“Our goal for the second annual Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival is to select quality films ranging from comedies to dramas to documentaries that would entertain and engage a broad audience,” said Drew Diamond, Executive Director.
DOUGH / Mon, Oct 19 6 P.M.
Comedic Drama / English / Run Time: 94 min. / Intro by Drew Diamond & Clark Wiens
Curmudgeonly widower Nat Dayan obstinately clings to his way of life and his livelihood as a
kosher bakery shop owner in London’s East End. With a dwindling clientele and the pressures of encroaching big box stores, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash who has a secret side gig selling marijuana to help his struggling immigrant mother make ends meet. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the mixing dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. Dough is a warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: To kick off opening night, please join us for a light reception of wine, challah, apples, etc. in between the Monday night films.
APPLES FROM THE DESERT / Mon, Oct 19 8 P.M.
Narrative / Hebrew with Subtitles / Run Time: 87 min. / Intro by Mark Lobo & Shiri West
Inspired by the award-winning play of the same name, this poignant drama centers around Rivka, the only child of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents from Jerusalem, who begins to secretly explore the secular world. She befriends Dubi, a young man from a kibbutz. When Rivka’s strict father discovers her plan to abandon their community, he arranges to marry her off to a widower with children. Rivka’s reserved mother is caught between her sense of duty to her husband and her desire to see Rivka happy. This timeless story confronts issues of tradition versus modernity, and the question of whether these two generations can reach reconciliation.
Please join us from 5:15 p.m.-6 p.m. for a special performance in the lobby from the Klezmer Band.
THE OTHER SON / Tue, Oct 20 6 P.M.
Drama / French with Subtitles / Run Time: 105 min. / Intro by Estelle Finer
This drama is the moving and provocative tale of two young men – one Israeli, the other Palestinian. Joseph, an 18-year-old preparing to join the Israeli army for his mandatory military service, lives at home in Tel Aviv with his parents. A blood test for Joseph’s military service reveals that he’s not their biological son. During the Gulf War, Joseph was evacuated from a clinic along with another baby, and the pair were accidentally switched at birth. While Palestinian Joseph went to Tel Aviv with the Silbers, their actual Jewish
son, Yacine, was brought to the West Bank by an Arab couple, Said and Leila. The revelation turns the lives of the two families upside-down, forcing them to reassess their respective identities, values, and beliefs.
MR. KAPLAN / Tue, Oct 20 8 P.M.
Comedic Drama / Spanish with Subtitles / Run Time: 98 min. / Intro by Barry Friedman
After fleeing Europe for Uruguay during WWII, Jacob Kaplan built a quiet life. Now 76, he begins to question his worth. After learning of a mysterious German prowling the shores of a nearby beach, he becomes convinced that he’s found a Nazi in hiding and plans to expose him. Expertly distilling a potent mixture of emotional depth and deadpan comedy, Mr. Kaplan is a vivacious meditation on family, aging, and the drive for significance.
THE OUTRAGEOUS SOPHIE TUCKER / Wed, Oct 21 2 P.M.
Documentary / English / Run Time: 96 min. / Intro by Machele Dill, Musical Theatre Program
Director at T.U., as Sophie Tucker
The rags to riches story of Sophie Tucker, an iconic superstar who ruled the worlds of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, television, and Hollywood throughout the 20th century. Before Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bette Midler, Marilyn Monroe, and Mae West, Sophie Tucker was the first woman to infatuate her audiences with a bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other. Using all of the “Last of the Red Hot Mama’s” 400-plus recently rediscovered personal scrapbooks, authors Susan and Lloyd Ecker take you on their seven-year journey retracing Tucker’s sixty-year career in show business. Machele Dill will do a short performance in character as Sophie Tucker after the film. This film is in cooperation with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at T.U.
RAISE THE ROOF / Wed, Oct 21 6 P.M.
Documentary / English/Polish with Subtitles / Run Time: 85 min. / Intro by Dr. Joseph Bradley
An international team chases an improbable dream to reconstruct one of the magnificent lost
wooden synagogues of Poland. These architectural marvels originated in the small 18th century town of Gwozdziec. Inside the complex log structure, the prayer hall was elaborately adorned with Hebrew inscriptions and brightly painted animals. Eventually more than 200 of these unique wooden synagogues dotted the countryside, until the Nazis burned every last one to the ground. Though neither Jewish nor Polish, two former University of Georgia students mastermind a remarkable effort to rebuild this architectural wonder. Boston-based artists Rick and Laura Brown recruit hundreds of craftsmen, students and other volunteers to their cause.
TO LIFE / Wed, Oct 21 8 P.M.
Drama / German with Subtitles / Run Time: 86 min. / Intro by Suzie Bogle
Jonas arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth’s life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warmhearted Ruth, an ageing Jewish cabaret singer, saw no other way out than suicide. Jonas is driven by a secret and fleeing from his love and his future. As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas begin to form a deep bond. Age-old Jewish culture and music are brought into the light of day as she tells him the story of her own tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth’s past and takes part in her present, his
attentions and the passionate Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life. Upon learning of Jonas’ incurable illness, Ruth will help Jonas find the strength to tackle his fears, to stop fleeing, and to forcefully propose “L’Chaim – To Life!”
ONCE IN A LIFETIME / Thu, Oct 22 6 P.M.
Drama / French with Subtitles / Run Time: 105 min. / Intro by Dr. Marcel Binstock
A dedicated high school history teacher taps lessons of the Holocaust in an effort to motivate
her troubled students in an uplifting schoolhouse drama based on a true story. Anne Gueguen is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Overcoming their apathy, however, is proving to be more difficult than expected. Frustrated but undaunted, Anne tests her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. The project is initially met with extreme resistance, until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the students’ attitude dramatically.
THE LAST MENTSCH / Thu, Oct 22 8 P.M.
Narrative / English, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Yiddish with Subtitles / Run Time: 93 min. /
Intro by Eva Unterman Born as Menachem Teitelbaum, Marcus Schwarz escaped Auschwitz with his life, only to exterminate his Jewishness. With no synagogue, Jewish friends or family, the hardened old man has done such an effective job of creating a new identity that, when faced with his own mortality, the rabbis refuse his about-face appeal to be buried in a Jewish cemetery in Cologne. Determined to return to his birthplace and establish his ancestry, Marcus enlists the help of Gul a brash, chainsmoking Turkish woman with a troubled history of her own. The unlikely duo set out on a road trip to a small village on the Hungarian-Romanian border, a journey that will irrevocably change them both.
All viewings and events are at the Circle Cinema (10 S Lewis Ave).
Tickets are $10 per film or $70 for a festival pass which allows you entrance to all movies.
Tickets and Festival passes available at Circle Cinema or online at www.circlecinema.com.