Last week, we provided a guide to the first week of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, based on our previous film coverage on The Arty Semite and in the Arts & Culture section of the Forward. Running until August 8, the Festival has plenty of great programming in its second half as well, much of which is highlighted below. Visit the SFJFF website for screening times and locations.
“Torn” (July 30): In his late 60s, Polish priest Romuald Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel discovered that he was Jewish, and his parents had been killed in the Holocaust. Though he decided to make Aliyah and learn more about Judaism, he was not willing to renounce his faith, leading the State of Israel to reject his application for citizenship under the Law of Return. In this wrenching documentary, writes Renee Ghert-Zand, filmmaker Ronit Kertsner looks at the difficult decisions Weksler-Waszkinel has made, both for, and against, his faith.
“The Matchmaker” (July 30): Set in Haifa in the aftermath of the Six Day War, Avi Nesher’s “The Matchmaker” follows a matchmaker and Holocaust survivor named Yankele Bride and his young protégé, Arik. Through the eyes of his 16-year-old protagonist, Nesher explores the coming-of-age of a teenager and a country dealing with the trauma of the Holocaust as well as more recent military triumph. “It’s about accepting people who are not like us,” Nesher told Ron Dicker. “These are people that I know, people I relate to.”
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