The city of Philadelphia has opened its doors to the 8th annual Israeli Film Festival. The program features a variety of award winning films, including comedies, dramas, and documentaries, all dealing with the lives of Israeli people. Festival Chair, Iris Drechsler states that “Israeli filmmakers are creating under the most extraordinary circumstances now, and yet they are producing some of the most creative and entertaining films that we have ever seen.” These unique movies “present slice-of-life stories” that not only reflect the impressive talent of culture, but also display an important message to the world.
The films are being shown at varying locations in the Philadelphia area, at discounted rates for students. Upcoming features are:
“Purity,” on Saturday, March 27 at 8 p.m. It is being shown at Gratz College in the Mandell Theater, at the corner of Old York Road and Melrose Avenue. The film focuses on the exploration of the ancient laws and rituals concerning the lives of women and their sexuality with the Jewish Orthodoxy. This film was the winner of Best Documentary at the 2002 Jerusalem Film Festival.
“Le Grand Akshan” on Sunday, March 28 at 3 p.m, at the National Library Museum, 321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. This piece showcases the life and stories of the director Ron Goldman’s grandfather. This film illustrates “love and shattered dreams, jealousy and betrayal, and the silent terror of the death damps.”
“The Postwoman” on Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m., at Delaware County JCC, 11 Martin’s Run, in Media. Also, at 4 p.m. at Bux-Mont JCC, Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butlet Avenue, Ambler. This romantic comedy was directed by Dina Zvi-Riklish, and helps the festival expand in regional form.
Altogether, the Israeli Film Festival is a unique opportunity to see an alternative side of Israeli life. The nightly news gives us daily horror stories from that region, and this festival counteracts those takes with creativity and talent.