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


Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 100 minutes, 2000
Winner of numerous Israeli Academy Awards in 2000, Time of Favor combines elements of thriller and love triangle as it focuses on a yeshiva in the occupied territories. Menachem, an observant officer, commands an army unit drawn from the yeshiva’s students. Michal is the headstrong daughter of charismatic, albeit cultish leader and political zealot of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Melzer, who in turn attempts to match the bookish Pini, his best student and best friend of Menachem with his daughter,. Frustrated by Michal’s rejection for Menachem, Pini misinterprets Rabbi Melzer’s teachings and launches an elaborate plot as a justification of his existence in the world.


Israel, English, Yiddish, and Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 85 minutes, 2001
An entertaining panorama of the Pesach Burstein family,including equally famous wife, Lillian Lux, and children Michael and Susan. Considered the Yiddish “Royal Family” from the 1920’s through the 1980’s, the documentary endearingly depicts Yiddish theatre and vaudeville through the lives of a closely knit family as they journeyed and performed together throughout the Yiddish speaking world. As all dynasties come to an end, the Burstein’s family star slowly fades as the formula that extended their success leads to their performing dissolution.


USA, English, color, 84 minutes, 2001
This unprecedented documentary concentrates on a complex range of gay and lesbian individuals, some closeted and others not, who, at great odds, continue to lead observant and devout lives, unwilling to abandon their deep connection to Orthodox Judaism. Their struggle to reconcile the dichotomy between their passionate spiritual commitment and their nontraditional sexuality strikes at the very meaning of religious identity in the modern world. This story is a loving, balanced, and fearless testament to faith and the universal resilience of Judaism. Voted “Your Favorite Film of 2001” by the patrons of Jewishfilm.com.


Israel, Hebrew & Georgian with English subtitles, color, 100 minutes, 2001, very R-rated for extended sex scene.
In today’s assimilated world, one would think marrying Jewish- Dayenu - would be enough. Lily and Yasha, Soviet Georgia Jewish émigrés in Israel, search for a young (teenage) Georgian Jewess bride for their thirty-one year old, single, smart, good looking, never-been-married son, Zaza. They don’t know, and he tries to prevent them from discovering, his true love, Judith, a Morrocan Jewish divorcee with a young daughter. It’s the conflict of old-world, ritualistic Matchmaker vs. Modern Love at its best. Israeli Academy Award Winner of 2001.


Australia, English and Lithuanian with English subtitles, color , 54 minutes, 2000.
Inspired by his examination of old family records, Australian documentary filmmaker Rod Freedman tracks down his long forgotten, Lithuanian 93-year old great uncle, Chatzkel Lemchen, He discovers a vibrant man who was the only family member to survive the horrors of two world wars, the Holocaust, and the Soviet attempted dismantling of Lithuania. His incredible story is not one of hiding, but one of saving the Lithuanian language throughout this turbulent time in history.


USA, English, color, 54 minutes, 2000
An entertaining documentary which focuses on the venerable art of Jewish matchmaking in various cities across the United States. Whether it is a traditional “shadchen” or a high-tech relationship consultant, the goal remains the same: to connect eligible Jewish singles. A touching and light-hearted film illustrating the hope, joy and frustration of searching for one’s intended soul mate.


Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 116 minutes, 1999
Kadosh focuses on the marriage issues of two sisters living in the ultra Orthodox Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem. Rivka is a fully devoted wife of Meir, a Talmudic scholar, but is still infertile after 10 years. After her husband leaves, her life deteriorates. Malka, Rivka’s sister is a modern orthodox woman working outside the community and in love with a secular pop singer. She is forced into an unhappy marriage with a zealous disciple of the local rabbi. This highly controversial film raises many issues about the practice of ultra Orthodoxy at the expense of individual lives.


Czechoslovakia, Czech with English subtitles, Color, 122 minutes, 2001
Josef and Marie Cizek are a childless couple in a small Czech town under Nazi control . They hide David, a young Jewish man who has escaped from a nearby concentration camp. Horst, a local Czech-Nazi collaborator, who has long lusted after Marie, suspects that the couple may be harboring a fugitive. This unusual setting for survival is filled with unexpected twists and heroes based on real life experiences. Nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2000.


Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 50 minutes, 1999)
This cinematic novella captures the dramatic life–and-death edge that many Israelis live on today. The young son of an Israeli family, an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, has left his house to catch a bus back to his post. A terrorist bomb explodes at the bus stop killing a number of soldiers and wounding many others. The fear and desperation of his family mounts as they are unable to contact him. The ending of this suspenseful story is both shocking and unexpected.


Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, color, 40 minutes, 2001
The Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem faces the Arab village of Beit Jala. For over eighteen months, Gilo has been subjected to frequent small arm fire originating from Beit Jala. Unlike random shooting by a lone terrorist or the explosion of a bomb, these attacks have been continuous and have brought the experiences of warfare to what had formerly been a peaceful neighborhood with panoramic views. This documentary confronts the viewer with the frightening impact of this experience and how powerless some of the residents are to change their situation.


Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles, Color, 150 minutes, 1997, mature themes, R rated.
Set in 1995 in the bohemian Florentine district of Tel Aviv, this Israeli television series attained instantaneous popularity. It focuses on the interaction of a group of twenty-somethings as they confront challenges of love, work, family, and life in general during a year where peace was swept away before the country’s eyes. This hip and mature series showcases the finest in young Israeli talent and rises far above ‘Melrose Place” and Beverly Hills 90210” in both subject matter, script , and production values. The presentation will include 6 half-hour of the first year episodes.

Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival * www.svjff.org