Presented by Toronto Jewish Film Society and Koffler Centre of the Arts
Sunday, December 8 - 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Argentina, 2009, Gabriel Pomeraniec director, 70 minutes
Jewish immigrants forever changed the music of Argentina, home to one of the world’s largest Jewish communities. Tango uses archival footage and interviews with musicians young and old to transport you through the rhythms of this rich tradition.
Kenneth Lonergan’s brilliant drama about a Jewish high school student (Anna Paquin) coping with the aftermath of a terrible traffic accident was delayed by nearly a decade for its theatrical release. When it finally did come out in 2011, the studio tried to bury it, but critics rallied to its defense and it now looks like a keynote American film: savage, ambitious, literary, emotionally raw and deeply invested in questions of culture and identity. Like few modern movies, Margaret invites and demands discussion.
Intellectual Nelly Sue Edelmeister (Zoe Moore) is supposed to be studying for her Bat Mitzvah but instead, as part of an elaborate scheme to catch the eye of a boy she likes, ends up being coached by Max Minsky (Emil Reinke) in basketball in exchange for helping him with his homework. This starts the ball rolling for a quirky and funny family tale, one of the few recent movies depicting the travails of Germany’s re-born Jewish community.
Presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Society as part of Spotlight on Israeli Culture
Sunday, March 23 - 4:00pm & 7:30pm
Israel / USA, 2007, Lynn Roth director, 88 minutes
Guest Speaker: Rebecca Singh, Director of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel
In 1947 Palestine, on the eve of Israel’s rebirth, a young Jewish boy, Proffy Liebowitz (Ido Part, Dear Mr. Waldman,) is arrested for breaking curfew by the ‘enemy’, a British Sargeant named Dunlop (Alfred Molina). That incident leads to a deep friendship between the two even as Proffy’s new relationship leads to charges of his being a traitor. Based on Amos Oz’s novel Panther in the Basement, The Little Traitor is a warm, moving coming of age tale which leaves an indelible impact.
Co-presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Society and Toronto Silent Film Festival
Sunday, June 1 - 4:00pm and 7:30pm
USA, 1922, Directors Frank N. Seltzer and George K. Rowlands, 78 minutes
With live musical accompaniment by Jordan Klapman on piano and Drew Jurecka on violin.
Newly restored by the National Center for Jewish Film from the only surviving print, this long lost silent film was made to protest the rise of racism and the Ku Klux Klan in the United States. The story of David Bergmann, a Russian immigrant who makes it big in America, Breaking Home Ties provocatively tackles timely issues of poverty, guilt and family ties, with a love story thrown in for good measure.
A black and white masterpiece, with live musical accompaniment by Jordan Klapman on piano and Drew Jurecka on violin.
Co-presented by Toronto Jewish Film Society and the United Jewish Peoples’ Order (Toronto)
Sunday, September 21 - 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm
USA, 2002, Joel Katz director, 57 minutes
Billie Holiday’s heartbreaking 1939 rendition of Strange Fruit became a powerful emblem for African Americans in their long civil rights struggle. What is less known is that the song, with its stark depiction of the lynching of Blacks in the American South, was written by a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx named Abel Meeropol. Joel Katz’s documentary paints a powerful portrait of the songwriter and those volatile times, testifying to the unique power of music to unite people and inspire change.
Mexico / USA, 2007, Alejandro Springall director, 98 minutes
Outrageousness abounds as the family of the late Moishe prepare to sit shivah for him. Two angels, one symbolizing light and one darkness and invisible to all, observe the ceremony and bet on who will accompany Moishe’s soul to the afterlife. Meanwhile, his squabbling family has their own issues to deal with even as the man in charge of keeping the shivah kosher prepares to rip them off financially. An unusual comedy about Mexican Jewry, My Mexican Shivah is a spicy treat.
Co-presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Society and Holocaust Education Week
Sunday, November 9 - 4:00pm and 7:30pm
USA, 2008, Hilary Helstein director, 70 minutes
Guest Speaker: Filmmaker Hilary Helstein
Maya Angelou narrates this powerful documentary about a group of extraordinary people who fought the Nazis with the only weapons they had: charcoal, pencil stubs, shreds of paper and memories etched in their minds. These artists risked their lives in order to ensure that the world would not forget the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Shocking family secrets are revealed as Francois Grimbert grows up in a troubled family in the years after the Second World War. The sickly Francois has always imagined that things could be different and better for him but what he finds out about his parents’ war experiences and past lives shakes him to his core. A powerful drama about identity, betrayal and the lengths one can go to stay alive, Un secret reverberates strongly and unforgettably.