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Venues and Tickets

GUILD THEATRE
829 SW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

WHITSELL AUDITORIUM

1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

Admission Prices:
$7 General
$6 PAM Members, Students, Seniors
$4 Friends of the Film Center

DOUBLE FEATURE
$2 Additional for second film

[cash or checks only]

 
 
 
 

LIVE AND BECOME
DIRECTOR: RADU MILHAILEANU
FRANCE/ISRAEL 2005

SAT JAN 14 7 PM Whitsell Auditorium
SUN JAN 15 4 PM Guild Theatre

Winner of (cheering) Audience Awards at the Berlin and Vancouver International Film Festival, LIVE AND BECOME is an epic, emotional story of one boy’s chance survival amidst the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s. A mother conspires to place her nine-year-old, non-Jewish son with a group of Falashas (Ethiopian Jews) bound for Israel as part of “Operation Moses.” Her parting words to her child are that he should never tell anyone his true identity. And so, Shlomo grows up pretending to be both Jewish and an orphan in modern Israel, where he embraces Judaism and Western values, but must also confront cultural divides— black, white, secular, orthodox—that compete for the soul of his country. Though he maintains his secret as he comes of age, the tension between his truth and the reality challenge his deepest fears and cherished desires. (140 mins.)

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LITTLE JERUSALEM
DIRECTOR: KARIN ALBOU
FRANCE 2005

SUN JAN 15 7 PM Whitsell Auditorium

Karin Albou’s impressive first feature takes us into the lives of a working class Tunisian-Jewish family in the lower-income suburbs of Paris. Laura is 18 and torn between the traditional religious life adhered to by her family and the study of philosophy which excites her mind and keeps her reading Kant late into the night. Her intellectual and spiritual ideals are further challenged when she finds herself irresistibly attracted to her co-worker Djamel, an Algerian Muslim. Meanwhile, her Orthodox older sister, Mathilde, struggles with the shortcomings of her marriage and the strictures of her faith. Set against the rising tide of modern anti-Semitism in France, LA PETIT JERSUALEM builds to an emotional standoff between the head, the heart and the soul. Adult content. (94 mins.)

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THE THREE RABBIS
PRODUCERS: JESSICA MARTIN, GLORIA LOHMAN FEVES
US 2005

TUE JAN 17 7 PM Whitsell Auditorium

THE THREE RABBIS tells the story of three devoted and passionate men—Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, Rabbi Emanuel Rose and Rabbi Yonah Geller—each of whom has played a pivotal role in the growth and emergence of Portland’s Jewish community over the last 50 years. Their extraordinary contributions to Oregon through their education and leadership, exemplified in their outreach to other faiths and numerous civic endeavors, parallel an era of tremendous change and conflict within both the religious and secular world. Through interviews and historical accounts, important issues—discrimination, civil rights, the Vietnam War and Israel, along with their views on women’s rights, intermarriage and life in Portland—are seen through the eyes of these inspirational leaders. (60 mins.)

 

WITH
CROSSING THE ABYSS
DIRECTOR: ELLE MARTINI
US 2005


CROSSING THE ABYSS traces one woman’s journey from Auschwitz to Oregon. Sent to the death camp as a child, Miriam Greenstein managed to survive the Nazis, but her family was not so fortunate. After the war, having nothing left in her native Germany, she arranged with an American uncle to make her way to the United States and to Oregon. Martini allows Greenstein to tell her story in her own voice, providing a powerful and encouraging example of perseverance and survival. (10 MINS.)

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USHPIZIN
DIRECTOR: GIDI DAR
ISRAEL 2004

WED JAN 18 7 PM Whitsell Auditorium

Set on the eve of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, this heartwarming and humorous drama focuses on Moshe and Mali, a married couple struggling to make ends meet. Naturally, they pray for help, but instead of a miracle, two suspicious strangers appear on their doorstep. The couple faces what they consider a test sent by God; if they wholeheartedly welcome these shady visitors, they believe they will be blessed with children. But the guests’ outrageous behavior makes their visit truly a test of faith. This groundbreaking depiction of life among Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox population resulted from the first film collaboration between Israel’s religious and secular communities. USHPIZIN is a sympathetic portrayal of a little-seen tradition, punctuated with wit, intelligence and plenty of spirited klezmer music. “A film about man’s clumsiness and God’s grace—a touching and amusing tale that expands our horizons and also should open our hearts.”—CHICAGO TRIBUNE. (88 mins.)
USHPIZIN IS OPENING AT THE HOLLYWOOD THEATRE JANUARY 20. THANKS TO PICTURE HOUSE FILMS FOR THIS SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING FOR THE FESTIVAL AUDIENCE.

