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Whitsell Auditorium
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

The Box Office opens 30 minutes prior to showtime.

PARKING

ADMISSION PRICES
$9 General
$8 PAM Members, Students, Seniors
$6 Friends of the Film Center

Tickets are now available online. Click on the 'Buy Tickets' links to buy online.

BOOK OF TEN TICKETS
$50 Buy Here

THE 10-MINUTE RULE
Seats for advance ticket and pass holders are held until 10 minutes before showtime, when any unfilled seats are released to the public. Thus, advance tickets or passes ensure that you will not have to wait in the ticket purchase line but do not guarantee a seat in the case of arrival after the 10-minute window has begun. Your early arrival also helps get screenings started promptly. We appreciate your understanding. Advance ticket holders who arrive within the 10-minute window but are not seated may exchange their tickets for another screening at the Ticket Outlet or obtain a cash refund at the theater. There are no refunds or exchanges for late arrivals or for missed screenings.



   
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20th Portland Jewish Film Festival

Welcome to the 20th Annual Portland Jewish Film Festival, produced by the Northwest Film Center and co-presented with the Institute for Judaic Studies. While the Festival specifically celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity, we hope that these films and the stories they tell resonate beyond their settings and speak to experiences and issues that confront our common humanity.

Special thanks to our sponsors: The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, Cedar Sinai Park, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family & Child Service, Oregon/Israel Fund of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, Portland Jewish Academy, THA Architecture, Inc., J Street Portland, and Carolyn Weinstein.

Thanks to our media sponsor Oregon Jewish Life Magazine.


FESTIVAL PASSES are available online now. Click here to purchase yours today! PJFF Passes will be honored at all NWFC screenings during the Festival (April 15-29).



Sun, Apr 15, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
MABUL (THE FLOOD)
DIRECTOR: GUY NATTIV
ISRAEL, 2011

Yoni’s life is complicated. He’s almost 13 and obsessed with becoming bigger, taller, and stronger. His classmates bully him every chance they get, and his parents barely say a word to each other. When his autistic brother Tomer, locked away for years in an institution, returns to live at home with them right before Yoni’s Bar Mitzvah, the already unstable family threatens to crumble. Yoni has no choice but to “become a man” and learn to deal on his own with this strange brother he hasn’t seen in 10 years. The entire family has to face painful truths as mistakes of the past and sorrows of the present are confronted in this beautifully acted and rendered film about perseverance and the redemptive power of love. (101 mins.)

Winner of the Best Supporting Actor “Ophir” Award at the Israel Film Academy and the Special Mention Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

FOLLOWED BY

A REUBEN BY ANY OTHER NAME
DIRECTOR: JEREMY DYLAN LANNI
US, 2010
A REUBEN BY ANY OTHER NAME takes a humorous look at the differences between Orthodox and Reform Judaism played out in terms of the differences between the New York and Los Angeles versions of the Reuben sandwich. (4 mins.)

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Mon, Apr 16, 2012
at 7 PM

COUNSELLOR AT LAW
DIRECTOR: WILLIAM WYLER
US, 1933

John Barrymore, in one of his best roles, plays George Simon, a high-powered Jewish lawyer who has worked his way up from the tenements to a lofty perch in the Empire State Building by defending accused murderesses, powerful politicians, and hard-luck cases from the old neighborhood while discreetly bleeding wealthy clients. When an enemy uncovers a legal indiscretion and begins disbarment proceedings, it drives Simon’s spoiled socialite wife (Doris Kenyon) into the arms of another man (Melvyn Douglas). With the unflagging support of his faithful secretary (Bebe Daniels), Simon attempts to exercise his legalistic wizardry to defend his reputation and protect those who rely upon him for justice. (82 mins.)

Marat Grinberg, assistant professor of Russian and Humanities at Reed College, will introduce the film.


