Westchester Jewish Film Festival 2019

Apr. 2–17, 2019

This year we feature 42 entertaining, thought-provoking, and engaging films about the Jewish experience around the world: a robust mix of narrative, documentaries, and—continuing our tradition of bringing you some of Israel’s fantastic television programming—all 12 episodes of the hit comedy series The New Black (Shababniks) and all five episodes of the dystopian drama Autonomies. Films, which come from Israel and beyond, cover topics from accountability to compassion to what it means to be human—documentary lovers won’t want to miss Carl Laemmle¸ and if you’re drawn to imaginative drama, you’ll love Transit. Other highlights include Shoah: Four Sisters by the late Claude Lanzmann, which reveals stunning footage he couldn’t use in his epic 1985 masterpiece Shoah. The festival centerpiece is Golda’s Balcony, the Film, a cinematic event about Golda Meier’s extraordinary life and legacy, featuring a stellar performance by Tovah Feldshuh, who will be with us for a postscreening discussion via Skype on April 6. And there’s also very special tribute to the singular Carl Reiner! It all kicks off with not one but two unique programs on opening night.

—Bruni Burres

Member Pre-Sale opens Tuesday, March 5 at noon. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 8 at noon.

You Only Die Twice Apr. 2–13 April 2, 6:30: Opening Night with RECEPTION “Blurs the border between reality and imagination and the result is a rare and stirring family story…a family story that…
The New Black (Shababniks) Program 1 Apr. 2–9 April 2, 7:00 Opening Night with RECEPTION “Funny, whimsical, and cutting…. Stylistically, Malka trades soft-lens nostalgia for Tarantinoesque dark, even violent, comedy.” (Tablet) The Israeli TV series…
Who Will Write Our History Apr. 3–17 April 3, 7:30: Q&A with Ambassador Maciej Golubiewski, the Polish Consul General in New York, and Sam Kassow, author of the award-winning book Who Will Write Our History with RECEPTION; April 17, 5:10: Q&A producer Nancy Spielberg In November 1940, just days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a clandestine group of scholars,…
Family in Transition Apr. 3–14 “Packs an undeniable emotional punch, presenting a fresh viewpoint on its hot-button topic. It’s impossible not to be moved by…
Autonomies (Program 1) Apr. 3–9 A hit Israeli TV show not to be missed! Autonomies is a dystopian drama set in an alternate version of…
Echo Apr. 3–11 Avner (Yoram Toledano, False Flag, Prisoners of War) worries that his brilliant and loving wife, Ella (Yaël Abecassis, Prisoners of…
The Jerk Apr. 4–13 Carl Reiner deftly directs Steve Martin playing the dimwitted Navin R. Johnson, the adopted white son of a family of…
The Museum Apr. 4–10 April 4, 7:35: Q&A with James S. Snyder, Director Emeritus of the Israel Museum “A masterful view of the tremendous cultural institution.” (The Times of Israel) Ran Tal’s (Children of the Sun) superb, lyrical…
Memoir of War Apr. 4–11 “Among its many notable achievements, Memoir of War is one of the best films I’ve seen about the ways in…
Autonomies (Program 2) Apr. 4–10 A hit Israeli TV show not to be missed! Autonomies is a dystopian drama set in an alternate version of…
The New Black (Shababniks) Program 2 Apr. 4–12 “Funny, whimsical, and cutting…. Stylistically, Malka trades soft-lens nostalgia for Tarantinoesque dark, even violent, comedy.” (Tablet) The Israeli TV series…
93Queen Apr. 4–13 “Brings an instinctive yet clear-eyed sympathy for these women’s remarkable story, joined with an ability to be candid about the…
The Other Story Apr. 5–16 “The latest work from the prolific Nesher underlines his track record of consistently creating engaging, thought-provoking reflections on modern life…
Oh, God! Apr. 5 “A treasure of a movie… lighthearted, satirical, and humorous and (that rarest of qualities) in good taste.” (Roger Ebert) Oh,…
Budapest Noir Apr. 5–13 Budapest, 1936. The Hungarian prime minister returns from Germany in a coffin. His dreams of making Hungary a fascist state…
Carl Laemmle Apr. 5–14 April 7, 4:45: Q&A with filmmaker James L. Freedman “When the Nazis came to power, most of the world looked the other way, but not Carl Laemmle.” (Rabbi Marvin…
Inside the Mossad Apr. 5–14 For years the Mossad, Israel’s legendary foreign intelligence agency, one of the most esteemed foreign intelligence agencies in the world,…
The Mamboniks Apr. 5–17 Lox and bagels meet salsa and congos in this joyous and singular celebration of the Jewish love affair with Latin…
Sustainable Nation Apr. 5–8 Globally, one person in 10 lacks access to safe drinking water, and in developing countries, as much as 80 percent…
Transit Apr. 5–10 “With Transit, director Christian Petzold creates a Second World War adventure that is not a sentimental costume drama and a…
