Category Archives: Film

Review: TAU film students’ shorts are long on talent and originality at the 10th anniversary showcase

Roads by Lior Geller

This was the 10th anniversary of the Tel Aviv University (TAU) Trust’s gala UK showcase for students of The Steve Tisch School of Film & Television. Almost every Israeli film produced in the last 10 years has been made by alumni of the school and the evening gives an opportunity for four aspiring filmmakers to show their developing talent in a series of shorts.

This year the chosen films represent not only life in contemporary Israel for both Arabs and Jews, but also a documentary and a surrealist feature. There’s no doubting the creativity and originality of the work and it’s not surprising that previous entries and their directors have gone on to be recognised internationally.

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Review: Denial ★★★★ – Fine performances prove attack is the best form of defence to demolish Holocaust denial

Hitler apologist David Irving would have loved to have his day – or days – in court face to face with Deborah Lipstadt, the historian he sued for libel for labelling him “one of the most dangerous spokesmen of Holocaust denial”. It is more a strength than a weakness of the film charting Irving’s high-profile defeat by Lipstadt’s team of lawyers that Lipstadt herself maintains a dignified ‘silence in court’.

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Review: The Writer ★★★★ – A guide for the perplexed from the writer of hit Israeli TV series Arab Labour

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More reviews from the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival. This time looking at two films from Israel giving insights into Arab/Israeli relations, featuring this mockumentary written by Sayed Kashua and directed by Shay Capon.

If you loved Arab-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua’s Arab Labour and you’re into Larry Davidson, this meta-reality TV series, which has its first three episodes screened at the Festival, is for you. But don’t expect to get the belly laughs or even the cynical giggles you got from Larry and Arab Labour’s genial, narcissistic anti-hero Amjad (who finds celebrity when he wins a TV reality show). Kashua’s writer Kateb (wonderfully perplexed Yousef Sweid) is his fictional alter ego, an Arab-Israeli TV writer who has achieved celebrity status with his hit TV series called – yes you’ve guessed it – Arab Labour.

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Review: Disturbing the Peace ★★★★ – Searing testimony from fighters for co-existence in Israel/Palestine

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More reviews from the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival. This time looking at two films from Israel giving insights into Arab/Israeli relations, starting with Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s documentary, Disturbing the Peace.

For a searing insight into the wounds inflicted on both sides by the situation and into a group that has earned the right to work towards trying to heal them, I urge you to see this hard-hitting documentary. Even-handed filmmakers Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young take no prisoners and no sides. They give equal screen-time to the bravely candid members of Combatants for Peace from both the Israeli and Palestinian communities who speak directly to camera to tell their stories, backed up by documentary footage and reconstructions, as well as tense actuality of unfolding events.

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Review: Mr Predictable ★★★★ – Israeli romcom complete with canine and human stars to set your tail wagging

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As the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival gets underway (5-20 November), we take our first look at the selection of films on offer. Roee Florentin’s Mr Predictable will have you cheering as  its eponymous hero finally refuses to sit up and beg…

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Review: Moos ★★★★ – A charming, contemporary comedy set in Amsterdam’s Jewish community

film-moos

As the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival gets underway (5-20 November), we take our first look at the selection of films on offer on offer. Job Gosschalk’s  beguiling comedy Moos gives an insight into life in Jewish communities in Amsterdam.

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Review: The Midnight Orchestra ★★★★ – A poignant, magical story about regret and relationships set in Morocco

film-midnight-orchestra

As the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival gets underway (5-20 November), we take our first look at the selection of films on offer. Jérôme Cohen-Olivar’s poignant The Midnight Orchestra gives an insight into life in Jewish communities in Morocco.

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From The Producers to Borat: the best Jewish films of all time

jr-best-jewish-films-ever

This autumn the UK International Jewish Film Festival marks its 20th anniversary. To help celebrate the rich smorgasbord of films it has offered over the years, as well as giving us a chance to revel in the world of film, JR asked you to vote for your favourite Jewish film. We can now announce the results! And below our panel of filmmakers and critics have chosen their own favourites.

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Review: Next to Her ★★★★ – Powerful game-changer about mental illness based on real-life experience

nex to her

Asaf Korman’s powerful, challenging film, with script by his wife Liron Ben Shlush, who also stars alongside Dana Ivgy and Yaakov Zada Daniel, explores the symbiotic relationship between 27-year-old Chelli, sole carer for her mentally-challenged younger sister Gabby (24), until she is forced to find her part-time daycare and at the same time embarks on a relationship with Zohar a new work colleague. Ben-Shlush based her story on her own experience of having a mentally disabled sister and worked closely with friend and co-star Dana Ivgy on her role.

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JR OutLoud: Dana Ivgy chats to JR’s arts editor Judi Herman about her role in Next to Her

Israeli actress Dana Ivgy chats to JR’s arts editor Judi Herman about her role in Asaf Korman’s drama Next to Her. This powerful, challenging film – with a script by Korman’s wife Liron Ben-Shlush – explores the symbiotic relationship between Chelli (played by Ben-Shlush) and her mentally-challenged sister Gabby (Ivgy), for whom she is the sole carer. One day she is forced to hand Gabby over to a daycare centre part-time, which is when a relationship of another kind develops with Zohar (Yaakov Zada Daniel) the new gym teacher at the school where she works. Ben-Shlush based this story on her own experience of having a mentally disabled sister and worked closely with friend and co-star Dana Ivgy on her role.

Next to Her can be watched on BFI Player for £6 or at the following screenings:

Friday 25 – Wednesday 30 March, times vary, £7.50, at MAC Birmingham, B12 9QH; 0121 446 3232. https://macbirmingham.co.uk

Sunday 20 March, 8pm, £8.50, at Glasgow Film Theatre, G3 6RB; 0141 332 6535. www.glasgowfilm.org/theatre

Read our ★★★★ review of Next to Her