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


Germany, English and German w/English subtitles. Color. 126min, 1998
Based on a true story, The Harmonists relates the trials of a late 1920s pop music sextet as they struggle to achieve recognition in their beloved Germany and later fall prey to the increasing machinations of the emerging Nazi party.. Berlin after the Great War (WWI) was a hotbed of artistic and creative endeavors, giving rise to many new and contemporary styles of music. The sextet leader, Harry Frommermann, was inspired by an American group, The Revelers.

Jewboy Levi

Germany, German w/English subtitles, color, 97min, 1999
It is 1935 and the Nazis' rise to power has yet to make itself felt in Germany?s rural regions, far from Berlin. But it is only a matter of time before it does and Levi, a highly assimilated Jewish cattle salesman, will be one of the first to feel its anti-Semitic effects. Based on Thomas Strittmatter's acclaimed theater production. Jew-Boy Levi is a disquieting and subtle examination of prejudice and how it subtly manifests itself. Audience Award, Potsdam Film Festival, 1999

Man Is Woman

France, French w/English subtitles, color, 96min, 1997
This offbeat romantic comedy and Yiddish musical was a surprise blockbuster in France, at point beating Titanic's spectacular box office success. Simon, portrayed by handsome, intense French theater and film star Antoine de Chanunes, is a cynical Parisian jazz musician, who happens to be gay. Rosalie, played by beautiful, charming Elsa Zylberstein, is an extroverted Yiddish folk singer, and observant Jewish girl who is keeping herself pure for the man of her dreams. After hearing Simon play klezmer clarinet music at his cousin's wedding, she decides that he is the one. Simon, who is not interested in Jewish girls--or any girls--accepts a marriage of convenience. As might be expected, their marriage is a disaster. They remain poles apart, yet their lives are transformed in unexpected ways. Set in New York and Paris.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

USA, English, color and B/W, 90 min, 1998
As Hitler was invading Europe, a handsome young Jewish baseball player was challenging Babe Ruth's home run record. Aviva Kempner's award-winning documentary reveals how Detroit Tiger Hank Greenberg transcended American religious prejudice, shattered stereotypes, and became an American hero. Part social history, part humorous Americana, this compelling and entertaining film cross-cuts thoughtful and sentimental interviews with family, friends and celebrity fans including Alan Dershowitz and the late Walter Matthau. Twelve years in the making, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG delivers thrills and chills, edge-of-your-seat scenes of Hammerin? Hank in action. Includes the only rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" –in Yiddish—sung by Mandy Patinkin!

Out for Love - Be Back Shortly

Israel, Hebrew w/English subtitles, color 55 min, 1997
Dan Katzir's documentary reveals what it is like to pursue love as a young Israeli amid frequent terrorist attacks and internal divisions. Katzir chronicles his own pursuit of love as he follows his girlfriend Iris with a camera, documenting their rocky road to love as Iris is recruited into the Israeli military alongside Noa Ben Artzi, Itzhak Rabin's granddaughter.


Germany, English and German w/English subtitles, color 107min, 1998
When an elderly Jewish woman is found dead in the corridor of an elegant New York hotel, a mysterious web of circumstances catches Israelis, Orthodox Jewish New Yorkers, and Germans in its intricate design. This taut new action-packed thriller, about two families and their shared past, spans events that happened 50 years ago in Nazi Germany. The film moves from those dark days to modern New York, and back to Germany. Charismatic director, scriptwriter and actor Dani Levy and renowned German actress and co-scriptwriter Maria Schrader absolutely ignite the screen. You won't want to blink, for fear of missing even a moment of the action. Language, nudity.


USA and Israel, English, 21 min, 1998
A young Jewish boy in L.A. tries to reach God by computer. Faith has a way of reaching God through celestial happenings in Jerusalem, brining joy and a message on ethics to the little boy in this delightful short.

The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob

France, French with English subtitles, color, 96 min, 1974
A New York rabbi travels to Paris and gets mixed up in a comedy of errors. This is complicated by a broad slapstick farce about a hot-headed, bigoted businessman (Louis de Funes as Victor Pivert) who is forced to disguise himself as a rabbi. With echoes of silent-screen humor, this film is regarded in some circles as one of the funniest films ever made. A wild and crazy French classic comedy. Nominated for the 1974 Golden Globe Awards. A film for the entire family.

Yidle in the Middle

Growing up Jewish in Iowa
USA, English, 57 min, color 1998
Filmmaker Mariene Booth, born and raised Jewish in Iowa, thought she had the best life of all. As an adult, she realized it wasn?t so simple. Through interviews with friends, relatives and Jewish community leaders, she examines forging an identity from conflicting aspects. A proud, practicing Jew at home and an all-American girl at school, she negotiates between being different and still fitting in. This film speaks to all of us who struggle to find our identities in American?s complex landscape.


USA Yiddish, 100 min, B/W, 1937
Peretz Hirschbein's semi-autobiographical tale of a young, orphaned Hasidic scholar who leaves his studies to search the countryside for "true Jews" and a meaningful existence close to the land. He happens upon a family of simple Jewish peasants who take him in as a boarder and tutor for their children, one of whom is an attractive young woman. One review reads, "The cast is brilliant with...famous players from the Yiddish Art Theater and Artef Theater...The direction of Jacob Ben-Arni and Edgar G. Ulmer has caught the beauty and poetry of the classic work and transferred it to the screen in a masterful manner."

Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival * www.svjff.org