Experience Jewish cinema at its best at the Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival! Internationally acclaimed films representing the diversity of the Jewish experience are showcased during the annual film festival every spring. Presented by the Rady JCC with support from Asper Foundation Performances.
Many of this year’s films will have two viewings to accommodate more audiences (sold out early last year).
2016 Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival
May 24 – June 7, 2016
Apples from the Desert
(Tapoukhim min ha’midbar)
Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. / Tuesday, June 7 at 3:00 p.m.
The rebellious teenage daughter of ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents journeys into the secular world in Apples from the Desert an adaptation of the award-winning Israeli play that poignantly explores themes of love and reconciliation. Rebecca Abravanel is an only child, living a cloistered existence with her strictly religious Sephardic parents in Jerusalem. Unhappy with the restrictive traditions of home and community, she secretly breaks taboos, attending dance classes where she forms a relationship with secular kibbutznik Dooby. After Rebecca runs away from home, the family conflict culminates in a moment of truth, forcing them to confront their beliefs and one another. (Israel, 2014)
Saturday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. / Monday, June 6 at 3:00 p.m.
Baba Joon, Israel’s Best Foreign Language Film submission to the Academy Awards and the winner of five Israeli “Oscars,” is a universal story about intergenerational conflict. The film zooms in on Israel’s Iranian Jewish population and is the nation’s first-ever movie in Farsi. It stars Navid Negabhan (Abu Nazir in Homeland) as an immigrant from Iran who wants his son Moti to learn the family business. Moti, however, has a different passion. The arrival of an uncle from America sets off a chain of events. Soon, Yitzhak will learn that his son is just as stubborn as he is. (Israel, 2015)
Wednesday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 3 at 1:00 p.m.
Curmudgeonly widower Nat Dayan obstinately clings to his way of life and his livelihood as a Kosher bakery shop owner in London’s East End. With a dwindling clientele and the pressures of encroaching big box stores, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash who has a secret side gig selling marijuana to help his struggling immigrant mother to make ends meet. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the mixing dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. Dough is a warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places. (UK, 2015).
Felix and Meira
(Félix et Meira)
Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Felix and Meira, is the story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different lives mere blocks away from one another. Meira, a young Hasidic housewife and mother, and Felix, a man lost in mourning the recent death of his father, unexpectedly meet at a local bakery in Montreal’s Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort in one another. (Canada, 2015)
Fever at Dawn
Tuesday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.
July 1945. Fever at Dawn is the true story of Miklos a 25 year-old Hungarian who has survived the camps and has been brought to Sweden to convalesce. His doctor has just given him a death sentence — his lungs are filled with fluid and in six months he will be gone. But Miklos has other plans. He didn’t survive the war only to drown from within, and so he wages war on his own fate. He acquires the names of the 117 Hungarian women also recovering in Sweden, and he writes a letter to each of them in his beautiful cursive hand. One of these women, he is sure, will become his wife. (Hungary, 2015)
How to Win Enemies
(Cómo ganar enemigos)
Sunday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.
Lucas is a young lawyer with a penchant for detective stories. When he meets Barbara at a cafe, he is enamored. She is smart, sexy, and has great taste in literature. But things aren’t always what they seem. After Barbara goes home with Lucas, he wakes up to find his financial savings, and Barbara, gone. Determined to find her and to solve this mystery, Lucas uses the detective skills gathered from his beloved books and finds himself in an intriguing twisted plot. (Argentina, 2015)
Labyrinth of Lies
(Im Labyrinth des Schweigens)
Monday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. / Thursday, June 2 at 3:00 p.m.
Labyrinth of Lies sheds light on this little known story of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, which took place in the early 1960s but are practically unknown. Young public prosecutor Johann Radmann comes across some documents that help initiate the trial against some members of the SS who served in Auschwitz. But both the horrors of the past and the hostility shown towards his work bring Johann close to a meltdown. It is nearly impossible for him to find his way through this maze; everybody seems to have been involved or guilty. (Germany, 2014)
(L’orchestre de minuit)
Tuesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m.
After leaving Morocco as a child amidst racial tensions spurred by the Yom Kippur War, the son of a once famous Jewish musician returns to his home country to bury his father. Aided by an eclectic cab driver, his search for the former members of his father’s band unexpectedly transforms his life forever. When death claims his father before they can reunite and reconcile, Michael seeks to understand the legacy of this iconic singer of yesteryear, a man largely unknown to him.
Rabin in His Own Words
(Rabin BeMilotav Shelo)
Tuesday, May 30 at 3:00 p.m. / Monday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.
The documentary Rabin in His Own Words is told entirely in Yitzchak Rabin’s own voice. Through a combination of rare archival footage, home movies and private letters, his personal and professional dramas unfold before the viewer’s eyes – from his childhood as the son of a labour leader before the founding of the State of Israel, from a farmer into an army man who stood at some of the most critical junctures in Israeli history, through his later years during which he served as Prime Minister of Israel until the horrific moment when his political career and life were suddenly brought to an end. (Israel, 2015)
Once in a Lifetime
Wednesday, June 1 at 3:00 p.m. / Friday, May 27 at 5:00 p.m.
A dedicated history teacher at a French high school, Anne Gueguen, is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Frustrated but undaunted by student apathy, Anne tests her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. The project is initially met with extreme resistance, until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the students’ attitudes dramatically. (France, 2016)
Orchestra of Exiles **SOLD OUT**
(Orchester im Exil)
Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
One Polish violinist. Seventy Jewish musicians. Together, they waged a four-year struggle, fighting the Nazis with the only weapon they had; music. Orchestra of Exiles reveals the dramatic story of Bronislaw Huberman, the celebrated Polish violinist who used his vision and resourcefulness to rescue some of the world’s greatest musicians from Nazi Germany succeeded in creating one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the future Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Alexander Mickelwaite, the WSO’s conductor and music director will be in attendance (USA, Israel, 2012)
Son of Saul
Friday, May 27 at 1:00 p.m. / Sunday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.
October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the corpse of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (Hungary, 2015)
Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
Sunday, May 29, 2:00 p.m.
Portraits of two beloved icons-Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel-are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit. (USA, 2014)
The Last Mentsch
(Der letzte Mentsch)
Friday, June 3 at 5:00 p.m. / Sunday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m.
Having spent a lifetime concealing his heritage, an aging German Holocaust survivor tries to come to terms with his past. Born Menachem Teitelbaum, Marcus Schwarz (German “Academy Award” winner Mario Adorf) escaped Auschwitz with his life only to eliminate his Jewishness. Without family, a synagogue or a single Jewish friend, the hardened old man has so effectively created a new identity that, when faced with his own mortality, the rabbis refuse his appeal to be buried in a Jewish cemetery in Cologne. Determined to return to his birthplace and establish his ancestry, Marcus enlists the help of Gül a brash, chain-smoking Turkish woman with a troubled history of her own. (Germany, Switzerland, France 2016).
Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Hagit, a young woman with a mild intellectual and developmental deficiency, works in a toilet-paper factory. She lives with her mother Sarah, a divorcee who gave up her life for her daughter. Hagit strives for independence and Sarah is torn between her desire to protect her and her own will to live. When a relationship develops between her and the son of the factory owner, Hagit hides it from her mother. The announcement of the closing of the factory shakes Hagit and Sarah’s life and jeopardizes Hagit’s love story. (Israel, 2015)
Films will be screened at the Berney Theatre. All foreign films are subtitled in English and subject to classification.