Films that We Streamed
In 2020, like many other film festivals, we created a series of between-festival programs that would engage our audience and keep us connected. In one of these popular and ongoing series "Around the World with Fred," a film was made available for streaming from four to six days for free and one evening during that run, award-winning author and historian Fred Rosenbaum would place the film into its historic/cultural context.
Below is the list of movies that kept us in touch even though we were physically apart. If you missed the screening of any of these titles, you may find them in Chai Flicks or various other streaming services. You can also visit justwatch.com and search by title to find their availabilities online.
USA / COMEDY, FILM-NOIR / ENGLISH / 1950
This 1950 black comedy/film noir was directed and co-written by Billy Wilder and is considered one of the 100 best American films of the 20th century. William Holden stars as a struggling screenwriter who is drawn into the fantasy world of a former silent film star, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson).
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW / 2020
The powerfully moving, mind-opening documentary Transkids follows four Israeli teenagers who undergo the process of life-and-identity-saving gender transformation.
ISRAEL, JORDAN, NETHERLANDS / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW / 2019
A Palestinian chemist from the village of Sur Baher decides to move from his village to Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava, where he will serve as the academic director of the Arava Institute, which trains students from the Arab countries and Israel. The story of the Palestinian, who seeks to advance peace in the Middle East, develops into the story of the founders of the kibbutz who emigrated from the United States swearing to fix the world and the State of Israel.
GERMANY / BIOGRAPHY, DRAMA, HISTORY, WAR / GERMAN, HEBREW / 2017
Four young men and women try to remain “invisible” in Berlin by using their own ingenuity to stay alive. It is June 1943, and The Third Reich infamously declares the city “judenfrei”—free of Jews. But at that moment, there are actually 7,000 Jews still living there—hiding in attics, basements and warehouses, with some of them protected by courageous Berliners. This innovative, “hybrid” film interweaves dramatic re-enactments with actual testimony to bring edge-of-the-seat suspense to the screen.
ISRAEL, UK / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW, ENGLISH / 2016
Israeli filmmakers Tomer & Barak Heymann dig deep into the themes of manhood, religion, family and sex in this documentary about Saar Maoz, an HIV-positive gay man who is torn between his “out” life as a member of the London Gay Men’s Chorus and his desire to reconnect with his Jewish Orthodox family in Israel. The film captures the journey of a man striving to maintain his true self as he navigates two very different worlds.
Who's Gonna Love Me Now?
ISRAEL / COMEDY, DRAMA / HEBREW / 2016
One of the most popular films in Israel in recent years, this good-hearted “dramedy” shows that there are many ways to follow tradition. After the women’s balcony collapses in a modern Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem and the elderly rabbi falls ill, a young rabbi is hired as the temporary spiritual leader. But his stricter views on Jewish law cause major repercussions, leading the female congregants to rally for their right to be full partners in the synagogue’s religious life.
The Women's Balcony
Inside Hana's Suitcase
CANADA, CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY/ DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH, CZECH, JAPANESE / 2009
A poignant story of two young children who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and the life-changing events that they endured just because they happened to be born Jewish. Based on the internationally acclaimed book Hana's Suitcase which has been translated into 40 languages, the film is an effective blend of documentary and dramatic techniques.
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW, ENGLISH / 2021
These two episodes of The New Jew documentary series are funny and insightful. They showcase the culture of the American Jewish community, the variety of alternative models it offers for living a rich Jewish life and the attitudes shared or "not shared" by Israeli and American Jews.
The New Jew
MOROCCO / COMEDY, DRAMA / ARABIC, ENGLISH, FRENCH / 2016
The film follows Michael Abitbol, the estranged son of a once famous Moroccan musician, as he returns to Morocco to make peace with his father. Hoping to better understand the man’s legacy, Michael sets off on an adventure to track down the surviving members of his father’s old orchestra …rediscovering his cultural roots along the way.
