The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is underway. This amazing festival, which runs through Sunday, February 26th is one to not be missed.
Eleven internationally-acclaimed feature films, many of which are making their Arizona debuts, offer a wealth of Jewish life, culture, humor and drama. The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival has been a vibrant and growing tradition in the Phoenix area for sixteen years.
Here are a few highlights of films to check out:
Sometimes you have to laugh or you will cry. Israel can always use a good laugh, as much as any country, and more than many. Perhaps this is why Director Dani Menkin chooses to do this romantic, diverting yes – even nonsensical film. Think – what better way to have fun than by loving! Exactly the underlying narrative theme introducing the theme: “Love usually happens when God decides He needs a laugh.” The film maker portrays this by throwing two young people together on an airplane. Hamlet meets Lady Puck. Israeli Ben is a thirty-something living at home, and obsessing over “to be or not to be” married to his girlfriend in New York. English Emma is outrageous with a flaky charm. A layover in Prague provides the neutral ground for this chancy encounter. Watch it play out and, go ahead, HAVE A GOOD LAUGH!
Advanced Tickets Sales for this screening have ended but there may still be tickets available at the door!
Fact is stranger than fiction. But when it is said, fact is more poignant, filled with more outrage, with pain, and more political, legal, and religious twists and turns than fiction. “Hidden Children” is the true saga of two little French Jewish boys, the Finalys, sheltered by a devout Catholic woman when their parents were sent to their deaths in a concentration camp. The war ended, but another tug of war began over the return to their Jewish heritage. The film highlights the long troubled relationship between Catholic fundamentalism and French republican ideals, Catholicism and Judaism, and the public, the politicians and the courts. Once there had been L’Affaire Dreyfus, now there was L’Affaire Finaly. The facts by themselves are distressing enough. The performances of the young actors will tug at your hearts.
In every way, good, bad, but never dull, Tony Curtis is the iconic rags to riches, intolerance struggle, climb to fame, pursued by infamy, American story. To know this story is to know what defines a truly original movie star. Tony Curtis is the stuff that Hollywood biopics are made of – bigger than life, fiction posing as fact. In fact, this fascinating documentary, with its celebrity interviews, exclusive footage and film clips and the actor’s own honest and open conversation, reveals what comes with an unpredictable, truly incredible rise to fame and power. Addiction to fan adulation, and sometimes outrageous behavior can have its consequences. That is the case of this witty and intelligent man, his efforts to claim the serious acting roles and display the talent that just needed time to mature. You see it on the screen as Sidney Falco in “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957), driving ambition derailing a personality. You see it in “Some Like It Hot” (1959), outrageously comic cross-dressing and dead on impersonations. But maybe the role that most distinguishes Tony Curtis is his courageous stance against the color barrier in the film whose title conveys most emphatically who and what Tony Curtis is: “The Defiant Ones” (1958).
For more information on the festival and the other great films that they’ll be screening be sure to check out their website.