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ODESSA ODESSA
DIRECTOR: MICHALE BOGANIM
ISRAEL/RUSSIA 2005

THUR JAN 19 7 PM Whitsell Auditorium
SAT JAN 21 5:15 PM Whitsell Auditorium


They say “Odessan” is a nationality. Whether in Brighton Beach, New York, or Jerusalem’s Little Odessa, exiles still see Odessa, pearl of the Black Sea, in their dreams and call it home. They want to go back to the ancient city just to breathe the air. They walk, sit, play chess, sing songs, and toast the Odessa that raised them like a mother. Meanwhile, on Odessa’s vacant streets, neglected buildings suggest a glorious past. Here a few very old women reminisce, in a mix of Yiddish and Russian, about World War II, their ideologies and their vibrant youths. With their city now nearly emptied of Jewish life, it is as if they live in the Odessa of fantasy. ODESSA ODESSA poetically evokes profound truths about the soul of the Jewish people, the wider experience of exile, and the dreamlike and sustaining nature of that faraway place called home. “A memorable portrait of cultural dislocation.”—HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. (97 mins.)

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GO FOR ZUCKER!
DIRECTOR: DANI LEVY
GERMANY 2004

SAT JAN 21 7:30 PM Whitsell Auditorium

Zuckermann, a roguish, middle-aged reprobate in Berlin, drinks, gambles, and gets in bar fights. His wife kicks him out. His son and daughter are fed up with his irresponsible ways. When his mother dies in Frankfurt, his estranged Orthodox brother comes with his family to bury her in Berlin. Her will specifies that the family must sit Shiva together and reconcile in order to receive her inheritance. How can he attend the funeral, sit Shiva, play in high-stakes pool tournament and fool his family all at once? He can try. But it won’t be easy. Levy’s, politically incorrect, madcap film is Germany’s first Jewish comedy, irreverently daring to present Jews in a guilt-free context beyond the Holocaust. “A genial comedy for anyone who ever wondered how to become kosher in one day, how orthodox patriarchs dance and what a retro-East German sex club looks like.” —VARIETY. (90 mins.)

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A CANTOR’S TALE
DIRECTOR: ERIK GREENBERG ANJOU
US 2004

SUN JAN 22 4 PM Guild Theatre

Great cantors used to be celebrities as adored as athletes and movie stars. Greenberg Anjou’s exhilarating film is a tribute to Chazzanut, the cantorial art, as Jacob (Jack) Mendelson, a cantor with a personality as big as his voice, offers a guided tour of his Brooklyn neighborhood, where, when he was a boy, cantors reigned supreme and music was the air he breathed. A loving tribute to a Golden Age in American Jewish life when people would travel miles to hear dizzying cantillations spilling from the windows of crowded synagogues. “The clips of legendary cantors (both local and European, many of whom died in the Holocaust). . . truly remain thrilling enough to convey why this was truly ‘the popular Jewish music’ for several 20th century decades.”-VARIETY.(90 mins.)

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ONLY HUMAN
DIRECTORS: TERESA DE PELEGRI, DOMININ HARARI
SPAIN/ARGENTINA/PORTUGAL 2004

SUN JAN 22 7:30 PM Whitsell Auditorium

When Leni brings her fiancé home to meet her loveable, dysfunctional family for the first time, everything goes smoothly until her boyfriend Rafi reveals he is Palestinian. Troubles compound when he accidentally drops a frozen block of soup out their seventh-floor window with disastrous results that spiral out of control. Thanks to a series of hilarious misunderstandings, a zany cast of characters including the caring but neurotic mother (Norma Aleandro), and rapid-fire script combine to skewer assumptions about human nature and love’s ability to test ethnic boundaries. ONLY HUMAN offers a breezy, black comedy take on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” meets “Meet the Fockers”—Madrid style.“A spirited farce that delivers the laughs with regularity.”—THE GUARDIAN, London. (89 mins.)

