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About the Film

The Hungarian prime minister returns from Germany in a coffin, his dream of making Hungary into a fascist state snuffed out—for now. Meanwhile, in Budapest, a beautiful, well-dressed young woman is found dead with only a Jewish prayer book in her purse. To solve the mystery of her demise, a scruffy, unflappable crime reporter enlists the help of a beautiful photographer, who once broke his heart and whom he does not fully trust. Together, they reveal shocking truths about Budapest’s seedy underground crime syndicate and its shady political patrons. A politically charged tale of corruption and betrayal, BUDAPEST NOIR will transport you to an ominous time and dark place, and hold you there spellbound. Based on the bestselling novel by Vilmos Kondor.

Director Bio

Born in Budapest, Éva Gárdos, was an infant when her parents and older sister escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary by sneaking over the heavily armed border. By a strange circumstance, though, Gardos was left behind and raised for the first seven years of her life by a couple in the countryside. They were the only parents she knew until they put her on a plane to join her real parents and sister in Canada, returning only at age 17 to see her other "parents" and what life was really like under Communist rule. She is known for her work on AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY (2001), APOCOLYPSE NOW (1979) and AN INVISIBLE ARMY.

budapest noir poster

Film Details:

Director: Éva Gárdos
Country: Hungry
Language: Hungarian, English w/subtitles
Running Time: 95m
Year: 2017
Genre: Narrative
Rating/Warning: R - Nudity, Sex

Subjects:

  • WWII
  • Suspenseful Stories
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Hungary
  • Pre-Nazi era

 

 Sponsors

  • Judy and Joe Schocken

 

About The Film

Oscar nominee James Caan, Rosanna Arquette, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Efrat Dor star in this family drama about a Jewish American cardiologist who upends his life to become a pig farmer in the Holy Land. Despite his attempts to leave his former life behind, his ex-wife discovers she is terminally ill and decides to revisit their love story, which brings his estranged and eccentric family back into his life, including his son David (Rhys Meyers), a successful gay playwright, and his daughter Annabelle, a perpetual student at 30. Adapted by director Amanda Sthers from her critically acclaimed novel Les Terres Saintes, HOLY LANDS is a universal story of love, loss, and tolerance, told with incredible humor and heart.

Plays with: DEATH METAL GRANDMA (short)

holy land poster

Film Details:

Director: Amanda Sthers
Country: France, Belgium
Language: English
Running Time: 100m
Year: 2019
Genre: Narrative
Rating/Warning: PG-13

Subjects:

  • Israel
  • holy land
  • pig farming
  • family
  • literary adaptation

 

Sponsor

  • Iantha and Stan Sidell
  • Hotel Max | Provenance Hotels - Want a festival staycation or visiting from out of town? SJFF's Preferred Hospitality Sponsor offers festival discount rates. Click here to learn more, or mention promo code: SJFF.

About the Eastside Opening Film

French novelist Romain Gary, born Roman Kacew (also known by the pen name Émile Ajar), was raised by a single mother in Vilna, Warsaw, and Nice in the turbulent interwar years. This epic, sweeping film adaptation of Gary’s successful 1960 autobiographical novel brings his story to life with rich quirky detail, pathos, humor, and plenty of action. Gary served as a bombardier observer in WWII and was no stranger to love affairs and grand gestures (even challenging Clint Eastwood to a duel later in life). Pierre Niney (YVES SAINT LAURENT) perfectly embodies the melancholic mama’s boy, tortured artist, and war hero; but Charlotte Gainsbourg (MELANCHOLIA) shines, cast against type as Romain’s scrappy, determined, and often-overbearing Jewish mother – the woman who shaped his life, career, and mindset.

About the Event

This year, we screen two shows, early and late, to accommodate everyone. Attendees receive a $10 gift card toward their purchase from Cinebarre's full-menu venue. Have a drink, some popcorn, a discounted dinner or fries on us!