The Midnight Orchestra
The Auschwitz Report
SLOVAKIA / DRAMA, HISTORY, WAR / SLOVAK / 2021
This is the true story of Freddy and Walte, two young Slovak Jews, who were deported to Auschwitz in 1942. On 10 April 1944, after meticulous planning and with the help and the resilience of their inmates, they manage to escape. While the inmates they had left behind courageously stand their ground against the Nazi officers, the two men are driven on by the hope that their evidence could save lives. After many grueling physical challenges, they make their way through the mountains back to Slovakia and finally meet the resistance and The Red Cross. Although they compile a detailed report about the systematic genocide at the camp, their account seems to be too harrowing to believe.
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH / 2020
This is the story of a promising young rider from San Diego who held the Israeli high jump record for 20 years. But it is also the story of how the mutual affection for horses became an entry point for a significant collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians. On the personal side, Nancy crosses the borders of the divided secular and religious groups in Israel and also becomes the trainer for a Palestinian equestrian group in Jericho in the West Bank.
ISRAEL / ANIMATION, ADVENTURE, FAMILY / HEBREW / 2015
Adam’s older brother was killed in a car crash a year ago, and his family has not been the same since. As his parents struggle to cope with their grief, Adam (10), plagued with guilt over his brother’s death feels he is all alone in the world. But everything changes the day he meets Abulele. Together, they outsmart Adam’s mean schoolteacher and beat the class bullies. But Adam’s parents start to suspect he is harboring a secret, And when a government, Special Forces unit called “Thunder” appears in the neighborhood on a mission to capture Abulele things go from bad to worse. In order to save his best friend, Adam will have to get Abulele back home to its family, and to do so, he will need to put the past behind him and realize that when you truly love someone, you are never really alone.
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW / 2017
Elad was born deaf to a hearing family. After his mother's tragic death and the breakdown of his family, he makes the most important decision of his life, to become a father. The film is his first person account of the life he created for himself as a deaf, gay Israeli man. In his heartfelt documentary, Elad explores the meaning and experience of family, the bias against individuals with disabilities, and the power of human relationships.
The Sign for Love
Welcome and Our Condolences
Like a Fish Out of Water
WELCOME AND OUR CONDOLENCES - ISRAEL / SHORT / RUSSIAN, HEBREW WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 2012
The year is 1991, the beginning of the massive Jewish immigration wave from the USSR to Israel. The stressful immigration experience is enhanced up to absurd proportions when a family's elderly aunt dies on the plane just before it touches down at Ben-Gurion Airport.
LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER - ISRAEL / FEATURE / HEBREW WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 2007
The question on Marcelo's mind is whether he will ever learn Hebrew well enough to get a job on an Israeli TV soap opera. The very secular, Argentinean 30-something has just immigrated to Israel with few job prospects despite being a noted actor in his home country. Taking a crash course in Hebrew, he not only gains language skills but also a crush on his teacher, who unlike him, is religious. Can he convince her that he is worthy husband material? A delightful rom-com with a twist.
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW / 2020
This documentary reveals an important slice of history and explores several unreported actions by the late Prime Minister of Israel, especially those in 1991, a pivotal year that started with Iraqi missiles launched on Israel and ended with the consequential Madrid Peace Conference.
Shamir, His Way
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW / 2019
The film tells the story of six gay men that were born in the days of the establishment of the State of Israel. Their stories serve as the film's background for the depiction of the clandestine and undocumented lives of homosexuals in Israel during the 1960-70s.
We Were the Others
BELGIUM, FRANCE, ISRAEL / DRAMA / AMHARIC, FRENCH, HEBREW / 2005
This acclaimed French/Israeli drama is a tour de force. With stellar acting and a powerfully moving story, it captures the challenges of a young Ethiopian boy from his rescue from a refugee camp in the Sudan through his growing up in Israel.
Live and Become
ETHIOPIA, USA / DOCUMENTARY / AMHARIC, ENGLISH, HEBREW / 2019
This award-winning documentary follows two young Ethiopian Jewish men on their fateful trip to America where they advocate for an expanded immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Six Minutes to Midnight
USA / DRAMA / ENGLISH / 2021
Based on true events, this drama starts in the summer of 1939, just weeks prior to the start of WWII. Thomas Miller (Eddie Izzard) has been hired to teach English to the daughters of high-ranking Nazis at the Augusta-Victoria College, a finishing school on the southern coast of England. Under the watchful eye of their headmistress Miss Rocholl (Judi Dench), and her dedicated assistant Ilse Keller (Carla Juri), the girls practice their English and deportment, increase their physical fitness, and learn how to represent the ideal of German "womanhood." However, with war imminent, many of the people in the small town resent the students' presence.
