What to watch in September on JFI On Demand

August 29, 2016

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The JFI On Demand team selects some stand-out newly added titles to the collection worthy of your screen this month.

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Connected | Dir. Tiffany Shlain / The kaleidoscope of clips in this wide-ranging documentary is so entertaining one could happily watch the whole movie with the sound off. But it would be a shame to miss Tiffany Shlain’s meditations on modern life and technology. Sharing narration duties with the sonorous Peter Coyote, the filmmaker delves into everything from the honeybee crisis to her family’s “technology shabbat” to her struggle to bear a second child, all in an effort to understand our need to connect.

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East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem | Dir. Erez Miller / In the spirit of determined optimism legendary Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza pierces the divide with a bold new music album East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem. Director Ezra Miller follows the artists over an eight-day period where they converge in a one-take mash-up of American, Israeli and Palestinian sounds that slowly breaks through the cynicism and fear of the region. Knowing that it could all fall to pieces, they build musical bridges with Broza’s charismatic and energetic performances and his will to have a political impact by the simple act of bringing together artists from opposing sides.

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Ida | Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski / On the eve of her vows, 18-year-old novice Anna meets her estranged aunt Wanda, a cynical Communist judge who shocks the naïve Anna with a stunning revelation: Anna is Jewish and her real name is Ida. Tasked with this new identity, Ida and Wanda embark on a revelatory journey to their old family home to discover the fate of Ida’s birth parents and unearth dark secrets dating back to the Nazi occupation. Masterfully directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) and photographed in stunning black and white (in the classic 1.37:1 Academy ratio), IDA is a vital and cinematic evocation of postwar Poland and an intensely personal tale of moral and spiritual awakening.

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Partner with the Enemy | Dir. Duki Dror /This soulful documentary beautifully captures the human cost of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Kibbutznik Anat Shelach and Ramallah resident Rola Srouji meet through their work for competing logistics companies. Fueled by Rola’s enthusiasm, the women decide to join forces and start a business called Unlimited Logistics Company (ULL), specializing in releasing and transporting Palestinian cargo shipped to Israeli ports. Partner with the Enemy rides on Anat and Rola’s charm — you root for their success, even as their hostile environments threaten to shatter their dreams.

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Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute! www.jfi.org

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