Feature Stories

Hartford Jewish Film Festival Schedule

Jewish Ledger | 3-11-11

Presented by Mandell Jewish Community Center
with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. For tickets and information contact the Film Festival box office, (860) 231-6316 or visit www.hjff.org.


Aetna Theater, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford

8:30 p.m. “Berlin ‘36” The true story of Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann, a favorite for the gold medal at the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
K & G Theatres, Bloomfield 8, 863 Park Road, Bloomfield
12 noon “The Brothers Warner” An intimate portrait of the founders of Warner Bros. – four pioneering Jewish brothers who rose from immigrant poverty to build a legendary Hollywood  empire.
Preceded by “Yiddish Hillbillies” An animated musical short featuring the Klezmer music of Mickey Katz.
“Hava Nagilah – What Is It?” A musical exploration of the history and meaning of Hava Nagilah, one of the most frequently performed standards of all time.

3 p.m.  “Jews and Baseball –  An American Love Story” A film celebrating Jewish baseball major league legends. Interviews with Al Rosen, Kevin Youkilis, Shawn Green, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, and a rare conversation with Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax.
Preceded by “God & Co.” A clever series of animated shorts that retell stories from the Bible.

5 p.m. “Imagine This: The Musical” Set in 1942 in the Warsaw Ghetto, this original musical is the moving tale of a troupe of actors and singers determined to bring hope to the inhabitants of the ghetto and transcend the brutality of their lives.

7:30 p.m. “Precious Life” An award-winning documentary that follows the emotional story of gravely ill infant Mohammed Abu Mustafa, as his Palestinian parents, Jewish doctors and an Israeli journalist race the clock to save his life.


Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford
7 p.m. “An Article of Hope” The true story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, and the tiny Torah from the Holocaust that he carried from the depths of hell to the heights of space. Col. Ramon, who perished in the February 2003 Columbia tragedy, was Israel’s first astronaut.

Bow-Tie Cinemas, Palace 17, 330 New Park Avenue, Hartford
7 p.m. “The Round Up” The true story of the Nazi-collaborating French police authority’s mass imprisonment and disposal of 13,000 Parisian Jews.  Professor Avinoam Patt of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford will lead a Reel Talk following the film. Paris-born Nicole Szyrman Illouz of Enfield CT will share her family’s story.

Hebrew Health Care, 1 Abrahms Boulevard, West Hartford
11 a.m. “An Article of Hope” with “Yiddish Hillbillies” and “Hava Nagilah – What Is It?” (See March 27)

Criterion Cinema, Blue Back Square, West Hartford
7 p.m. “The Matchmaker”
A love story set in the port of Haifa in the aftermath of the Six Day War.

9:15 p.m. “Seven Minutes in Heaven” A love story and psychological thriller focusing on a woman struggling to reclaim her memory after surviving a bus bombing in which her fiancé was killed.

Criterion Cinema, Blue Back Square, West Hartford Center
7 p.m. “The Human Resources Manager” The HR manager of a Jerusalem bakery faces accusations of indifference when a foreign female worker is killed in a terror attack and her body lies unclaimed. He embarks on his mission to return her to Russia for burial.

9:15 p.m.  “Berlin ‘36” (See March 26)

Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford
1 p.m. “Precious Life” (See March 27)
Saturday, April 2
K & G Theatres, Bloomfield 8, 863 Park Road, Bloomfield
8:30 p.m. “Anita” A young woman with Down’s syndrome enjoys a carefree life with her devoted mother (Norma Aleandro) until one tragic morning when she is left alone in the family’s shop and the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed.

Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford
10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  “It’s Passover, Grover!” Shalom Sesame
Model Matzah Bakery and Refreshments:
10 a.m. – Noon Grover, Big Bird and Cookie Monster and Jake Gyllenhaal are kosher for Passover! Event includes the Model Matzah Bakery with Chabad House of Greater Hartford.

K & G Theatres, Bloomfield 8, 863 Park Road, Bloomfield
12:30 p.m. “Leap of Faith” with “God & Co.” Why do people convert? This film takes viewers deep into the lives and hearts of four families embarking on the dramatic spiritual journey – at times courageous, absurd and surprising – from Christianity to Judaism.

3 p.m. “Arab Labor: A Marathon” Three episodes of Israel’s delightfully provocative TV satire hit that skewers Jews and Arabs alike.

5 p.m. “The Loners” Misfits Glory and Sasha are Russian immigrant Israeli lone soldiers, accused of smuggling arms, arrested and placed in a military prison. They stage a mutiny and take over the prison.

7 p.m. “The People v Leo Frank” In 1913, 13-year-old Mary Phagan was found dead in the basement of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta. The courtroom drama, death sentence and eventual lynching of Jewish plant supervisor Leo Frank remains one of the most complex episodes in American, Southern and Jewish history.

The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford
7 p.m. “My So-called Enemy” In 2002, during the second Intifada, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to New Jersey to participate in a women’s leadership program, Building Bridges for Peace. This film follows six of them over the next seven years, as they reconcile their transformative experience with the realities of life back home. Film director Lisa Gossels will lead a Reel Talk following the film.

Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford
7 p.m. “Amnon’s Journey” with live concert by The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Israel, French, Hebrew & English w/English subtitles. Master violin maker Amnon Weinstein of Tel Aviv recovers and restores violins played by Jews in the ghettos, camps and forests during the Holocaust. Featuring musical performances by virtuosos Shlomo Mintz, Yair Dalal and Cihat Askin. Graduate students from The Hartt will present a concert as a tribute to the Jewish musicians whose voices were forever silenced.

University of Hart. Chabad wins court victory
Vilna: The Jerusalem of the North

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