes and the entire premise of The Producers.