With sensational tales packed with screen luminaries, side-splitting comedies, and stories of iconic Jewish trailblazers and innovators, the Jewish International Film Festival returns for another year to the Belgrave Cameo.
Featuring over 60 films from 23 countries, the Festival builds on almost 30 years of bringing the best of Jewish cinema to Australia and will feature at the Cameo from 7 – 20 November.
Festival director Eddie Tamir said he is excited about this year’s selection – the eighth year under his leadership – with many films having premiered at festivals including Jerusalem, Cannes, Toronto and Berlin.
“This year’s Festival celebrates stories of people who have forged new paths – from the groundbreaking sexual therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer and the late actor Anton Yelchin, to innovators like Lea Gottlieb, the designer behind the iconic Gottex bather brand,” said Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir.
Of the many poignant and touching movies that are featuring as part of the festival, none have garnered as much interest as the world war II satire, Jojo Rabbit.
Drawing on his own Jewish heritage and his experiences growing up surrounded by prejudice, writer-director Taika Waititi (whose mother is Jewish, while his father is Maori) makes a powerful statement against hate in his latest film.
The movie follows Jojo, a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
“We are thrilled to present the premieres of three excellent Australian films; a great selection of American indie titles; compelling stories from the Holocaust era; and Jojo Rabbit – one of the strongest films we have ever presented,” Mr Tamir said.
Other highlights include: Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, the origin story behind one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, Fiddler on the Roof and its cultural impacts; and What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, a beautifully-crafted documentary on pioneering female film critic Pauline Kael, featuring interviews with film legends Ridley Scott (Alien) and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and narration from Sarah Jessica Parker; and King Bibi, delving into controversial Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise to power.