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PROTOCOLS OF ZION
DIRECTOR: MARC LEVIN
US 2004

MON JAN 23 7 PM Guild Theatre

What Elie Wiesel called “the oldest collective bigotry in history” is the focus of Marc Levin’s engrossing film. In 1905, the infamous anti-Semitic propaganda treatise called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was first published. In 1920, Henry Ford, notorious Jew-hater and friend of Hitler, gave a free copy with every car sold. Probably written around the turn of the century by agents of the Russian Czar’s secret police, the Protocols have returned and proliferated with a vengeance since the 9/11 attack with the purported “fact” that no Jews died in the bombing. With remarkable restraint, from the streets of New York to the mountains of West Virginia, Levin interviews White supremacists, Holocaust deniers, newspaper publishers and radio hosts who, sometimes coming out with inadvertently hilarious remarks, have propagated the claim of a diabolical plot by Jews to control the world. (92 mins.)

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AWAKE ZION
DIRECTOR: MONICA HAIM

US 2004

JAN 25 WED 7 PM Guild Theatre

Reggae enthusiast Monica Haim explores similarities between Judaism and reggae culture: the Star of David and the ancient African six-pointed star, Hasidic ear locks and dreadlocks, old Jewish songs that fit into African grooves. Could they be connected? Haim’s film celebrates music and its capacity to unite people of all faiths, featuring reggae artists King Django, Super Dane and Matisyahu. “The film is, in a way, a testament to the ridiculousness of looking at differences all the time and know how closely you are related to other cultures when you would not expect it.”—Monica Haim. (60 mins.)

 

WITH
WEST BANK STORY
DIRECTOR: ARI SANDEL
US 2004


In this witty musical takeoff on WEST SIDE STORY, an Israeli soldier falls for a Palestinian girl. That their families have dueling falafel stands doesn’t help matters. (21 mins.)

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WALL
DIRECTOR: SIMONE BITTON
FRANCE/ISRAEL 2004


THUR JAN 26 7 PM
Whitsell Auditorium


Winner of the Best Documentary Prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at Sundance, WALL explores the physical and psychological dimensions of the barrier being built to divide Israel and the Palestinian territories. Bitton, a Mizrahi Jew who is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, interviews Israelis and Palestinians who live and work close to this structure. Members of both communities are involved in building the wall, and the rupture it creates in the landscape affects all. Bitton’s interviewees include a representative of the Israeli Defense Force who describes the construction, rationale and cost of the wall, and a kibbutz official who eloquently points out the irony of a people who were once crowded into ghettos now intentionally walling themselves in. “WALL will surprise you! A deeply personal and poetic film.”—LOS ANGELES TIMES. (94 mins.)

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ISN’T THIS A TIME
DIRECTOR: JIM BROWN
US 2004

THU JAN 26 7:00 PM Guild Theatre
SAT JAN 28 5:15 PM Whitsell Auditorium


In November 2003, “Arlo Guthrie in concert with special guests in a tribute to Harold Leventhal” was held at Carnegie Hall. Over a 50-year career, Leventhal managed some of the leading icons of folk music, his pivotal role evidenced by the artists who performed that day—Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Theodore Bikel, Leon Bibb and Peter, Paul and Mary. Between songs and the memories of the musicians, Leventhal, the child of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, expressed the vision that motivated his passion. Like many Yiddish-speaking Jews who grew up during the Depression, Leventhal believed in the promise of American democracy and developed a passionate commitment to the pursuit of social justice. Finding kindred spirits in folk musicians, he built an audience hungry for a music that reflected progressive social values in a culture suffused by Cold War paranoia and repressive Blacklist tactics. (90 mins.)

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RASHEVSKI’S TANGO
DIRECTOR: SAM GARBARSKIS
BELGIUM/FRANCE/LUXEMBOURG 2002

SAT JAN 28 7:30 PM Whitsell Auditorium

Garbarskis’ film is a warm ensemble comedy that celebrates the multiplicity of Jewish lives in the modern world. Rosa Rashevski, the family matriarch, believed that tango could heal the body better than chicken soup. Famed for hating religion and rabbis, she shocks her family by requesting an Orthodox burial. As her extended clan gathers for the funeral in Paris, a kaleidoscope view of Jewish life in a family of Holocaust survivors—twenty-somethings, inter-marrieds, newly-observants, converts, Israelis and Diaspora-dwellers emerges that explores issues of identity, love, interfaith marriage and long-held family secrets. “RASHEVSKI’S TANGO wonders...what on earth it really means to be Jewish... Who are we—as a family, as individuals, as Jews?—BOSTON GLOBE. (100 mins.)

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