Lincoln Center hosts the New York Jewish Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals dedicated to topics relevant to Jewish heritage and contemporary life, presenting several Polish productions and co-productions on the 2012 programme, along with films from the US, UK, Israel, Brazil, Croatia and Serbia...
Andrzej Chyra and Magdalena Czerwińska in "Daas". Photo: Marcin Gąsiorowski / Argomedia Production
Lincoln Center hosts the New York Jewish Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals dedicated to topics relevant to Jewish heritage and contemporary life, presenting several Polish productions and co-productions on the 2012 programme, along with films from the US, UK, Israel, Brazil, Croatia and Serbia
The festival hosts the world premiere of Adrian Panek's "Daas" (Poland) and Ami Drozd's "My Australia" (Israel, Poland), alongside documentaries on the Jewish experience, including "Torn" (Israel, Poland) by Ronit Krestner and "The Moon is Jewish" by Michał Tkaczynski (Poland). The U.S.-produced documentary by Danny Gold and Matthew Asner "100 Voices: A Journey Home" presents a portrait of Jewish history and culture in Poland through cantorial music.
DAAS, trailer - dir. Adrian Panek from Polish Cultural Institute NY on Vimeo.
"100 Voices: A Journey Home" a group of 100 of the world's finest cantors who return to Poland for concerts at the Warsaw Opera House and the Nozyk Synagogue. The film traces a lineage from cantorial superstar Moishe Oysher, also star of the Yiddish stage and screen, to contemporary counterparts including Alberto Mizrahi and Jacob Mendelson, writing a history of Chazanut.
"Daas" is a period drama that explores the influence of 18th century false messiah Jacob Frank in the city of Vienna. Frank, who claimed powers of mystical healing and could bestow immortality, is quickly seen as a threat to the Austrian Empire. Intrigue and conspiracy are at the heart of this painterly production.
"My Australia" is set in a poor Łódź neighborhood in the1960s. A 10-year-old boy Tadek and his brother join an anti-Semitic gang and are arrested for their activities. Then they find out that they are in fact Jews and their mother is a Holocaust survivor. They board a ship which they are told is bound for Australia, when in fact they end up in Israel. In spite of the heavy subject matter, this drama has a humorous tone, seen through the eyes of a child.
According to Dariusz Jabłoński, producer at Apple Films, based in Poland, the director based his screenplay on his memories of leaving Poland. Producer Marek Rozenbaum was also compelled to relocate from Łódź to Israel. The film, produced in collaboration with Israel's Transfax Films, is the first time in Polish feature film that deals with "the generation of Poles of Jewish heritage who were forced to emigrate at the end of the '60s as a result of the government's anti-Semitic policies", says Jabłoński.
In the documentary section Poland is represented by "Torn", a film which delves into the peculiar life of Romuald Waszkinel, a Catholic priest who discovers his Jewish roots and embarks on a journey from the church to the temple, ending up an observant Jew on a religious kibbutz in Israel. In the end, he finds himself torn between his two identities, rejected by both. The screening of "Torn" is preceded by the short documentary "The Moon is Jewish", which trails another spiritual transformation when a Warsaw skinhead discovers his girlfriend is Jewish and begins a new life as an Orthodox Jew himself.
Other great films from Eastern Europe are also on the programme, including Andrei Zagdansky's tribute to his father with a narrative of his life in socialist times in "My Father Evgeni".
The festival has been organised by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This year's New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator, Scott Foundas, Associate Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Richard Peña, Program Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of The New York Jewish Film Festival, The Jewish Museum; with assistance from Jaron Gandelman, Curatorial Assistant for Media and Film Festival Coordinator, The Jewish Museum. The Polish programme has been made possible thanks to the support of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.
Programme of Polish Films and films about Poland at the Jewish Film Festival in New York:
"Torn", directed by Ronit Kertsner (Israel, Poland 2011 ) and "The Moon is Jewish", directed by Michal Tkaczynski ( Poland, 2011)
- 17 January at 18:00
- 18 January at 13:00
"Daas", directed by Adrian Panek ( Poland, 2011)
- 21 January at 21:00
- 26 January at 13:00, 18:00
"My Australia", directed by Ami Drozd (Israel, Poland, 2009)
- 12 January at 15:30
- 19 January at 15:30
- 21 January at 18:30
"100 Voices: A Journey Home", directed by Danny Gold & Matthew Asner (USA, 2010)
- 19 January at 13:00, 18:00
For the full programme, see: www.thejewishmuseum.org/nyjff2012
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street
New York, NY
Source: www.polishculture-nyc.org, www.thejewishmuseum.org