March 30 - April 5

American Matchmaker
(Amerikaner Shadkhn)

Boston Premiere

Thursday, March 31, 6:30 pm
Newly Restored Yiddish Feature Film
USA, 1940, 87 min, Yiddish with English subtitles
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
In celebration of the Jewish community’s 350th anniversary in America

Starring Leo Fuchs, “the Yiddish Fred Astaire,” as an elegant and eligible bachelor who never quite closes a marriage deal, American Matchmaker was Edgar G. Ulmer’s last Yiddish film; it was also his most modern, an art deco romantic comedy set on New York’s Upper West Side. This clash between the urbane, slick manners of the new country and the old, busybody, communal ways of the shtetl, offers a satisfying combination of humor, music and schmaltz.

Introduction & Book Signing: Jonathan Sarna, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University; Author, American Judaism: A History (2004)

Metallic Blues

Boston Premiere

Saturday, April 2, 8 pm
Germany/Israel/Canada, 2004, 90 min,
English, Hebrew, & German with English subtitles
Director: Danny Verete
Best Script & Best Actor, Jerusalem Film Festival (2004)

Metallic Blues is a road-movie about two Israeli car dealers (played by Avi Kushnir and Moshe Igvy) who buy a vintage American-made limousine hoping to get rich quick by selling it in Hamburg. What they encounter along the way are unexpected truths about friendship, reconciliation, and the ghosts of Germany’s dark past.

“Offbeat, largely comic treatment of present-day German/Jewish relations…carried off with rhythm-perfect aplomb by the lead fortysomething Mutt 'n' Jeff duo.” – Ronnie Scheib (Brandeis ’65), Variety


Sabine von Mering, Center for German and European Studies, Brandeis University

Goethe-Institut Boston and the Center for German and European Studies, Brandeis University

Goodbye Holland:
The Extermination of the Dutch Jews

USA Premiere
Sunday, April 3, 2 pm
Filmmaker Present: Willy Lindwer
Holland, 2005, 90 min,
English & Dutch with English subtitles
Director: Willy Lindwer

This moving personal exploration of the scale of Dutch complicity in the deportation of 78% of Holland’s Jews during the Holocaust shatters the myth of Dutch tolerance, past and present. Director Lindwer unravels the truth about the betrayal of his aunt and uncle, who later died in Auschwitz, by a family who coveted the apartment in which they were hiding as well as the period after liberation, when the handful of Jews who returned to Holland met with an icy reception and persistent antisemitism from both the government and their fellow citizens. Together with the renowned Dutch writer Harry Mulisch, whose father who was one of the bank’s directors during the occupation, Lindwer delves into the history of the Lipmann-Rosenthal (LIRO) bank, which plundered Jewish assets during the war and used the money to fund the Nazi murder machine.

Benjamin Ravid, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies,
Brandeis University

Mavis and Hans Lopater, Facing History and Ourselves, Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University

Widowed Once, Twice Bereaved

USA Premiere
Sunday, April 3, 4:30 pm
Filmmaker Present: Orna Ben Dor
Israel, 2004, 60 min,
Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Orna Ben Dor

Filmmaker Orna Ben Dor’s new documentary focuses on five women whose husbands and or children were among the fifteen Israeli civilians killed in the suicide bombing of the Matza Restaurant in Haifa, Israel, on March 31, 2002. Ben Dor’s is a sensitive tribute to the strength and beauty of these Israeli women, including Carmit Ron who lost her husband, Aviel, her seventeen-year old son Ofer, and her twenty-one year old daughter Anat, who were eating lunch together at the sidewalk café.

Speaker: Lawrence D. Lowenthal, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee Greater Boston Chapter

Sponsors: The Consulate General of Israel to New England, the American Jewish Committee Greater Boston Chapter, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies' Boston-Haifa Connection

Dance of Death:
Cabaret in the Concentration Camps

USA Premiere
Filmmaker invited: Volker Kühn
Sunday, April 3, 7 pm
Germany, 1990, 74 min,
English & German with English subtitles
Director: Volker Kühn
Producer: Wolfgang Schwiedrzik

In a fitting tribute to the murder of scores of Jewish artists and performers, the filmmakers meticulously matched audio from pre-war recordings with films and still photographs taken by the Nazis in Westerbork, Theresienstadt, Dachau, and Auschwitz, resurrecting, if only for a brief time, the lives and art of some of Europe¹s best known performers, including Willy Rosen, Max Ehrlich, Kurt Gerron, Die Ghetto-Swingers, Johnny and Jones, Fritz Grünbaum, and Lisl Frank. Dance of Death reveals the underlying pathos of the artists, who lived to perform (and owed their lives to performing), yet were forced to watch as others were lead to their

Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, University of Vienna and visiting
professor at Brandeis University

Center for German and European Studies, Brandeis University


Thursday, April 7, 7:30 pm
Filmmaker Present: Pearl Gluck
USA/Hungary/Ukraine/Israel, 2003, 77 min, English, Hungarian, &
Yiddish with English subtitles
Writer, director, producer: Pearl Gluck (Brandeis ‘93)