The New Black (Shababniks) Program 3 Apr. 6–15 “Funny, whimsical, and cutting…. Stylistically, Malka trades soft-lens nostalgia for Tarantinoesque dark, even violent, comedy.” (Tablet) The Israeli TV series The New…
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid Apr. 6–8 April 6, 3:30: Q&A with Carl Reiner via Skype “Anyone who loves old movies will find it irresistible. And anyone who loves Steve Martin will be fascinated by his…
Golda’s Balcony, The Film Apr. 6 April 6, 7:00: Q&A with Emmy- and Tony-nominated actress Tovah Feldshuh via Skype “There’s no denying the effervescent splendor of Feldshuh’s triumphant performance.” (Montreal Gazette) In 2007, Golda’s Balcony was the longest-running one-woman…
The 90-Minute War Apr. 6–15 In this biting political mockumentary, Israeli and Palestinian leaders, fed up with decades of conflict and failed peace agreements, have…
Working Woman Apr. 6–13 “Finely drawn characters and the kind of gray-area scenario that may be uncomfortably familiar to many women make this a…
The Interpreter Apr. 7–15 “The subtlety of the film’s elegant craft, the restraint of Sulik’s characterful screenplay, and the superb chemistry between the two…
Four Sisters: The Hippocratic Oath Apr. 7 When the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Ruth Elias was 17 years old. For three years the family hid…
The Ancient Law Apr. 7 Silent film with live music accompaniment by violinist Alicia Svigals (a founding member of the Klezmatics) and renowned pianist Donald…
The Cakemaker Apr. 7–13 “Sad and sweet, and with a rare lyricism, The Cakemaker believes in a love that neither nationality, sexual orientation, nor…
Toman Apr. 8–10 Academy Award–nominated director Ondrej Trojan (Zelary) takes on the extraordinary real-life story of Zdenek Toman, a classic antihero. In the…
Four Sisters: Baluty Apr. 8 Though there are many diaries and some still photographs of the Lodz Ghetto, there are very few actual witness accounts…
In Her Footsteps Apr. 8–13 “This is a film that moves one to tears. It is the story of a special family that is undergoing…
Four Sisters: The Merry Flea Apr. 9–14 The day the Germans invaded Poland, all the men in Wieliczka, a small town near Krakow, were rounded up by…
Four Sisters: Noah’s Ark Apr. 9–14 In 1944, as the Nazis started deporting Jews from Hungary, Rudolf Kastner, a Zionist leader of the Aid and Rescue…
The Waldheim Waltz Apr. 11–14 April 11, 7:30: Q&A with AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris and RECEPTION “Thanks to Beckermann’s smart narration—clear, impassioned, but never polemical—and the astute way she allows exceptional footage to play out to…
Where’s Poppa? Apr. 11–15 “Carl Reiner, with a maniac zeal, has pulled off one of the most outrageous and funniest comedies this year.” (Variety)…
Spiral Apr. 12–16 “Chilling.” (Variety) Rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and social, political, and racial divisions have spurred on assaults—verbal and physical—against Jews and…
A Fortunate Man Apr. 12–13 “This film offers a rarely seen look at Danish Jews of that era, many of whom were privileged by their…
Here and Now Apr. 12–13 An engaging, subtle slice of life drama told through the eyes of Andrey (Vlad Dubinsky), a young Russian immigrant living…
A Bag of Marbles Apr. 14–17 April 14, 12:00: Q&A with Chancellor Rose, Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, Michael Marrus, and AJC France Chairman René-Pierre Azria “The writing and its attendant characterizations have an undeniable integrity, the particular historical detail offered by the story is not…
The Man with Two Brains Apr. 14 Q&A with Carl Reiner via Skype “Steve Martin stars as a brain surgeon in this madcap sci-fi caper that might just be his funniest film.” (Independent)…
Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz Apr. 15–17 April 10, 7:30: Q&A with Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Felice Gaer, director of AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights and RECEPTION “What we have with Barry Avrich’s inspiring and eloquent documentary is the American Dream meeting mankind’s nightmare.” (Globe and Mail)…
The Oslo Diaries Apr. 16–17 April 16, 7:30: Q&A AJC’s Director of Contemporary Jewish Life and AJC’s Koppelman Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations Steven Bayme and JBFC founder Steve Apkon “This devastating, resonant documentary account of the secret 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks succeeds by sticking with its subject well past…
The Comic Apr. 17 Billed as “A Funny New Motion Picture that Tells Hollywood Like It Was!,” The Comic, which Carl Reiner directed and…

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