Home November 2011 Various Viewpoints

Various Viewpoints

The Long Beach Jewish Film Festival scheduled this year for Thursday and Saturday nights and all day Sunday, November 17, 19 and 20, offers an interestingly divergent view of the Jewish milieu.
The opening night screening of a documentary, My So-Called Enemy, November 17 at 7:30 p.m., brings together 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls who came to the United States in July 2002 to participate in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace.  This coming-of-age story focuses on six thoughtful, intelligent girls and how they reconcile their experience in the program with the realities of life back home in the Middle East.  Seen through their eyes, this emotionally-charged film addresses the human consequences of all conflicts.
The November 19 film at 7:30 features an Israeli-made dark comedy, The Human Resources Manager.  It tells the story of a manager at Israel’s largest bakery who finds himself the unlikely chaperone of a deceased young Russian woman.  The unhappy characters in the film are given no names but are known only by their professional roles until the young woman’s tragic death.  Eventually, they find comfort in each other and in life.
Sunday morning activities begin at 10 a.m. with a fascinating U.S.-made documentary on the world-renowned Jewish architect, Louis Kahn, who became one of the most celebrated architects of the 20th Century.  The documentary, My Architect, made by his son, Nathaniel Kahn, is his engrossing search for his father who died in 1974, leaving behind a complex life.  There are visits to the major, extraordinary buildings his father designed, including the Salk Institute in La Jolla and a massive government and handsome complex in Bangladesh (quite a paradox — a Muslim capital designed by a Jewish man).
A very moving French film, La Rafle, screens at 2 p.m. on Sunday.  This is a drama about three children who are seen playing in the streets of picturesque Montmartre, wearing yellow stars and unaware of the darkness that is spreading over Nazi-occupied France.  Unfortunately, their parents put their trust in the Vichy Government.  At the time Hitler was demanding that the French government round up its Jews and put them on trains, which ultimately wound up in extermination camps in the East.  Within a brief time, 13,000 Parisian Jews, including 4,000 children, are rounded up and sent on a road with no return.
Rounding out the festival on Sunday at 7 p.m. is an Israeli film, Coming of Age.  Set in Haifa, a teenage boy gets a summer job with a Holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages and smuggling goods.  Throughout the summer, the mysterious matchmaker takes the boy on a dangerous ride into the deepest underbelly of the Israeli port city.
The series is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program College of Liberal Arts at Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach and West Orange County Jewish Federation and Foundation and the Alpert Jewish Community Center.  All films will be shown at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Willow St., in Long Beach, at the Lakewood exit South, just off the 405 freeway.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the series at $45 for a pass, or $10 for single tickets, please call the Alpert Jewish Community Center, (562) 426-7601.

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