Documentary filmmaker Pearl Gluck left her Orthodox Jewish clan in Brooklyn for secular life in Manhattan as a teenager. Later, Gluck takes a creative approach to mend the breach. She travels to Hungary to retrieve a turn-of-the-century family heirloom: a couch upon which esteemed rabbis once slept. En route, she encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a couch exporter, her ex-communist cousin in Budapest, a pair of Hungarian-American matchmakers, and a renegade group of formerly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

"Pearl Gluck has made what may be the first movie to evoke in equal measure the attraction of Hasidic Judaism and the equally compelling reasons she abandoned it."
– Stephen Holden, New York Times

Department of English and American Literature, Brandeis University,
The Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, and The Brandeis Hillel Foundation

IDF: The Musical

USA Premiere
Saturday, April 9, 8:30 pm
Filmmaker Present: Elinor Kowarsky
Israel, 2004, 120 minutes,
Hebrew with English subtitles
Director, writer, cinematographer:
Erez Laufer; Producers: Elinor and Edna Kowarsky

This toe-tapping documentary celebrates the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) musical bands organized to entertain the soldiers at the front. Featuring wonderful vintage clips and recent interviews, these first two hours of a proposed four-hour series trace the IDF bands from their origins before WWII, through the War of Independence, the Sinai Campaign of 1956, and the Israel evacuation of the Sinai Peninsula, until the Six Day War. Featuring Chana Meron, Hayim Hefer, Naomi Polani, Gil Aldema, Chaim Topol, Arik Einstein, Yehoram Gaon, Shalom Hanoch and other well-known stars, the film illustrates how, besides transmitting ideological values of defense and settlement, the bands paved the way for stars who later became central figures in the Israeli entertainment industry.

Jacob and Libby Goodman Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel,
Brandeis University, CAMERA, New England Friends of IDF

Rene and I: From Auschwitz to America

Boston Premiere
Sunday, April 10. 2:00 pm
Filmmaker Present: Zeva Oelbaum
USA, 2004, 55 min
Director: Gina M. Angelone
Executive producer: Zeva Oelbaum
(Brandeis ‘77)

A remarkable story of triumph and the resilience of the human spirit, this courageous documentary tells the story of Irene and her twin brother Rene, Czech Jews sent to Auschwitz at age six. The siblings survived three years in the camp, where they were they were among the 3,000 twins experimented on by Josef Mengele and other Nazi doctors. Because Mengele generally murdered the twins he studied so that he could autopsy them together, only 160 twins survived Auschwitz. Separated after liberation, then reunited years later in the United States, Rene and Irene speak frankly about their experiences and their hopes for the future. More than a record of one of the Holocaust’s darkest chapters, Rene and I is about love and courage, demons and saviors, the complexity of the human psyche, and how rare individuals are able to rise above inhumane circumstances with their emotional selves intact.

Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University and the Brandeis University Alumni Association

In Satmar's Custody

Boston Premiere
Sunday, April 10, 4:30 pm

Israel, 2003, 70 min,
Hebrew Yemenite, & Yiddish,
with English subtitles
Writer, director, producer: Nitzan Gilady

The Satmar, the world’s largest Hassidic sect, based in Brooklyn and Orange County, New York, follow an exceptionally strict interpretation of Jewish law that refuses, like some other ultra orthodox sects, to recognize the State of Israel. Unlike other extreme orthodox groups, however, they actively oppose Israel’s very existence. In Satmar’s Custody follows the story of the Jaradis, a Jewish Yemenite couple brought to the United States by the Satmar. The film begins with an urgent phone call notifying the couple that their two-year old daughter Hadia has died in a hospital in Paterson, New Jersey.

“A most stirring and disturbing film…built like a thriller, in an atmosphere of mystery.” – Joan Dupont, The International Herald Tribune

Michael Landsberg, North American Executive Director of Aliyah for The Jewish Agency

Turn Left at the End of the World

Sunday, April 10, 7 pm

Israel, 2004, 108 min, English & Hebrew with English subtitles (NB: Some nudity)
Director: Avi Nesher

Set in 1968 in a tiny Israeli village isolated deep in the Negev desert, two immigrant Jewish families, one from Morocco and the other from India, become neighbors. Separated by tradition and language, the families view each other with suspicion until a strike at the local bottling plant and the ensuing games of cricket serendipitously bring the families together. The core of the film is the growing friendship between the families’ two daughters, Nicol (Neta Gerti) and Sara (Liraz Charchi). Last year’s highest-grossing Israel feature film, Turn Left features an international cast in a movie brimming over with issues of identity, sexuality, and family.

“With its feel good vibes and sympathetic look at rarely discussed immigrant communities in Israel, Avi Nesher's [film] has humor and charm.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

Hillel Newman, Consul of Israel to New England

Jacob and Libby Goodman Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel, Hebrew and Arabic Languages Program, Brandeis University

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