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Tue, Apr 17, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
TORN
DIRECTOR: RONIT KERTSNER
ISRAEL, 2011

Can a person be a practicing Jew and a Catholic priest at the same time? Raised by a gentile family and ordained as a Polish Catholic priest, Father Romuald Waszkinel discovers years later that he was born Jacob Weksler to Jewish biological parents who were murdered in the Holocaust. TORN follows his extraordinary transformation from conducting mass in Poland to life as an observant Jew on an Israeli kibbutz. The deeply spiritual Waszkinel is torn between conflicting identities, unable to renounce Catholicism or his newfound Judaism and therefore rejected by both. In the meantime, his request to be granted Israeli citizenship is mired in a bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration law. Filmmaker Ronit Kertsner raises profound questions about what it means to be Jewish in this soul-searching, cruelly ironic documentary about identity. (72 mins.)

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Thu, Apr 19, 2012
at 7 PM

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DAVID
DIRECTOR: JOEL FENDELMAN
US, 2011

A charming coming-of-age tale of tolerance and cross-cultural understanding, DAVID questions the boundaries of cultures and religions and how static, yet sometimes fluid, they can be. Daud is a lonely 11-year-old Muslim boy growing up in Brooklyn. The only son of a devout Imam, he juggles the high expectations of his father against feelings of loneliness and isolation. There is no time for playmates, until one day when he is mistaken for a yeshiva student and befriended by a group of Jewish boys. Unable to resist a newfound camaraderie and freedom, Daud becomes David to his newfound friends. The ruse soon unravels, however, leaving the conflicted boy struggling to find his place in a complicated world. Filmed on location in Brooklyn with first-time Arab and Jewish actors, DAVID won the Brooklyn International Film Festival Audience Award and the Montreal World Film Festival’s Ecumenical Prize. (80 mins.)

FOLLOWED BY

STARRING DAVID
DIRECTOR: ESTER GOULD
NETHERLANDS, 2010
A funny, sweet portrait of 12-year-old David and his path to Bar Mitzvahood. (19 mins.)

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Sat, Apr 21, 2012
at 8:30 PM

Watch Trailer
THE RABBI’S CAT
DIRECTOR: JOANN SFAR, ANTOINE DELESVAUX
FRANCE, 2011

Winner of the Best Feature Award at the Annecy International Animation Festival as well as the French César for Best Animated Film, THE RABBI’S CAT is based on Safar’s own hit comic book series about a talking cat. Rabbi Sfar lives a quiet life by the sea with his beautiful daughter Zlabya and her pet cat in 1920s Algeria, a country full of Arab, Jewish, and European inhabitants. After swallowing his archrival the family parrot, the cat receives the miraculous gift of speech, with no intention of ever shutting up! This irreverent, quick-witted feline loves discussing philosophy and Jewish law and demands to have a Bar Mitzvah. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the city, the Rabbi, his cat, and an array of motley characters set off on a fantastical Indiana Jones-style adventure into the unknown heart of Africa. (100 mins.)

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Sun, Apr 22, 2012
at 4 PM

Watch Trailer
MY ARCHITECT
DIRECTOR: NATHANIEL KAHN
US, 2003

Louis I. Kahn, a giant among modernist 20th-century architects, left a legacy of brilliantly designed and engineered buildings—including the Salk Institute, Kimball Art Museum, and Yale Center for British Art—which challenge us to discover new relationships between light, space, texture, and the spirit of the creator. Kahn’s personal life was even more mysterious than his work’s inspiration, and his death—alone, broke, and anonymous in a Penn Station bathroom in 1974—revealed that he led not a double but a triple life, shuttling between his legitimate family and two different women and the children they had. One of those, his son Nathaniel, age 11 at the time of his father’s death, takes us on a personal journey to consider the contradictions of this complicated genius and eccentric parent. While revealing the haunting beauty of his father’s monumental creations—from Philadelphia to far-flung parts of the United States, Israel, India, and Bangladesh—Kahn takes us deep within his own divided family and on a universal investigation of identity, art, and ultimately life itself. (116 mins.)

