Arts & Entertainment

Jewish Film Festival 2021

Holy Silence. Photo: Phil Miller

The Jewish Film Festival returns to the big screen this year, with a program that includes Australian premieres of 50 films and three series from 19 countries, split equally between Israeli and diaspora productions.

“From deeply personal documentaries on the trailblazers who changed the world, to touching true stories illuminating the untold stories from our history as well as some truly impressive star-studded films, JIFF 2021 will reach all ages across the full spectrum of politics and religion,” explained Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir.

A documentary that should intrigue audiences is Holy Silence which explores whether the church could have done more to save the Jews during the holocaust. Did the Catholic Church fail the Catholic principle of love and mercy? Does silence encourage the tormentor and not the tormented?

The late Jewish film director/producer Alan Pakula who was behind some of Hollywood’s most highly acclaimed films including To Kill A Mockingbird, All The President’s Men, and Sophie’s Choice, is under the spotlight in the insightful documentary, Alan Pakula: Going For Truth. Through interviews with many film stars including Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts, audiences will learn why this filmmaker was so highly respected. (MMo)

Feb 17–Mar 24. Ritz Cinemas, 45 St Pauls St, Randwick. $22-$175+b.f.Tickets & Info. www.jiff.com.au

HOT PICKS

THE SHEPHERD – (HUNGARY):  An old shepherd whose daughter was murdered by Nazis decides to hide Jews in his home with shattering consequences. Highly graphic violence and disturbing scenes.

A STARRY SKY ABOVE THE ROMAN GHETTO – (ITALY): When a teenager discovers a photograph of a Jewish girl and accompanying letter from WWII hidden under the lining of an old suitcase, she decides she must learn of the girl’s fate.

WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT – (GERMAN): An absorbing and award-winning drama that follows the plight of a Jewish family who leaves Berlin and travels to Zurich, Paris, and finally London to escape persecution from the Nazis.