From stories of unlikely friendships, strange true life events to the heroes of history, the Jewish International Film Festival makes its sparkling return to Australian cinemas, showcasing the very best of Jewish cinematic gems from around the globe.
Running from 23 February to 3 April the Festival features 55 premiere films from 20 countries and includes a vast program; presenting 31 feature films, 25 documentaries and episodes from 1 television series, and 6 short films alongside a suite of live arts events.
Opening and closing night
Kicking the Festival into gear will be Olivier Dahan’s moving and monumental biopic Simone Veil: A Woman of the Century –sharing the extraordinary life and legacy of the French feminist icon through pivotal events of the Twentieth Century.
Simone Veil: A Woman of the Century, completes a trilogy of films Dahan began with Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose, starring Marion Cotillard, and Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman.
Closing Night will screen the first two episodes of epic Israeli period melodrama The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, featuring an all-star cast of Michael Aloni (Shtisel), Hila Saada (The Baker & the Beauty) and Itzik Cohen (Fauda). The series spans three generations of a family set against the backdrop of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, and the establishment of the Jewish state.
Special rooftop screening
Melbournians can look forward to a special Classic Rooftop screening of Greener Pastures on 5 March, a laugh-out-loud comedy following an elderly man forced into destitution, who hatches a plan to sell marijuana to nursing home residents in order to buy his house back.
JIFF will showcase a vibrant abundance of Australian stories with film features including, Mother Mountain, which tells the story of a young, restless Jewish mother and her family struggles set in the idyllic Australian country at the base of Gulaga, a mystical and sacred Aboriginal mountain. Marianne Mathy & Her Legacy documents a momentous figure in Australian music history who, after immigrating to Australia from Germany in 1939, went on to train many of Australia’s greatest opera singers.
Japanese documentarian Mirai Osawa’s Where But Into the Sea illuminates the under-reported asylum process for Jewish people in wartime Japan and Japanese occupied Shanghai –many of whom made Australia their home.
In Australian short film The Holy Duty, Melbourne-based filmmaker Sarah Marcuson takes an intimate look into the lives of the 'Chevra Kadisha', or “Sacred Society”; a group of Jewish volunteers that spend years of their life preparing, sanctifying, and burying Jewish bodies.
There is so much to experience - so be sure to check the JIFF website for full screening and session times:
Senior discount / Concession price is $18.50.
2022 Jewish International Film Festival Screening Dates
2 March–3 April Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick
3 March–3 April Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn.
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Reviewed 27 December 2022