Announcing your Summer
2021 Jewish Film Series

The Everett Jewish Life Center 2021 Jewish Film Series will be presented this year only through the online CHQ Assembly, accessible at  CHQ Assembly is a subscription-based platform that represents the online expression of Chautauqua Institution’s mission.  For $3.99 a month, subscribers can access all CHQ Assembly programs, including the 2021 Jewish Film Series, which premieres on Sunday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. with the film:  “Shoelaces.”  The films will be available on-demand each week from their Sunday at 2 p.m. premiere until 5 p.m. the following Friday accessible from home or on the grounds.  CHQ Assembly subscriptions are included in Chautauqua Institution Summer Assembly long-term gate passes for the duration of the gate pass. 

WEEK ONE:  June 27 - July 2

There is a growing sensitivity in Israel to people with disabilities, reflected in this film. Nominated for eight Israeli Academy Awards (Ophir) including Best Film and Actor, Shoelaces portrays a tender family drama about the complicated relationship between an aging, irascible father and his exuberant adult son with autism.  When his ex-wife dies, the father must take over caring for his son whom he had abandoned long before.  The bond between them gradually grows but is tested by events that raise legal and moral issues. Shoelaces is the highly personal project of director Jacob Goldwasser himself a parent of a child with autism.
Israel. 2018. 90 mins. Hebrew with subtitles. Narrative
WEEK TWO:  July 4 - 9

In 1976, Aulcie Perry was playing basketball in Harlem when scouts from Maccabi Tel Aviv spotted and signed him.  A year later, he led the team to their first European championship, converted to Judaism, and became an Israeli citizen. Award winning filmmaker Dani Menkin’s documentary tells the story of this legendary athlete, Israel’s first African American basketball star.
Israel. 2019.  72 mins. English & Hebrew with subtitles. Documentary
WEEK THREE:  July 11 - 16

A daring Israeli underwater photographer prepares for his greatest challenge yet. Photographer Amos Nachoum has built a 40-year career capturing stunningly beautiful close-up photos of aquatic wildlife from great white sharks, to killer whales and crocodiles.  But it is the fearsome, predator Arctic polar bear that remains elusive to him. Amos sets out across the Arctic to fulfill his dream to swim alongside a polar bear to become the first to photograph this encounter.  A breathtaking, intimate portrait which reveals a passionate artist. 
Canada, Israel, USA. 2019. 72 mins.  English, Hebrew, Inuktitut with subtitles. Documentary
WEEK FOUR:  July 18 - 23

Nominated for five Cesar awards (French Oscars), this film is a sweeping adaptation of French novelist Romain Gary’s beloved memoir of exotic globetrotting in his 20 year extraordinary career as writer and diplomat, from childhood poverty in Poland to his exploits as a WWII aviator.  Much is seen through the problematic relationship with his domineering, eccentric mother, portrayed stunningly by known French actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg. This magnificent saga features meticulous cinematography and production design.  
France. 2017. 131 mins. English, French, Polish, Spanish with subtitles. Narrative
WEEK FIVE:  July 25 - 30

This Jerusalem Film Festival Audience Award winner is a poignant drama of a widowed father who fights to save his gravely ill six-year old daughter while pursuing his own dreams of becoming a rock musician.  Struggling as a grocery clerk, he tries to persuade his former bandmates to reunite while embracing a new Jewish Orthodox way of life. Featuring outstanding musical performances, this film is a rousing story of self-fulfillment and the love of a father and brother.
Israel. 2018. 106 mins. Hebrew with subtitles. Narrative.

Franz, a na├»ve 17-year old, moves from his rural home to Vienna to work in a tobacco shop.  He soon falls for a beautiful, enigmatic young cabaret dancer. The film’s sole Jewish character is none other than Sigmund Freud, portrayed by famed actor, Bruno Ganz.  Freud becomes the youth’s unlikely friend and romantic advisor. But as the Nazis gain power, the personal becomes political and the characters face fateful moral decisions. 
Austria, Germany. 2018. 90 mins. German with subtitles.  Narrative
WEEK SIX:  August 1 - 6

An investigative journalist and Dutch newspaper editor, Hans Knoop, fights to unmask a prominent, multi-millionaire industrialist and art collector, Pieter Menten,  as a murderous Nazi war criminal in this gripping true-life drama.   Receiving a tip from an Israeli colleague, Knoop sets out to discover the elusive facts of the “collector’s” hidden wartime past.  Threatened by the untouchable Menten and his wife, the journalist ignores the warnings of his fellow reporters in his tireless search for truth and justice.  The film was the highest rated miniseries in Dutch television history as it relives the infamous and intriguing 1970’s case.  An audience favorite at many Jewish film festivals.   
Netherlands. 2016. 142 mins.  Dutch with subtitles. Narrative
WEEK SEVEN:  August 8 - 13

Winner of nine Tonys, for almost 10 years the longest-running musical in Broadway history and revived five times. Its appeal is so unique that it’s playing somewhere in the world every single day, playing more than any other show. As directed by Max Lewkowicz, this film is an engaging and enlightening documentary filled with anecdotes and history, including new interviews and selected archival footage. A moment to treasure is to see Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda sing a rousing “To Life” at his own wedding.  While 1905 shtetl life may have an exotic appeal to some, it is Fiddler’s universal themes that touch so many. Fiddler is an enduring musical gift.  
USA. 2019. 90 mins. Documentary
WEEK EIGHT:  August 15 - 20

Israel’s Best International Feature Oscar submission, this psychological thriller dramatizes the political and personal motivations behind Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination.  The tragedy is told through the eyes of its perpetrator Jewish extremist Yigal Amir.  We learn of his Yemini upbringing, his failed relationships and his radicalization. He is influenced by ultranationalist rhetoric, religious orthodoxy, and the right-wing media. Archival footage is effectively interwoven in the narrative. The unsettling performance of actor Yehuda Nahari Halevi is a rigorously researched portrayal. The film received 10 Israeli Academy Award nominations including Best Film winner.  
Israel. 2019. 123 mins.  Hebrew with subtitles. Narrative
WEEK NINE:  August 22 - 27

Canadian comedy duo Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman return to their hometown to explore their heritage by eating their way across the city in a film called a “nosh-umentary”.  They are the creators of a successful Yiddish web series exploring the absurdities of contemporary Jewish life. They especially explore Jewish food cultures all over the world. And now back in Montreal, they delve into the city’s rich Jewish history, while stuffing themselves with its even richer Jewish food.  This is indeed a warm-hearted gastronomic adventure to be savored.
Canada. 2018. 62 mins. English, French, Yiddish with subtitles. Documentary

The beloved chocolate soda drink that was born in immigrant neighborhoods in the early beginnings of the 20th century is extolled in this nostalgic, tasty reminder of a culturally significant ingredient in the Jewish American experience. 
USA. 2018. 15 mins. (short), Documentary