Director Bio

Eric Barbier was born in 1960. He is a writer and director, known for LE BRASIER (1991), PROMISE AT DAW N(2017) and THE LAST DIAMOND (2014).

promise at dawn poster

Film Details:

Director: Eric Barbier
Country: France, Belgium
Language: French, Polish, Spanish w/subtitles
Running Time: 131m
Year: 2017
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: La promesse de l'aube
Rating/Warning: R – nudity, violence, sex, war

Subjects:

  • Romain Gary (born Roman Kacew, pen name Émile Ajar)
  • autobiography
  • literary adaptation
  • WWII
  • France
  • Jewish mother

 

About the Film

“When there is great suffering, you don't ask questions. You help.” – Elisabeth Eidenbenz

In the early 1940s, refugees from all over Europe sought shelter in the south of France on the northern Catalan Spanish border, fleeing persecution from the Nazis and Franco’s regime, and the horrid conditions of the Vichy camps and Spanish Civil War. Among them were countless pregnant women and their little children. The internment camps offered these families little to no medical attention nor protection from the cold. Enter young Red Cross nurse Elisabeth Eidenbenz, who transformed an old villa into a birth clinic to save hundreds of mothers and children from certain death.

Despite many hardships, the villa becomes a safe haven resounding with children's laughter until 1942, when the fascists try to shut it down, spurring Eidenbenz and her staff to bravely put their own lives in danger to avoid closure. This true inspiring story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz (1913-2011) and her female co-workers at the Elne maternity home reminds us that humanity can prevail, even in the most inhumane circumstances.

Starring Noémie Schmidt (L'ÉTUDIANTE ET MONSIEUR HENRI) Blanca Romero (UNDER SUSPICION), and Pep Anton Muñoz (GRAND HOTEL).

Director Bio

Sílvia Quer is a director of Catalan television and film.

light of hope poster

Film Details:

Director: Sílvia Quer
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish, Catalan, French w/subtitles
Running Time: 96m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: La llum d'elna
Rating/Warning: PG-13 - violence

Subjects:

  • Women
  • WWII
  • birth
  • maternity
  • Franco
  • Spanish Civil War
  • Holocaust
  • Vichy France

 

 

Sponsors

About The Film

A 17 year-old girl, raised by her caring yet overbearing, patriarchal father, becomes increasingly critical of his ultra-religious, utopian nationalism just as she meets a self-confident young woman who triggers her deep longings and emotions. See how this flurry of teen angst, emotion, sexual and spiritual awakening, alongside Rabin’s assassination, shape the life of a teen girl at a highly impressionable moment in time and in her life.

Avigayil Koevary delivers a powerful portrayal of the defiant and desirous teenager in director Tsivia Barkai Yacov’s auspicious debut feature film. Nominated for four Ophirs (Israel’s Academy Awards) and winner of Best Feature and Best Actress (Avigayil Kovary) at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Director Bio

Born in Jerusalem in 1979, Tsivia Barkai Yacov is a Berlinale Talents alumna who completed her studies with honors from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem. Her graduation film, VIKA, screened at the 2006 Berlinale Generation. RED COW is her debut feature film.

red cow poster

Film Details:

Director: Tsivia Barkai Yacov
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew (English subtitles)
Running Time: 90m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: Para aduma/אדומה פרה
Rating/Warning: R – nudity, sex

Subjects:

  • Coming of age
  • women
  • lesbian
  • settlement
  • Israel
  • religion
  • LGBTQ

 


Sponsors

 

About the Film

Two rebellious young women—one fleeing the chaos of secular hedonism for the disciplined comforts of faith, the other desperate to transcend her oppressive religious upbringing for sexual and spiritual freedom— cross paths unexpectedly in Jerusalem with startling consequences. The latest from acclaimed director Avi Nesher, this empowering drama unfolds like a juicy thriller.

Nesher masterfully weaves the film’s intricate web of desperate parents, rebellious children, religious devotion, and spouses locked in conflict even as they alter their tactics and change alliances. Starring Joy Reiger and Sasson Gabai.

Director Bio

Avi Nesher was born in Ramat Gan, Israel. He studied international relations at Columbia University. His previous films include TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD, THE SECRETS, THE MATCHMAKER, THE WONDERS, and PAST LIFE, all screened at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

other story poster

Film Details:

Director: Avi Nesher
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew w/subtitles
Running Time: 112m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: Sipur acher
Rating/Warning: R

Subjects:

  • Religion
  • ultraorthodox
  • Jerusalem
  • Women

 

Sponsors

About the Film

Franz, a 17-year-old boy from rural Austria, comes to Vienna to apprentice in a smoke shop. Although tyranny under the Nazi occupation and hatred towards Jews has worsened oppression and conditions, the tobacco store remains a small sanctuary for newspaper- and cigarette-seekers. He gradually befriends Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychoanalyst and a regular customer. When the shop’s politically outspoken owner is taken away by the Nazis, Franz and Freud stand at the crossroads of survival.

