November 29, 2016
Hanukkah came early this year! We’ve added over 20 films from the 36-year SFJFF archive to JFI On Demand, our streaming channel for all things SFJFF and a one-stop-shop for independent Jewish film online. Below, JFI staff have selected some standouts from the collection to watch at home or on the go.
Hava Nagila (The Movie) | Dir. Roberta Grossman / The much lauded SFJFF 2012 Opening Night film Hava Nagila (The Movie) is a foot-tapping celebration of 100 years of Jewish culture and spirituality. It peels back the rich history, mystery and meaning of the song which is “kitschy, but oh so profound.” Together with a brilliant cast of characters that includes Connie Francis, Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy and even Glenn Campbell, we travel with “Hava” around the world.
Afternoon Delight | Dir. Jill Soloway/ Before she revolutionized portrayals of transgender identity, Jewish neuroticism, and family drama on television with the breakout series Transparent, Jill Soloway presented her debut feature film Afternoon Delight as the SFJFF 2013 Berkeley Big Night selection. In Afternoon Delight Rachel is a quick-witted, lovable, yet tightly coiled, thirtysomething steeped in the creative class of Los Angeles’s bohemian Silver Lake neighborhood. Plagued by purposelessness, Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and ends up meeting McKenna, a stripper whom she becomes obsessed with saving. She decides to adopt McKenna as her live-in nanny, and this bold move unleashes unimagined and colorful waves of change into her life and community.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali | Dir. Bill Seigel / This documentary tackles some of the greatest themes of our time: power, race, faith, identity and freedom from the legacy of slavery. The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a boxing documentary, but rather a fresh perspective on a volatile time in our nation’s history. We are guided through rare archival footage of Ali’s journey featuring Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. The film features compelling current interviews with those who were there, including Ali’s family members and the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan. Like its articulate subject, Siegel’s doc “floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.”
For the Love of Spock | Dir. Adam Nimoy / The SFJFF 2016 Closing Night Documentary For the Love of Spock took audiences boldly where no one has gone before — into the life and legacy of Leonard Nimoy who immortalized the role of Spock on the original Star Trek series. The coolheaded, logical Vulcan was an outsider aboard the USS Enterprise, just as Nimoy himself was an outsider as a Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Boston. Spock’s otherness served as the very essence of what Star Trek was really all about: examining what makes us human. Featuring clips from Nimoy’s career and inspiring interviews with the Star Trek cast past and present, including William Shatner, George Takei, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, director Adam Nimoy has crafted a loving tribute to not only his father, but also to the man we know as Mr. Spock.
The Kingdom of Survival | Dir. M.A. Littler / M.A. Littler’s film (SFJFF 2012), is one part travelogue and one part paean to eight radical thinkers who have tried to make the world a better place. If you are uncomfortable with questioning capitalism, then stay home and check your investments online. If you are interested in questioning authority as a form of tikkun olam, then this beautifully shot and well-crafted exploration of religion, academia, alternative media, utopianism, anarchism and globalized capitalism is for you.
Other Films Added This Month to JFI On Demand
As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM (SFJFF 2015)
Baba Joon (SFJFF 2016)
Beyond the Fear (SFJFF 2015)
Comedy Warriors (SFJFF 2014)
10% What Makes a Hero? (SFJFF 2014)
The Starfish Throwers (SFJFF 2014)
Vessel (SFJFF 2014)
Swim Little Fish Swim (SFJFF 2014)
Brave Miss World (SFJFF 2015)
Here One Day (SFJFF 2013)
The Lab (SFJFF 2013)
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (SFJFF 2011)
Harbour of Hope (SFJFF 2012)
My Dad is Baryshnikov (SFJFF 2012)
One Day After Peace (SFJFF 2012)
Papirosen (SFJFF 2012)
Kings Point (SFJFF 2012)