The Mobile Jewish Film Festival will show several contemporary films at the University of South Alabama and other Mobile venues to celebrate its 12th anniversary. The films will be screened Jan. 6-22. In addition, the festival will present a student film at four local high schools. The film festival is sponsored by The Mobile Area Jewish Federation and the University of South Alabama.
Festival tickets, priced at $8 for adults per screening and $6 for students and seniors, may be purchased online at www.mobilejewishfederation.org, or at the box office before each performance, subject to availability. For more details about the Jewish Film Festival, contact Rickie Voit at (251) 533-4931, or Barry Silverman at (251) 479-3331. The 2013 contemporary films are:
Sunday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m. Springhill Avenue Temple - “Follow Me” tells The Yoni Netanyahyu Story. After leading the dramatic raid to free the hostages at Entebbe, Yonatan Netanyahu, brother of Benjamen Netanyahu, becomes the “impossible mission’s” most tragic casualty. With his death, Yonatan became an international hero. Named “Best of the Fest” at the Charleston Jewish Film Festival.
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m., John W. Laidlaw Performing Arts Center, USA Main Campus - “Nicky’s Family” tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Dr. Donald Berry, director of the Gulf Coast Centre for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, will introduce this remarkable film.
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m., John W. Laidlaw Performing Arts Center, USA Main Campus - “Kaddish for a Friend,” is about a Russian Jewish WWII veteran and a Palestinian teen who form an unlikely friendship. Growing up in a Lebanese refugee camp, 14-year-old Ali has learned to hate Jews before escaping with his family and relocating to public housing in Berlin. He tries to gain acceptance among his Arab peers by targeting an elderly Russian Jew, vandalizing the old man’s apartment. This film is based on actual events.
Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m., John W. Laidlaw Performing Arts Center, USA Main Campus - “Remembrance” is about a Polish political prisoner and Jewish woman who fall in love in a Polish concentration camp during WWII, but they lose sight of each other for decades after managing to escape. Author and journalist Roy Hoffman will lead a discussion after the film, which will be followed by a dessert reception.
Sunday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Ahavas Chesed Synagogue - “Hava Nagila” is a documentary romp through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and more. The film follows the ubiquitous party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine to the cul-de-sacs of America. The film will be followed by dessert and Israeli folk dancing.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m., USA’s Baldwin County Campus - This is an encore showing of “Nicky’s Family.” This is the first time the festival will offer a film screening on the Eastern Shore. Seating is limited, tickets should be reserved early.
Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m., The Centre for Living Arts - The film “As Seen Through These Eyes” is a documentary powerfully narrated by poet Maya Angelou. She reveals the story of a brave group of people who fought Hitler with the only weapons they had, which were charcoal, pencil stubs, shreds of paper and memories etched in their minds. Art Therapist Jacqueline Glover will speak briefly following the film. The Centre for Living Arts is a new collaborative partner.
“As Seen Through These Eyes” will also be shown on the same day at four high schools to 8th-10th grade students at St. Paul’s, Davidson High, UMS-Wright and Bayside Academy. The students will learn the lessons of the Holocaust. The film and the speaker are presented at no cost to the schools.
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 7 p.m., Bernheim Hall, Ben May Main Library Downtown - The film “Torn” features an ordained Polish Catholic priest Romuald Waszkinel, who discovers that he was born to Jewish parents, and that his name was Jacob Weksler. The film follows his amazing journey from conducting mass in a church in Poland to life as an observant Jew in a religious kibbutz in Israel.
To view trailers of all films and to learn more about the films, visit http://mobilejewishfederation.org/mobile-jewish-film-festival/.