One of the highlights of the movie-going year is the Washington Jewish Film Festival and this year’s line-up is spectacular. As usual, the range of subjects and genres and countries is astonishingly varied and this year that also includes gender, with 19 of the film directed by women and a special award for DC-based filmmaker Aviva Kempner (Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg and The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg).
Some of this year’s highlights include:
“The Kissinger Sage: Walter and Henry, Two Brothers from Fuerth” For the first time the former Secretary of State and his “younger, richer brother” agreed to talk about their lives as Jewish children in Germany, their flight from the Nazis, and their experiences in America. They return to the town that was their home and share personal mementos and photographs.
“Dolphin Boy” A teenager from an Arab village is traumatized by a brutal attack by his classmates and can no longer speak. This documentary covers his therapy with dolphins and his struggle for healing.
“Reuniting the Rubins” British actor Timothy Spall (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) is an uptight lawyer whose mother (onetime Bond girl Honor Blackman) blackmails him into a reunion with his estranged children, including a hard-charging capitalist, an environmental activist, and a rabbi.
“Standing Silent” This timely story of a courageous Orthodox man who insisted on going public with evidence of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community demonstrates that victims can become survivors if they are given a voice.
“Mahler on the Couch” Tom Lehrer famously and hilariously sang of Alma Mahler and her romances with three of the most important men of the early 20th century. This is a drama about Alma’s affair with architect Walter Gropius while she was married to composer Gustav Mahler and her treatment by Sigmund Freud.
Check out the WJFF schedule!