Dear JFI Friends and Family,
In honor of what would now be NBA Playoff Basketball time, we present this week’s specially curated basketball themed program Hoop Dreamers. More than just stories about hoops, these three poignant films use the great game of basketball as a catalyst for self identity and achievement. Whether it’s the collective power of healing a nation, healing one’s self, or healing those in need, the power of sports can bring people together in a powerful way that transcends the barriers and differences between us. Join us courtside, er… living room side for the tip-off!
Until next week.
Jay Rosenblatt, Program Director
Joshua Moore, Programmer
Margherita Ghetti, Next Wave Programmer
On The Map (SFJFF36)
Before 1980’s “Miracle on Ice,” an Israeli team’s equally unlikely victory over a Soviet basketball team was dubbed the “Miracle on Hardwood.” After winning, magnetic Israeli team captain Tal Brody, a high NBA draft pick, exclaimed in American-accented Hebrew, “We are on the map, not only in sports, but in everything!’’ This much-needed morale boost occurred amid a sagging economy, only a few years after the tragic 1972 massacre in Munich and Israel’s draining Yom Kippur War. Through the lens of sports, On The Map (SFJFF 2016) presents a much broader story of how one team captured the heart of a nation amidst domestic turmoil and the global machinations of the Cold War.
Even MORE special footage! Click the video below to watch ON THE MAP’s Big Reunion!
15:40- 17:51 | Producer Nancy Spielberg discusses how this inspirational sports story still appeals to people unfamiliar with Israeli basketball.
45:17–49:29 | Maccabi Tel Aviv star Tal Brody speaks about the realities facing the Israeli team both on and off the court during the turbulent time post Munich Olympics.
Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw (SFJFF 2015)
From the rough-edged courts of New York City and recruited by legendary coach Pat Summitt for the University of Tennessee’s Lady Vols, Chamique Holdsclaw was hailed as the “female Michael Jordan,” impressing crowds with her artistry, athleticism and drive. A 3-time NCAA champ and Number One draft pick in the WNBA, Holdsclaw seemed destined for a spectacular professional career — until her long-suppressed battle with mental disorders emerged to derail her career and threaten her life. Showing exemplary bravery and forthrightness, she let filmmaker Rick Goldsmith record scenes of remarkable intimacy and struggle as she seeks redemption, not just by saving herself, but by reaching out to help young girls at risk. Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw (SFJFF35) is not only a sports film, but a call to action for advocacy around mental illness issues that embody the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world through one’s actions.
The Basketball Game (SFJFF32)
In the short film The Basketball Game (SFJFF 2012) director Hart Snider revisits his first time at Jewish summer camp where a cultural mixer with a group of Gentiles raised with anti-Semitic attitudes turns into a basketball game of epic proportions. Told through vivid animation this is a poignant tale of tolerance mixed with humor in the face of stereotypes. Click the video below to watch!