16th Annual Jewish Film Festival Explores History, Identity, Culture


If the only movies that come to mind when you hear the words “Jewish films” are Schindler’s List and Fiddler on the Roof, it’s probably time to expand your horizons. From February 18-22, the Barshop Jewish Community Center will hold their 16th Annual Jewish Film Festival to help “promote Jewish values and diversity” and “entertain, educate and raise community awareness of Jewish identity, history and culture” across San Antonio. This includes screening recent films from all genres for audiences looking for what Alan Petlin, co-chair of this year’s festival, calls “a high degree of educational value and a lot of history.”

“We cater to an intellectual crowd and a sophisticated viewer,” said Petlin. “Audiences are not coming for lighthearted movies they could see at a theater anytime. When they come to this festival, they are expecting life lessons on everything from gender issues to gay issues to family issues, and more. We try to cover it all.”

This year, the festival will feature 11 feature films and one short. Below is a list of some of the films that will screen. For a full festival schedule and to purchase tickets, visit jccsanantonio.org.

Remember // From Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), the 2015 thriller stars Oscar winner Christopher Plummer (Beginners) as a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who travels to the U.S. in search of a Nazi soldier who killed his family. 8pm Sat, Feb. 18

On the Map // The 2016 sports documentary tells the story of an underdog Israeli basketball team that did the impossible and defeated the heavily favored Soviet team in the 1977 European championship. 2pm Sun, Feb. 19

Baba Joon // The first Persian-language film shot in Israel, the 2015 drama follows the relationship between a 13-year-old boy and his father when the boy confesses he is not interested in taking over the family business — turkey farming. 4:30pm Sun, Feb. 19

Le Voyage de Fanny // Based on a true story, the period drama is set in 1943 and journeys with a group of children who are forced to flee their foster home in Italy and travel to Switzerland to escape the Nazi regime. 2pm Mon, Feb. 20

Mr. Gaga // A renowned choreographer of the Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin is featured in the 2015 documentary on his modern dance career. 7:30pm Mon, Feb. 20

Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? // An HIV-positive gay man, who is an ex-Israeli army paratrooper and current member of the London Gay Men’s Chorus, reaches out to reconcile with his religious family in Israel despite their harsh criticism of his lifestyle. 7:30pm Tue, Feb. 21

The Women’s Balcony // The women of a tight-knit Jerusalem neighborhood must keep their community from falling apart when a rabbi arrives and attempts to persuade them to follow an ultra-orthodox set of rules. 7:30pm Wed, Feb. 22

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