2 0 0 1 F e s t i v a l

Left Luggage

Belgium, the Netherlands and USA, English, color, 100 min, 1998
It's 1972 in Antwerp. A young revolutionary, non-believing, Jewish collegestudent, Chaya, whose parents are Holocaust survivors, gets a lesson in comparativereligion (her own) as world realities thrust her into lessons she never got in religiousschool or home. Play Sigmund Freud as you dissect all the guilt-laden characters thatweave into director Jeroen Krabbé's story line. Filled with a superb internationalcast that include Isabella Rossilini, Maximillian Schell, and Chaim Topol, watch theage-old battle of how a younger assimilated generation discovers, struggles, understands, and eventually incorporates Jewish values from an older connected generation.

Vulcan Junction

Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 102 min, 1999
Plot the course of love, ambition, and disappointment of six Israeli friends as this "slice of life" drama unfolds 9 days before the Yom Kippur War. Four of the six play in a small-town, aspiring rock band, "Genetic Code". The group gets much of its inspiration from the latest American/British music first in Israel at "Vulcan Junction", a bar run by an American expatriate hippie. Mix in an emerging soccer superstar and aspiring liberal journalist couple and dramatic subplots begin. Flooded with original Israeli rock and familiar 70.s hits by Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, the Hollies, and more, Israeli Director Eran Riklis uses the numerous tracks to elicit the emotions peaking during this particular end of an innocent and confident period of Israeli history.


Israel, Hebew with English subtitles, color, 50 min, 1998
Where in Israel can you find a middle-aged toy dealer, a right-wingsoldier, a hip 20 year-old woman, and a gay Israeli Arab unleash a no-holds-barspewing of the real Israeli psyche of today? Try a 1985 Volvo station wagon! Fora ride thousands take every day from Haifa to Tel Aviv, strap in for a fifty-minutecommute into broken stereotypes, political humor, and tension so thick you needa diamond-coated bagel cutter to split. Moroccan-Israeli director Asher Tlalimand Writer Dudu Topaz (Israeli talk-show host) take us on one drive that ends in the Israeli Twilight Zone.

The Last Jewish Town

Israel, English and Juarit with English subtitles, color, 37 min, 2000
When a Jewish community is separated from the rest of the world for 300 years, there's great chance of losing that community. Not so for the mountain Jews of Guba in northern Azerbaijan. Through the eyes of Tammy Schneiden, a former resident who emigrated to Israel, learn of the many customs and traditions of this Juarit-speaking Sephardic town of 5,000.

One Day in September

Switzerland, UK and Germany, English, color and B&W, 94 min, 1999
With the eyes of the world focused on the world?s greatest athletes, the Arab terrorist group, Black September had set their sites on the Israeli Olympic team during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Dubbed the Olympics of "Peace and Joy", British documentarian Kevin MacDonald carefully traces the 31 hours of events that lead to the horrific murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. This 1999 Academy Award Best Documentary takes the viewer on a sobering journey leading up to and including real ABC Network footage that documented much of the Olympics. Numerous interviews with Israeli family members and political officials, German authorities and the lone Black September survivor tell the story of blundered political maneuvers, tense negotiations, and terrorist motivation that we did not see on television.

The Children of Chabanes

USA, English and French with English subtitles, color and B&W, 93 min, 1999
The scene was all too familiar to European Jewish families that stayed too long: saving the children from certain death in the Nazi Camps by turning them over to underground groups or even strangers to be smuggled out of danger. In this documentary, director Lisa Gossels documents a story of bravery, trickery, and dedication to a human cause through the words of many survivors. A remote rural French village protected her father and over 400 Jewish children who were successfully smuggled out of Germany and other locations of Eastern Europe. Led by schoolmaster Felix Chevrier and a dedicated staff , this documentary shows a small flame of human dignity that glowed in that region otherwise severely smothered during the Holocaust.

One Day Crossing

USA, Hungarian with English subtitles, B&W, 25 min, 1999
The Holocaust brought many heroic stories of Christians hiding Jews form the Nazis. American student filmmaker Joan Stein has crafted an amazingly explosive 25-minute drama telling of one such story with a twist that took place in Hungary just as the Allies reached Budapest. Emotionally shot on location by Hungarian cinematographer Andras Nagy, this story of heroism and sacrifice won the Independent Film award of 2000 and the Student Academy Award for "Best Dramatic Shor".

Hanna's War

Hungary, Hungarian with English subtitles, color, 148 min, 1988
Imagine an upper-class, educated Jewish Hungarian young woman emigrating to Palestine just before the Nazi Invasion of Europe. Great luck, great timing, you say. Imagine that same young woman volunteering for a secret British paratrooper unit to go back behind enemy lines to find and rescue Hungarian Jews. Meet Hannah Senesh. This heroic, but sad story about one of Israel's first female heroes is shown in graphic detail. With many narrative passages taken from her actual diary, the viewer sees one of the true untold stories of Palestine-Jews efforts during World War II. Directed by famous Israeli movie maker Menachem Golan. Excellent cast including Meruschka Detmers, Ellen Burstyn, David Warner, and Donald Plesance.

Molly: The Goldbergs

USA, English, B&W, 83 min, 1950
Gertrude Stein forged many television firsts in the 1950's as a writer/actor/producer of her famous radio-turned-television series, Molly: The Goldbergs. This 1951 feature film based on the same characters, a middle-class Jewish family from the Bronx, unveils a cultural treasure of old Jewish values in New York City during the Post WWII era. The dialogue is superb, the plot and subplots show impressive interconnected comedic writing as we now see in shows like Seinfeld. Will Molly match the young couple? Will Molly fall again for her childhood sweetheart, and will her husband's business deal with her old boyfriend make the Golbergs rich?


Austria, Canada, Germany and Hungary, English, color, 179 min, 1999
Follow the Sonnenschein family of Hungary for 120 years through the disruptive history of that country. Actor Ralph Fiennes portrays Ignatz, Igor, and Ivan in three generations of this Jewish family that slowly leaves the spirituality of their patriarch to gain status, wealth and then retribution in the Christian and then Communist Hungarian society. The film graphically portrays the breakdown of family values in each generation as unusual love affairs take the leading men farther from their roots. Co-starring William Hurt, Rachel Ehle, and Rachel Weisz, this epic story tells the story of anti-Semitism toward the privileged Jews of Hungary who had the money and means to leave Hungary, but felt too loyal to do so.

Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival * www.svjff.org