The Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival runs this year from Oct. 23-Nov. 6, 2022, with several in-person and remote film screenings, including one on a Jewish family that preserved the home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson, a national landmark stained by slavery.
The Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival highlights Jewish voices and is a project of Tapestry: Arts & Ideas from the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center. This year’s films feature stories about Holocaust survivors, Israeli immigrants and more.
The hybrid film festival will screen films in-person at the Marcus North Shore Cinema, 11700 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon and remotely through Eventive. After opening, each film is available to stream for $12 per household on Eventive until Sunday, Nov. 6 at 11:59 p.m. In person screenings are $12 per person.
This year, film talkbacks will take the form of “Behind the Screens” conversations on Eventive. They will be available the same day at noon for remote screenings and the following day at noon for in-person screenings.
The Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival is sponsored by the Marcus Theatre Department of the Marcus Corporation, Shel and Danni Gendelman Endowment Fund, and Sylvia and Robert Seinfeld Jewish Film Festival Endowment Fund.
This year’s featured films are:
“The Levys of Monticello”
United States / 2022 / English / 70 minutes
- Stream at home on Eventive Monday, Sept. 12-19
A documentary that tells the little-known story of the Levy family, who owned and carefully preserved Monticello following Thomas Jefferson’s death. When historical preservation was all but unheard of, Levy’s family restored and saved the estate from ruin. The story behind this national treasure confronts the stain of ongoing racism and antisemitism that remain part of the national narrative.
Germany / 2020 / German & French with English subtitles / 127 minutes
- Sunday, Oct. 23, live screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7 p.m.
- Stream at home on Eventive Sunday, Oct. 23
Gilles is arrested by SS soldiers alongside other Jews and sent to a camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids sudden execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, but Gilles gets assigned a life-or-death mission: to teach Farsi to the head of Camp Koch, who dreams of opening a restaurant in Iran once the war is over. Through an ingenious trick, Gilles manages to survive by inventing words of “Farsi” every day and teaching them to Koch.
“More Than I Deserve”
Israel / 2021 / Hebrew & Russian with English subtitles / 82 minutes
- Monday, Oct. 24, live screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7 p.m.
- Stream at home on Eventive Monday, Oct. 24
Newly arrived in Israel, a single immigrant mother and son are deeply affected by their relationship with a religious neighbor in this finely textured coming-of-age drama. Twelve-year-old Pinhas is mostly alone while his Ukrainian mother works to make ends meet. When the boy asks permission to join classmates in bar mitzvah studies, frazzled Tamara, who resists religion, refuses. To her dismay, Pinhas turns for help to a recent Chabad recruit, Shimon. The new relationship changes all three of their lives in unforeseen ways. Nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards, this Jerusalem Film Festival Best Screenplay winner reflects uncommon emotional depth in its nuanced portrayal of the plight of immigrants to Israel.
Switzerland/France / 2021 / Kurdish & Arabic with English subtitles / 124 minutes
- Tuesday, Oct. 25, live screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7 p.m.
- Stream at home on Eventive Tuesday, Oct. 25
In a Syrian border village in the early 80s, little Sero attends school for the first time. A new teacher has arrived with the goal of making strapping pan-Arabic comrades out of the Kurdish children. To enable paradise to come to earth, he uses the rod to forbid the Kurdish language, orders the veneration of Assad and preaches hate of the Zionist enemy — the Jews. The lessons upset and confuse Sero because his long-time neighbors are a lovable Jewish family. With a fine sense of humor and satire, the film depicts a childhood which manages to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama.
Germany/Israel / 2021 / German & Hebrew with English subtitles / 109 minutes
- Wednesday, Oct. 26, live screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7 p.m.
- Stream at home on Eventive Wednesday, Oct. 26
Set in Germany in 1945, the film centers on Max Diehl, a Holocaust survivor, who lost his entire family in the camps. Full of rage and with nothing left to live for, he meets a group of Jewish vigilantes. Together they develop a plan to take brazen action against the German people: to poison the water system in Germany and kill 6 million Germans. Plan A is a gripping true story that deals with a most primal and natural instinct – pure revenge.
“Love and Mazel Tov”
Germany / 2020 / German with English subtitles / 90 minutes
- Thursday, Oct. 27, live screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7 p.m.
- Stream at home on Eventive Thursday, Oct. 27
At a party, Daniel pretends to be Jewish to impress Anne. The pretty bookstore owner specializes in Jewish literature in her bookshop, volunteers at a Jewish home for the elderly, and is also a close friend of the Jewish author Schlomo Wisniewski. When Anne and Daniel become a couple, their friends Laura and Tobias have an inkling that Daniel’s hoax will soon have to be caught. His initially small con turns into an unmanageable web of white lies. Will Anne also love him when she learns that he is not Jewish at all?
United States / 2022 / English / 102 minutes
- Stream at home on Eventive Friday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m.
A heart-warming movie based on a true story, “iMordecai” stars Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy-winning actor Judd Hirsch as Mordecai Samel and Academy Award-nominated actress Carol Kane as his wife, Fela, both are survivors from Poland, who are now living in Miami. Their son, Marvin, Academy Award-nominated actor Sean Astin, is an ambitious cigar maker trying to support his own family while still being there for his aging parents. But when Mordecai’s ancient flip phone breaks, he starts to take lessons from Nina, a young employee of Ultratech. She tutors Mordecai on his new iPhone, opening him up to all kinds of novel experiences and adventures, which makes him feel like a kid again. An uplifting comedy and a love letter to the city of Miami, “iMordecai” urges us all to live the one life we have to the fullest.
Netherlands/Luxembourg/Germany / 2022 / Dutch & German with English subtitles / 100 minutes
- Stream at home on Eventive Friday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m.
This drama, set in the spring of 1945, is inspired by true events, centers on a trio of women: the distrustful German girl Winnie, the courageous Dutch Jewish woman Simone, and the fearless Russian sniper Vera. Thrown together at the end of World War II, after a group of German soldiers abandons a deportation train with hundreds of Jewish prisoners to the fate of advancing Russian troops. The women have to overcome their distrust and resentment of one another and work together to survive.
For more information about the Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival, visit mkejewishfilm.eventive.org/welcome or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.