Thomas Hacker from THA Architect will introduce the film.

Sponsored by THA Architecture, Inc.


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Sun, Apr 22, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
KADDISH FOR A FRIEND
DIRECTOR: LEO KHASIN
GERMANY, 2011

Khasin tells a warm tale about an unlikely friendship between two lonely, displaced characters. Alexander is an 84-year-old Jewish war veteran desperate to remain living independently in his Berlin apartment. Among his neighbors is a Palestinian family newly arrived from a refugee camp in Lebanon that includes teenage son Ali. To gain acceptance from his new peers, Ali agrees to break in to Alexander’s flat, which becomes ransacked in the process. When Alexander returns to his flat, he recognizes Ali, and to avoid being deported, Ali’s family sends him back to repair the damage. As they work side by side, the relationship between the feisty pair flits between mutual dislike, understanding, and finally friendship, when they realize that the fragile existence of each depends in a large part on the other. Inspired by a true story, Moscow-born German director Leo Khasin offers a stirring coming-of-age story that shows just how hard unlearning prejudice can be. (93 mins.)

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Mon, Apr 23, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
THE QUEEN HAS NO CROWN
DIRECTOR: TOMER HEYMANN
ISRAEL, 2011

“Tomer Heymann’s poignant meditation on family, loss, and the mental maps of homelessness. The film navigates the intimate lives of five brothers and their mother as they experience the pains of exile and the joys of family bonding. Three of the Heymann sons take their families and leave Israel for ‘better’ lives in America. Their mother, a divorcee, is left alone in Israel with her two bachelor sons, one straight and the other, Tomer, gay. Exploring the politics of belonging, displacement, and sexuality, the film examines the hard decisions one family has to make and the intractable bonds that unite them. Throughout, Tomer frames this quest in terms of its greater social and political significance. Combining 8mm and 16mm footage with his own work of a decade, Tomer shows how the strength of the Heymann family depends on forces greater than the nuclear family itself. The result is a powerful and intimate portrait of one man, his family, and the world surrounding them.”—UK Jewish Film Festival (85 mins.)

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Wed, Apr 25, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
FOLLOW ME: THE YONI NETANYAHU STORY
DIRECTOR: JONATHAN GRUBER, ARI DANIEL PINCHOT
US, 2011

The famed Operation Entebbe—the high-risk mission to save Israeli hostages held by Arab terrorists at the Entebbe, Uganda airport in 1976—was an almost miraculous success, but sometimes forgotten is that the mission was not without casualties. Gruber and Pinchot’s riveting telling of the event is cast through the eyes of 30-year-old squad leader Yoni Netanyahu, older brother of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost his life that day. The filmmakers masterfully tell the parallel narratives of the planning and execution of the raid and Yoni’s life story in the context of Israeli history. Personal testimonials from family members, Israeli leaders, and comrades add context to the gripping archival footage, but it is the words of Netanyahu himself, taken from his poems and letters to family and the women he loved, that give the story a poetic beauty and enduring power. (84 mins.)

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Thu, Apr 26, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS
DIRECTOR: EMAD BURNAT, GUY DAVIDI
PALESTINE/ISRAEL/FRANCE, 2011

“Five broken cameras—and each one has a powerful tale to tell. Embedded in the bullet-ridden remains of digital technology is the story of Emad Burnat, a farmer from the Palestinian village of Bil’in, which famously chose nonviolent resistance when the Israeli army encroached upon its land to make room for Jewish colonists. Emad buys his first camera in 2005 to document the birth of his fourth son, Gibreel. Over the course of the film, he becomes the peaceful archivist of an escalating struggle as olive trees are bulldozed, lives are lost, and a wall is built to segregate burgeoning Israeli settlements. Gibreel’s loss of innocence and the destruction of each camera are potent metaphors in a deeply personal documentary that vividly portrays a conflict many of us think we know. Emad Burnat, a Palestinian, joins forces with Guy Davidi, an Israeli, and, from the wreckage of five broken cameras, two filmmakers create one extraordinary work of art.”—Sundance Film Festival, where FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award. (90 mins.)

