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.
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.