UK / COMEDY, DRAMA / ENGLISH / 2016
Curmudgeonly widower Nat Dayan (Jonathan Pryce) clings to his way of life as a Kosher bakery shop owner in London’s East End. Understaffed, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash (Jerome Holder), who has a secret side gig selling marijuana to help his immigrant mother make ends meet. Dough is a warmhearted and humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW, ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 2018
Ofir Trainin's documentary Family In Transition, tells the story of an Israeli family after Amit, a husband and father of four, living in a small traditional town, reveals to his family that he's a transgender woman. The film follows the courage and tolerance demonstrated by all family members insisting on staying together despite personal difficulties and social stigmas and believing that love will overcome all difficulties, and gives us a unique perspective on the experiences of the trans community in Israel.
Family In Transition
USA / DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH / 2016
Join award-winning Chef Michael Solomonov on a delicious journey to meet Israel’s top chefs, home cooks, vintners and cheese-makers. They represent more than 100 cultures that reflect Israel’s diverse society. Discover the rich and human story that emerges from the food of Israel.
In Search of Israeli Cuisine
GREECE / COMEDY, DRAMA / GREEK, ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 2003
Fanis, a forty year old astrophysics professor, journeys back to his childhood home. In affectionate, uplifting scenes, A Touch Of Spice portrays Fanis’ relationship with his beloved grandfather, the pain he suffered from being thrown out of Turkey at an early age, and the difficulties his family faced as they adjusted to life in Greece.
A Touch of Spice
USA / DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH / 2020
Via London, Versailles, and Instagram, Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles follows famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi on his quest to bring the sumptuous art and decadence of Versailles to life in cake form at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Ottolengi and the Cakes of Versailles
ISRAEL / DOCUMENTARY / HEBREW, ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 2020
The film shines a light on several LGBT men and women who, for religious reasons, decided to marry against their own sexual orientation. They married in order to be accepted into their families and religious communities.
Marry Me However
USA / DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH / 2020
Common cause was found in the turbulent ‘60s Civil Rights era, as Jewish leaders backed Dr. King’s efforts at racial equality and harmony. Yet, the relationship has frayed in recent years, as a once mighty bond of support and respect has seemingly faded, been forgotten or ignored.
USA / DOCUMENTARY / ENGLISH / 2014
In Berlin in the 1930's, the civil rights of Jews were systematically stripped away. A young rabbi refused to be silent. His name was Joachim Prinz and he set out to restore the self-esteem of the German Jews.
Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent
ARGENTINA / DRAMA / SPANISH / SUBTITLED / 2011
Anita is the story of a young woman with Down syndrome who lives a happy, routine life in Buenos Aires, with her mother Dora, until one tragic morning in 1994 everything changes.
USA / BIOGRAPHY, DRAMA, THRILLER / ENGLISH / 2019 / PG-13
When winning World War II seemed hopeless, one group of extraordinary women changed the course of history forever.
A Call To Spy
ISRAEL, USA / DRAMA / HEBREW, ENGLISH / SUBTITLED / 2020
Set in Tel Aviv, Eytan Fox's newest film SUBLET is a warm, touching drama about relationships, hope and self-discovery.
FRANCE / DRAMA / FRENCH / SUBTITLED / 2016
A dedicated history teacher at a French high school is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils.
Once In A Lifetime
SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, AUSTRIA / COMEDY, DRAMA / ENGLISH, RUSSIAN / SUBTITLED / 2018
Setting off with a pistol, 80-year-old translator Ali Ungár travels from Slovakia to Vienna to take revenge on the former SS man who he believes was responsible for his parents’ execution.
AUSTRIA, GERMANY / DRAMA, HISTORY, WAR / CHEZCH, GERMAN / SUBTITLED / 2018
The life of a naive young man from a small Austrian town is changed forever after he moves to Vienna to learn a trade from a tobacconist.