Based on Austrian writer Robert Seethaler′s novel of the same name, THE TOBACCONIST is a tender and gripping coming-of-age story under tragic circumstances through the Freudian lens of dreams, libido, and death that transform a boy to a man. Actor Bruno Ganz (WINGS OF DESIRE) plays Freud.

Director Bio

Nikolaus Leytner was born in Graz, Austria. He studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, obtaining an MA in directing and screenwriting. He was a founding member of Allegro Film Production and the Austrian Film Academy in 2009. He currently works as a director and screenwriter based in Vienna.

tobacconist poster

Film Details:

Director: Nikolaus Leytner
Country: Austria, Germany
Language: German, Czech w/subtitles
Running Time: 113m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: Der trafikant
Rating/Warning: R

Subjects:

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Vienna
  • WWII
  • Cigar
  • Literary adaptation

 



Sponsors

Alphagraphics Seattle

Community Partner: University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

About the Opening Night Film

A spirited and suspenseful David-and-Goliath morality tale about the founding of Israel’s first Sephardi political party, actor Shuli Rand dazzles in this fictionalized (and quintessentially Israeli) story about the rise of the Shas Party. In his first screen role since 2004’s theatrical hit USHPIZIN, his daughter is expelled from religious high school for not “fitting in” (ethnically). That is when Yaakov Cohen (Rand), a Jerusalem widower and print shop owner, resolves to fight back and even the playing field between the powerful Ashkenazi religious establishment and the Sephardi and Mizrahi underclass.

Political novices, yet warriors for justice, he and his compatriots—jump through innumerable hoops to launch their new underdog party in the 1983 municipal elections. Jamming to the Bee Gees, they comically charm rabbis to earn their followers’ support, master complex campaign rules, plaster neighborhoods with posters, and narrowly meet strict deadlines—all the while struggling to maintain their integrity and credibility against an intimidating establishment bent on suppressing their voices. Featuring a lively original soundtrack, this extraordinary debut feature from director Eliran Malka (creator of the hit TV show “Shababnikim” also screening at SJFF) proves the power of one to reshape society.

About the Festivities

Join friends and the Stroum JCC board in the AMC lobby, starting at 7:30 pm for happy hour (cash bar) befor the film. Stay after the film for a Dessert Party hosted by Tom Douglas (included with ticket/pass).

Director Bio

Eliran Malka grew up in a religious Mizrahi family in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya and moved to Jerusalem to study film at Ma’aleh School. Best known for Israel’s hit TV show THE NEW BLACK (Shababnikim), also playing at SJFF this year, THE UNORTHODOX is his feature film debut.

unorthodox poster

Film Details:

Director: Eliran Malka
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew w/subtitles
Running Time: 99m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative Comedy
Original Title: Habilti-Rishimiyim
Rating/Warning: PG - language

Subjects:

  • Israel
  • politics
  • religion
  • Sephardim
  • Mizrahi
  • Ashkenazim
  • 1980s
  • Shas Party

 

Sponsors

Sharon Gantz Bloome Fund of the Tides Foundation

Event Sponsors:

About the Film

A hollowed-out European refugee (Franz Rogowski), escapes two concentration camps to arrive in Marseille, where he assumes the identity of a dead novelist whose papers he is carrying. Entering the arid, threadbare world of the refugee community, he becomes enmeshed in the lives of a desperate young mother and son and a mysterious woman searching for her husband—the very man he impersonates. TRANSIT is a film told in two tenses: 1940 and right now—the historic past collides with the immediate present. It’s a brilliant and haunting adaptation of German novelist Anna Seghers’s 1944 book.
Petzold’s brazen decision to eschew historical restorations of sets and costumes, and instead, position his actors in contemporary Marseilles, fuses the past and present to fascinating and provocative effect.

