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Ahead of Time
2009, USA/ Israel, 73 minutes, Color/ B&W
English & Hebrew with English subtitles
Directed by Robert Richman

DVD
Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth Gruber became the youngest Ph.D. in the world before going on to become an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. She emerged as the eyes and conscience of the world. With her love of adventure, fearlessness and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition in an extraordinary career that spanned more than seven decades. More

Baklava and The Meaning of Life
USA, 1999, 23 minutes, color
Directed by Jamil Simon

DVD VHS
Where does one find the meaning of life? Perhaps in the kitchen of Iraqi-born sculptor Helene Simon, where she discusses her life and shows us how to make her famous Baklava. More

Ben Dov: Images of a Dreamer
France, 1999, 55 minutes, color/B&W
Hebrew and French with English subtitles
Directed by Alex Szalat

16mm DVD
Yorn near Kiev in 1882, Yakov Ben Dov came to Jerusalem from the Ukraine in 1907 with little more than a still camera to his name. He became one of the most accomplished photographers and filmmakers of his time. More

Everything's For You
USA, 1989, 58 minutes, color/B&W
Directed by Abraham Ravett
16mm DVD
Ravett attempts to reconcile issues in his life as the child of a Holocaust survivor in this experimental, non-narrative film about memory, death, and what critic Bruce Jenkins calls “the power of the photographic image and sound to resurrect the past". More

Fiestaremos! Judy Frankel and the Sephardic Music Tradition
USA, 2008, 30 minutes, color
English with songs in Ladino
Directed by Kathleen Regan
DVD
Judy Frankel was one of the leading collectors and practitioners of Sephardic folk music. Fiestaremos! includes interviews with Frankel, musical excerpts and performances in an intimate look at Frankel and Sephardic music and songs. More

Grace Paley: Collected Shorts
USA, 2010, 74 minutes, Color/ B&W
Directed by Lilly Rivlin

DVD
Lilly Rivlin’s intimate documentary is a rich, inspiring portrait of writer, activist and New York icon Grace Paley (1922-2007). This film casts an important and penetrating light on a brilliant and highly principled woman whose life illuminates the major protest movements of the latter part of the 20th century. More

Great Cantors in Cinema/ Great Cantors of the Golden Age
RESTORED BY NCJF
USA, 2006, 120 minutes, B&W/color
Hebrew, Yiddish and English with English subtitles
Directed by Rich Pontius
2 DVD Set
These two films feature some of the rarest and finest performances of renowned cantors from 1910 to the 1940s, including Adolph Katchko, Yossele Rosenblatt, David Roitman, Joseph Shlisky, and Mordechai Hershman, Moshe Koussevitsky, and Leibele Waldman. More

Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream
USA, 1997, 100 minutes, color/B&W
Directed by Simcha Jacobovici
16mm
Based on Neal Gabler's best-selling book, this award-winning film tells the story of the Jewish moguls who founded Hollywood. All were immigrants, or children of immigrants, who wanted to reinvent themselves as Americans. More

In Memory
USA, 1993, 13 minutes, B&W
Directed by Abraham Ravett
16mm DVD
In this non-narrative, meditative, and poignant film, footage of life from the Lodz Ghetto is juxtaposed with the chanting of “Kel Maleh Rachamim,” a plea to God to let the souls of those “slaughtered and burned” find peace. More

Is There Poetry After Auschwitz?
USA, 1992, 60 minutes, color
Produced by Vivienne Hermann and Dale Sonnenberg
DVD VHS
This moving portrait of artist Vivienne Hermann, who spent five years as a child in forced labor camps during World War II, answers the eponymous question with a resounding “Yes!” As Hermann says: “I am the poem. I may be a tragic poem. I may be an irritating poem. But I am the poem." More

Israel Rocks: A Journey Through Music of Visions and Divisions
Israel, 2000, 55 minutes, color
Hebrew with English Subtitles
Directed by Izzy Abrahami and Erga Netz

DVD VHS
Can you grasp the complexities, the tribulation, and the dreams of Israel by its music? This film features 20 singers, bands, and choruses, from rock to blues, folk, and rap. More

