Can a movie change the world? Pangea Day Wants to Try.
Posted on April 15, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Pangea Day is an ambitious effort to bring the entire world together in one conversation about connection and unity through the power of film. On May 10, for four hours, people all over the world will gather to share their stories. There will be films, speakers, and live music. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof and Iranian rockers Hypernova will appear. The website has information about how to participate.
Here is an invitation:
Here are two from a remarkably moving series of films showing countries saluting each other by singing their national anthems. France sings America’s:
The 2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival: Highlights
Posted on December 5, 2007 at 12:05 pm
The 2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival included nearly 60 films. Some highlights: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox A documentary telling the story behind the toiletries sold in health food stores and follows Bronner’s son as he carries forth his father’s message of unity and cleanliness. Arranged Two devout women, one an Orthodox Jew, one a Muslim, meet as teachers in a New York school and find that they have a great deal in common. Very touching and sincere — inspired by a true story. Bad Faith A French couple does not worry about their religious differences even though he is an Arab Muslim and she is a Jew because they are non-practicing and uncommitted — until she becomes pregnant. Justice Louis D. Brandeis: The People’s Attorney Documentary about the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice and the originator of our modern legal theories about the right to privacy — now more central than ever in the era of Facebook and The Patriot Act. Kike Like Me In the tradition of Black Like ME and Gentleman’s Agreement, a Canadian film-maker tells the people he meets that he is Jewish and films their reactions. Lubavitchers invite him to pray, Pat Buchanan bristles at the implication he is anti-Semitic, and some non-Jews admit that they think Jews want to control the world. Often frustrating but always provocative. Love and Dance Like many of the films in the series, this focuses on a character who is uncertain about his identity because he feels
in betweeen two cultures. His mother is Russian and his father is Israeli. Somehow a ballroom dance class featuring the cha-cha and the tango helps him bridge the divide and develop his own identity. Praying with Lior Documentary about Lior, who has Down Syndrome. He also has a gift for prayer, and for inspiring those around him. And he is preparing for his bar mitzvah. Sixty-Six
Helena Bonham Carter stars in this nostalgic story set in 1966. A London boy realizes that his bar mitzvah is scheduled for the date of the World Cup. He starts to root for every team playing against England because if England is in the World Cup, no one will come to his bar mitzvah. Meanwhile, his parents’ store may be put out of business by a new supermarket.
The Washington Jewish Film Festival has announced its 2007 schedule from November 29-December 9.
The Washington Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, seeks to create multiple dialogues about a variety of issues intersecting the Jewish experience through filmic representations created by Jews and non-Jews with a particular emphasis on debunking stereotypes and seeking unexpected stories. This gives the WJFF’s program an international focus, moving whenever possible beyond the traditional centers of Jewish life in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
To promote the preservation of Jewish culture by providing a forum for films with Jewish themes that would not otherwise find a place in the marketplace for public exhibition in the Washington-area: Many of the films we screen only have a life on the Festival circuit and in specialty DVD-release. In an age of major media consolidation the WJFF remains committed to keeping the public square populated by a diversity of narratives.
To encourage innovation and vitality within Jewish culture by highlighting films that place Jewish themes in new contexts or challenge long-held assumptions: The WJFF has been at the forefront of presenting films that reconsider the place of women and homosexuals in the Jewish tradition; that provide a constructive critique of Jewish identity and reconsider major cultural guideposts such as Zionism, the Holocaust and assimilation.