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Sat, Apr 28, 2012
at 8:30 PM

Watch Trailer
SALLAH
DIRECTOR: EPHRAIM KISHON
ISRAEL, 1964

Sallah Shabati (Topol), a Yemenite Jew, arrives with his family in Israel in 1949, among 49,000 in a secretly organized immigration influx. Broke and lazy by nature, he devises various comic schemes to get money, such as selling his vote to each of several political parties. Habbubah, Sallah’s beautiful daughter, falls in love with Ziggi, a handsome member of a kibbutz, and Sallah tricks an admiring taxi driver into buying his daughter for Ziggi. Meanwhile, Sallah’s son Shimon has fallen in love with kibbutznik Bathsheva, thus prompting the kibbutz director to demand reimbursement. Through his antics, Sallah not only exposes the struggles in a young Israeli society but also succeeds in forcing the housing authorities to move his family out of the ramshackle transit camp and into a new apartment. Kishon’s zany satire won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and was Israel’s first submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (105 mins.)

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Sun, Apr 29, 2012
at 4:30 PM

Watch Trailer
NICKY’S FAMILY
DIRECTOR: MATEJ MINAC
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2011

Nicholas Winton was just an everyday Englishman looking to make himself useful before the dawn of World War II. Without a real plan, he somehow managed to organize the rescue of 669 Jewish Czech and Slovak children during the outbreak of the war. Afterwards, for more than half a century, Winton never discussed his efforts. Fifty years later, his family stumbled upon a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. His amazing story touched his nation in unexpected ways. The film depicts the ripple effect that his heroism has had on the descendants of the children he saved, most of whom never knew the “British Schindler” who saved them. (96 mins.)

Winner of the Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the Montreal Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and UK Jewish Film Festival.

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Sun, Apr 29, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
REMEMBRANCE
DIRECTOR: ANNA JUSTICE
GERMANY, 2011

REMEMBRANCE is the true story of two lovers who meet in a concentration camp in 1944. Tomasz, a Polish prisoner, pulls off a daring rescue escaping from the camp with his Jewish lover Hannah Silberstein. Hiding her at the home of his sister-in-law, Tomasz returns to his work in the Polish resistance, promising to return for her. As the war comes to an end, each believes the other has died. Hannah is married and living in New York with her husband and daughter when she discovers that after more than 30 years, Tomasz is indeed alive. Now she must decide what to do. “I tend to believe in coincidence, that the course of our lives is led by accidental incidents and the decisions we make as a result of these incidents.”—Anna Justice (105 mins.)

FOLLOWED BY

CALIFORNIA SHMEER
DIRECTOR: ALAN H. ROSENBERG
US, 2006
CALIFORNIA SHMEER explores the role Jewish food plays in the American culinary experience. (25 mins.)

Today's films are sponsored by the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center.


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Mon, Apr 30, 2012
at 7 PM

Watch Trailer
THE RESCUERS
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL KING
US, 2011

A Holocaust historian and anti-genocide activist search the past for solutions to current ethnic persecutions in THE RESCUERS. Globetrotting across 15 countries, Sir Martin Gilbert and Rwandan native Stephanie Nyombayire meet with survivors and descendants of diplomats who interceded to save Jews from Nazi death camps. Combining fascinating interviews, archival footage, and dramatic reenactments, Emmy-winning filmmaker Michael King presents such well-documented cases as the Swedish businessman who saved 120,000 Budapest Jews and the more obscure acts of a Japanese attaché, a German Nazi Party member, and British royalty as relayed in a story by Prince Charles. Having lost family in the Rwandan genocide, Nyombayire faces painful truths about her country and seeks an end to ongoing massacres in Darfur and elsewhere. (94 mins.)

Best of the Fest Award winner at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

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