Director Bio

TRANSIT is director Christian Petzold’s fifteenth feature film. He is probably the best-known filmmaker of the Berlin School of filmmaking, and is known for putting the present in conversation with the historical past. Previous films such as BARBARA (2012) and PHOENIX (2014) gained acclaim on the international film festival circuit.

transit poster

Film Details:

Director: Christian Petzold
Country: Germany, France
Language: French, German, sign language w/subtitles
Running Time: 101m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Rating/Warning: R

Subjects:

  • Refugee
  • literary adaptation

 

About the Film

Orna Haviv is a young Israeli mother of three. Her husband runs a fledgling restaurant, a costly venture that has not yet panned out, so Orna must enter the workforce to support their family. Smart and ambitious but lacking skills, Orna seizes an opportunity to work in the high-stakes luxury real-estate market as a secretary to her former commanding officer in the IDF. Her career leap is complicated by her boss’s inappropriate behavior. The ensuing power plays and mind games are illustrated by understated, powerful performances and uninterrupted long takes, making this slow burning, strong, and unsettling film an important and timely Israeli contribution to the #MeToo conversation.

Director Bio

Michal Aviad is a filmmaker and faculty member at Tel Aviv University's Steve Tisch School of Film and Television. She is known for illuminating films on marginalized people. In her own words, "until all the maids and nurses and secretaries want to come out and speak without the fear of what’s going to happen to them, the formula will not be eradicated.”

Special Guest

jeannie yandel web headshot  Jeannie Yandel is a co-host of the KUOW's podcast Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace. Jeannie, has produced many KUOW shows including, Morning Edition, Rewind, The Conversation and The Record. 

working woman poster

Film Details:

Director: Michal Aviad
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew, French w/subtitles
Running Time: 93m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: Isha ovedet/עוֹבֶדֶת  איש
Rating/Warning: R

Subjects:

  • #MeToo movement
  • Sexual harassment
  • Israel
  • Working women

 

Sponsor

Community Partner: New Israel Fund

About The Film

An 80-year-old Slovak translator Ali Ungár (played by the Oscar-winning director Jiří Menzel) arrives in Vienna with a gun in his pocket to take revenge on the SS officer who killed his parents—but instead Ali finds the officer’s paunchy, aging son Georg (Peter Simonischek), a retired teacher who hated his father. Stung by Ali’s accusations of anti-Semitism and curious to learn more about his father’s nefarious past, Georg joins Ali on a seriocomic road trip to locations in his father’s wartime diaries to discover where Ali’s parents are buried.

Their bittersweet journey juxtaposes life’s cruelty and comedy as the buttoned-down, distrustful Ali and boisterous, flirty Georg (thrice divorced and a heavy drinker) make for strange bedfellows. Along the way, locals struggle to either forget their tragedy or justify their complicity.

THE INTERPRETER skillfully treads the blurry lines between healing and forgetting, truth and reconciliation, as the Holocaust nears passing from living memory.

interpreter poster

Film Details:

Director: Martin Šulík
Country: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria
Language: German, Slovak, Russian w/subtitles
Running Time: 114m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative Comedy
Original Title: Tlmočník
Rating/Warning: PG

Subjects:

  • Holocaust
  • Slovakia
  • Family
  • Road trip
  • Guilt
  • Responsibility

 


Sponsors

Liz and Jordan Friedman

About The Film

On an icy winter night, Lena shows up on the doorstep of the Rossberg family mansion, claiming her car has broken down, but her arrival is intentional. In pursuit of an elderly former Auschwitz guard (Michael Degen, HANNAH ARENDT), who lives with his daughter Maria (Elisabeth Degen, AIMÉE & JAGUAR), Lena is determined to get him to confess to a past he and his daughter deny.

Her vigilante efforts to extract a confession at gunpoint result in a twisted cat-and-mouse game, as the three characters enter a standoff fraught with moral complexities and shocking revelations. Powerhouse performances and a taut script fuel this edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller and chamber drama about wartime guilt and culpability across generations.

Director Bio

Astrid Schult is from Hesse, Germany. She has largely focused on producing documentaries in her career in the German film industry. WINTER HUNT is Astrid’s first narrative feature film.


 

winter hunt poster

Film Details:

Director: Astrid Schult
Country: Germany
Language: German w/subtitles
Running Time: 74m
Year: 2017
Genre: Narrative
Original Title: Winterjagd
Rating/Warning: PG-13 - gun violence

Subjects:

  • Germany
  • Ex-Nazi
  • Vigilante justice
  • Psychological thriller

 

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