The Jazz Singer
USA, 1927, 90 minutes, B&W
Silent with intertitles and some sound
Directed by Alan Crosland
16mm
This landmark of modern cinema, the first “talking picture,” is also a pro-assimilationist story about a cantor's son who rejects his family's tradition for Jazz and Broadway. More

Mahler on the Couch
Austria/Germany, 2010, 97 min
German w/ English subtitles
Directed by Percy Adlon & Felix Adlon

35mm
This exuberant imagining of the real-life marriage of Gustav Mahler (Johannes Silberschneider) and his tempestuous wife Alma Schindler Mahler (the luminous Barbara Romaner) is a sensory feast of art, sex and celebrity in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Chafing under her agreement to give up her own musical ambitions, Alma seeks passion in the arms of the young, dashing architect Walter Gropius, which sends a tormented Mahler to Sigmund Freud for consultation. More

Making A Killing
UK, 1998, 52 minutes, color
Directed by Anne Webber
DVD VHS
Directed by Anne Webber, Chair of the European Commission on Looted Art, this documentary is a compelling detective story about one family's 50-year quest to recover their missing art collection set against a backdrop of murder, greed, and corruption. More

Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women
2006, USA, 85 minutes, Color
Directed by Rachel Talbot; Produced by the Jewish Women's Archive
This film festival favorite tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century — Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein. Hosted by four of today’s funniest women — Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman, Cory Kahaney, and Jessica Kirson — it's the true saga of what it means to be Jewish, female and funny. More

Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema
Australia, 2000, 73 minutes, color
Written & Directed by Monique Schwarz
16mm DVD
A funny, penetrating look at how the loving and affectionate portrayals in early Yiddish and Hollywood silent movies developed into the Jewish Mother of modern Hollywood and, conversely, the more flesh and blood characterizations in contemporary Israeli cinema. More

Multiply by Six Million
USA, 2007, 24 minutes, B&W
Directed by Evvy Eisen & Kelly Hendricks
DVD
The culmination of Evvy Eisen’s fifteen-yearlong project photographing holocaust survivors and collecting their personal stories. The film presents Eisen’s beautiful, original, black and white gelatin silver prints as the subjects recount their experiences during and after the World War II. More

A Musical Passage
USA, 1983, 73 minutes, color
Directed by Jim Brown
35mm 16mm
Since its first concert in 1978, the Soviet Emigre Orchestra has been considered one of the best chamber music ensembles in America. Here, superb performances and combined with an examination of the lives of the orchestra members. More

Nemt: A Language Without a People for a People Without a Language
France, 2000, 90 minutes, color
Directed by Isabelle Rozenbaumas and Michel Grosman
DVD
A film about the identity of Yiddish culture. One of the filmmakers returns to her native Lithuania, leading to a broader series of reflections on the survival of the Yiddish language in today’s world. More

Punch Me in the Stomach
New Zealand, 1996, 58 minutes, color
Directed by Francine Zuckerman
16mm DVD VHS
Multi-talented writer/performer Deb Filler stars in this adaptation of her autobiographical off-Broadway solo show about her life as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. More

Punk Jews
USA, 2012, 60 minutes, color
Directed by Jesse Zook Mann
Digital
Profiling Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists and more, Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. In the process, they are challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers. More

Rachel de la Comédie-Française
France, 2003, 52 minutes, color
French with English subtitles
Directed by Judith Wechsler
DVD
Before the era of Sarah Bernhardt, Rachel Felix (1821-1858) was the great actress of the Comédie-Française-and the first international dramatic star. Small, plain and fierce, Rachel's ability to convey passion in her performances thrilled audiences. More

Raise the Roof
USA, 2015, 85 minutes, color
Directed by Yari & Cary Wolinsky
Digital

Artists Rick & Laura Brown, leading a team of 300 artisans and students using period hand tools, reconstructed one of the magnificent, mural-covered wooden synagogues of 18th-century Poland, the last of which were destroyed by the Nazis. The show-stopping building is now the centerpiece of the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. More

Samuel Bak: The Art of Speaking About the Unspeakable
USA, 2001, 37 minutes, color
Produced by Rob Cooper and the Pucker Gallery
DVD
For over 60 years, from his first paintings as a child prodigy in the Vilna Ghetto, Samuel Bak has produced a remarkable body of work that has earned him an international reputation as a painter of thought-provoking images. More

