What’s on at the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival?

(EJNews) – Here is a peek at the feature films that will be screened at the upcoming Edmonton Jewish Film Festival, from May 17-18, 21-23 and 28-29 at the Landmark Cinema 9, City Centre. For ticket information and to look at the trailers visit jewishedmonton.org/filmfest.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine (2016)

Director: Roger Sherman (Israel)

Language: English
Genre: Documentary

Wednesday May 17 at 7 pm (97 mins)

Chef Michael Solomonov explores the four senses of Israel’s palate, from north to south and east to west. Relishing in the mosaic of Israel’s demographics and interviewing chefs from various cultures and backgrounds, this film is a mouth-watering portrait of a country constantly attempting to redefine its identity… through food! Solomonov pays particular attention to how Israel’s top chefs have adapted home cooking and created a unique and modern nation’s signature gastronomy.  With a touch of political contextualization and a gorgeous portrait of a people coming “back to the land,” this film will leave you hungry for Israeli cuisine.


The Kind Words (2015)

Director: Shemi Zarhin (Israel/Canada)

Language: French and Hebrew with English Subtitles

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Thursday May 18 at 7:45 pm (118 mins)

This quirky and wry comedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings – Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai – who, in the wake of their mother’s death, learn the man who raised them is not their biological dad. The revelation sends them on a road trip from Israel across France to discover the truth about their real father. The sixth feature from writer-director Shemi Zarhin explores an unraveling family secret and the bittersweet journey of self-discovery that follows.


Secrets of War (2014)

Director: Dennis Bots (Netherlands)

Language: Dutch with English Subtitles

Genre: Drama, Family, History

Sunday May 21 at 3 pm (95 mins)

Summer 1943. Tuur and Lambert are best friends. The surrounding of their idyllic village has no secrets for the teenagers. From the farm of Lambert’s dad to the caves in the woods – it’s their world. But the war is closing in and is about to change their lives forever. Tuur’s dad joined the resistance and even his big brother seems to be a part of it. Lambert’s family on the other hand choose to obey the Germans. Then a new girl from the city shows up, befriending the boys but telling her secret to only one of them. A choice that separates the boys and ultimately gets her in trouble. Tuur not only risks losing his friendship with Lambert, but even his whole family. He will have to stop at nothing to safeguard both.


The Women’s Balcony

Director: Emil Ben-Shimon

Language: Hebrew with English Subtitles

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Sunday May 21 at 6 pm (96 mins)

An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.


Belle and Sebastian (2014)
Director: Nicolas Vanier (Canada)

Language: English

Genre: Comedy, Adolescence, Coming of Age

Monday May 22 at 3 pm (94 mins)

Based on the acclaimed children’s novel by Cécile Aubry,Belle and Sebastian follows the courageous adventures of a young boy and his giant sheepdog amidst the stunning backdrop of the snow-covered Alps. In WWII-occupied France, on the border of Switzerland, six-year-old Sebastian tames the enormous, yet gentle mountain dog Belle, who, despite the fears of the local villagers, becomes his best friend and protector. When the Nazis arrive and begin rooting out resistance members and Jewish refugees, Belle and Sebastian prove their loyalty for the village and each other when they undertake a treacherous journey to help the cause.


Raise the Roof (2015)

Director: Yari Wolinsky (USA, Poland)

Language: English and Polish with English Subtitles

Genre: Documentary

Monday May 22 at 6 pm (85 mins)

Inspired by images of the magnificent wooden synagogues of 18th century Poland – the last of which were destroyed by the Nazis – artists Rick & Laura Brown of Handhouse Studio set out to reconstruct a replica of the stunning, mural-covered Gwozdziec synagogue.


Fever at Dawn (2016)

Director: Peter Gardos (Hungary)

Language: Hungarian with English Subtitles

Genre: Drama

Tuesday May 23 at 7:45 pm (110 mins)

In 1945, after having been freed from a concentration camp, 25-year-old Hungarian Miklós is being treated at a Swedish hospital. The doctors diagnose him with a severe lung disease and tell him that he has no more than six months to live. But he refuses to give up, wants to find a wife with whom he can start a new life, and sends letters to 117 Hungarian girls who are also being treated in Sweden. One of the girls is 19-year-old Lili, who likes Miklós’s letter, and they start corresponding. Based on the novel: Fever at Dawn.


The Pickle Recipe:

Director: Michael Manasseri (USA)

Language: English

Genre: Comedy

Sunday May 28 at 3 pm (97 mins)

Desperate for cash and down on his luck, party emcee Joey (played by Canadian actor Jon Dore) is corrupted by his shameless uncle to steal his grandmother’s top secret pickle recipe.


The Last Laugh (2016)

Director: Ferne Pearlstein (USA)

Language: English

Genre: Documentary

Sunday May 28 at 6 pm (85 mins)

THE LAST LAUGH is a feature documentary about what is taboo for humor, seen through the lens of the Holocaust and other seemingly off-limits topics, in a society that prizes free speech.


The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers (2014)

Director: Richard Trank (English)

Language: English

Genre: Documentary

Monday May 29 at 7:45 pm (111 mins)

Focusing on Yehuda Avner’s experiences working for Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin, the film opens as Rabin becomes Israel’s first native-born Prime Minister in 1974. It examines the events surrounding the first treaty between Israel and Egypt, Rabin’s tense relationship with President Jimmy Carter and his resignation following a financial scandal involving his wife. It explores Avner’s decision to work for Menachem Begin after his surprise election in 1977, Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem, the Camp David Accords, difficulties between President Carter and Begin and tensions between Israel and the US during the 1982 Lebanon War. Finally, the film recounts Rabin’s assassination in 1995 after being elected Prime Minister a second time.





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