There’s a lot of amazing Jewish movies coming out of Sundance Festival this year. The popular film festival is in its 28th year, and is starting on Thursday, January 21st, in Park City, Utah. From documentaries about Jewish settlers to full feature dramas from the heart of New Zealand, here are eight great movies that will be premiering at the festival this weekend:
This new documentary that centers on Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign, and the unfolding of the sex scandal that made him withdraw from the race. It offers an unprecedented look into the life and psyche of the curious and controversial character.
A documentary about Owen Suskind, a boy with autism, who, after years of complete silence, found a way to communicate with his family through the animations of, well, a known anti-Semite, Walt Disney. This movie was directed by Roger Ross Williams, who is also the first African American to have won an Oscar for directing. It is based on the book written by Owen Suskind’s father Pulitzer winning journalist Ron Suskind.
Becoming Mike Nichols Directed by Douglas McGrath - This film collects the last iconic interviews and moments of beloved Jewish director, producer and comedy icon, Mike Nichols.
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady the documentary is “the definitive chronicle of Mr. Lear’s life, work, and achievements.” Following the life and career of the 93 year old Jewish creator of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”
This Shimon Dotan documentary offers an unprecedented look into the pioneers of the settler movement.
Dramatic and Comedic Features
Jewish director Jeff Baena’s new movie premiers at Sundance. It’s the second directorial feature of the co-writer of the indie favorite “I Love Huckabees.” The movie stars some great Jewish comedians like Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The newest full length feature from New Zealand director Taika Waititi, formerly known as Taika Cohen. The son of a Jewish mother and an Maori father, Waititi is best known for directing the popular indie TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and the movies “Eagle Vs. Shark” and the vampire comedy “What We Do in the Shadows.” The movie depicts a manhunt for a boy and his uncle in the New Zealand bush.
Directed by Rebecca Miller (Arthur Miller’s daughter and Daniel Day-Lewis’s wife) the movie follows Greta Gerwig as Maggie, a woman determined to get pregnant, despite her failed romances. She finds a sperm donor, a Brooklyn pickle maker (can’t get more Jewish that that. But… Things get complicated. The movie also stars Ethan Hawk, Julianne Moore and one of our favorites, Maya Rudolph.
Lior Zaltzman is the Forward’s Digital Fellow and a wearer of many hats. When she’s not tweeting from the Forward’s account, she’s creating illustrations, graphics and lists for the various Forward blogs. She can also make comics out of your bad dates in #OYDATE. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in cartooning. Lior Zaltzman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @liorca.