Samuel Bak: Painter of Questions
Canada, 2003, 48 minutes, color
Directed by Christa Singer
DVD
On the occasion of a retrospective exhibit of his work, painter Samuel Bak returned to his hometown of Vilna. Saved from the death camps by his father, the miracle of Bak’s survival is a recurring theme in the unique and powerful visual vocabulary of his work. More

Schund
Israel, 2010, 56, minutes, color
Hebrew, Yiddish with English subtitles
Directed by Yael Leibovitz Zand

DVD
In this clever and heartfelt mockumentary, a renowned Yiddish actor disappears under criminal circumstances. Searching for him twenty-five years later we meet the colorful characters that made up Israel’s vibrant Yiddish scene during the country’s first decades. More

Simply Human
Israel, 2000, 30 minutes, color
Dutch, English and Hebrew with English Subtitles
Directed by Izzy Abrahami & Erga Netz

DVD
Mrs. Hans Snoek, a 90-year old Dutch dancer, famous in The Netherlands as the founder of several dance companies, discusses a little-known episode from her past; during World War II she hid Jews in her Amsterdam home. More

Stan Getz: A Musical Odyssey
USA, 1978, 60 minutes, color
Directed by Herbert Dorfman
DVD VHS
Join jazz saxophone virtuoso Stan Getz on his 1977 three-week tour of Israel. Getz jams with local musicians -a Kurdish drummer, an Arab quartet, a Hassidic wedding band, a Yemenite dance troupe- adapting his unique style to the various ethnic sounds of Israel. More

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
USA, 2014, 75 min, English
Directed by John Lollos
Narrated by Alan Alda
N
EW RELEASE
Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem focuses on both playwright and actor and how the their overlapping arts exemplify Yiddish as both a fountain and a river that still connects. Bikel’s masterful performance of stories, songs and monologs from his stage show are intertwined into a broader examination of Sholom Aleichem’s life and work and their continuing relevance to Jewish culture. More

3 Films by Abraham Ravett: Half Sister, In Memory, The March
USA, 2008, 60 minutes, Color/B&W, sound
Directed by Abraham Ravett
16mm DVD
A collection of 3 short films by photographer and filmmaker Abraham Ravett who merges interviews of family members often with previously made films, animation, still photographs and archival footage to make highly personal statements on memory and the Holocaust. More

Unknown Secrets: Art and the Rosenberg Era
USA, 1990, 30 minutes, color
Directed by Daniel Keller, Charles Light & Rob Okun
16mm DVD
This film shows the influence of the Rosenberg case on the work of artists past and present, including Arthur Miller, Adrienne Rich, Picasso and many more. Includes dramatic readings by Ed Asner, Ossie Davis, Tony Randall, Ruby Dee, and Tovah Feldshuh. More

The Yiddish Cinema
USA, 1991, 60 minutes, Color/B&W
Directed by Rich Pontius
DVD
Narrated by prolific writer and director David Mamet, this film is a perfect introduction to Yiddish cinema. The history of the genre through interviews, archival photographs, and film clips of many of The National Center for Jewish Film’s Yiddish feature films. More

Yizkor (Remembrance)
USA, 2010, 24 minutes
Directed by Ruth Fertig
Digibeta DVD
Winner of the 2010 Student Academy Award Gold Medal for Documentary, Ruth Fertig’s film uses animation by Jeanne Stern, archival film, home movies and Super 8 footage to tell her grandmother’s story of survival and resilience in the face of crushing loss. More

Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg
USA, 2009, 92 minutes, Color/B&W
Written, Produced & Directed by Aviva Kempner
35mm
The funny and surprising story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg, creator of America’s hit sitcom, The Goldbergs. As an actor, writer (12,000 scripts for CBS!) and TV celebrity, Berg’s trailblazing blend of comedy and social commentary—with Jewish characters at the center—endeared audiences and made her a cultural icon. By Aviva Kempner (Life and Times of Hank Greenberg). More

Yosl Cutler and His Puppets
RESTORED BY NCJF
USA, 1935, 18 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with English subtitles
16mm DVD
Fanciful and slightly surreal sketches preserve Cutler’s work with the marionettes he designed, built, and brought to life. More

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