ALL ABOUT THE FILM FESTIVAL
The Long Beach Jewish Film Festival provides a window to the Jewish experience and allows us to explore contemporary and historical themes in many different global settings. Some films will make you laugh and others will make you cry…all will provide you with a life lesson. In our annual festival, we are delighted to present five compelling films in November. We will also be having special virtual events with an expert on the subject matter at hand to enhance the viewing and learning experience for our audience and to strengthen our sense of community.
Visit our page HERE for all the details on how to watch the films virtually!
Starts NOV 7 @ 7PM | link available for 48hrs
Aulcie tells the inspiring story of Aulcie Perry, a basketball legend who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to an upset win in the European Championship. During the summer of 1976, Aulcie Perry was spotted by a scout for Maccabi Tel Aviv while playing at the Rucker courts in Harlem and was quickly signed to play for their fledgling team. The Israeli players immediately responded to Aulcie’s leadership and that year they had what one Sports Illustrated writer described as “the most extraordinary season in its remarkable history” and what Perry later called “the best nine months of my life.” In 1977, Perry helped the team to its first European Championship, a prize they took four years later again under his leadership. After the season, to the surprise of many, Aulcie Perry converted to Judaism, adopted the Hebrew name Elisha Ben Avraham, and became an Israeli citizen. This inspiring film tells the story of this remarkable athlete who captured the spirit of a nation, triumphant and victorious against all odds and put Israel on the map.
☆ Zoom Film Talk Back with Director of Aulcie | NOV 12 | 7:15 pm
Saul & Ruby’s Holocaust Survivor Band
Starts NOV 10 @ 7PM | link available 48hrs
Saul (94, drummer) and Ruby (90, accordion), are both Holocaust survivors and musicians with an insatiable lust for life. When they started filming them four years ago they had just formed The Holocaust Survivor Band, the first of its kind. Their dream was to one day perform their music in Poland, their homeland where they endured unimaginable trauma. Their mission then, and now, is to spread a message of world peace at a time when anti-Semitism and prejudice are growing throughout the world. Through the sharing of their music and stories, they have learned that they are also healing their own wounds while revealing their resilience.
SAUL & RUBY’S HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR BAND is a feature documentary (80 min.) directed and produced by Tod Lending, an Oscar-nominated and national Emmy winning documentary filmmaker. It is a story full of comedy and tragedy as it follows the inspiring story of these two unique and unusual men. Their musical journey begins in total obscurity, playing in residential homes for the elderly and small Jewish community organizations, to then being invited to perform at venues across the country, including a coveted performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
☆ Zoom Film Talk Back with Saul and Ruby | NOV 15 | 4:00 pm
The Spy Behind Home Plate
Starts NOV 14 @ 7PM | link available for 48hrs
Aviva Kempner’s The Spy Behind Home Plate is the first feature-length documentary to tell the real story of Morris “Moe” Berg, the enigmatic and brilliant Jewish baseball player turned spy. Berg caught and fielded in the major leagues during baseball’s Golden Age in the 1920s and 1930s. But very few people know that Berg also worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), spying in Europe and playing a prominent role in America’s efforts to undermine the German atomic bomb program during WWII. The Spy Behind Home Plate reveals the life of this unknown Jewish hero through rare historical footage and photographs as well as revealing interviews with an All-Star roster of celebrities and other individuals from the worlds of sports, spycraft, and history. Berg may have had only a .243 batting average during his 15-year major league career, but it was the stats he collected for the OSS that made him a most valuable player to his country during World War II.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Starts NOV 17 @ 7PM | link available for 48hrs
In this gentle, beautifully rendered historical family drama, a German-Jewish girl takes her first steps into adulthood, as world events intrude on her happy, carefree existence. Nine-year-old Anna is too busy with schoolwork and friends to notice Hitler’s face glaring from posters plastered all over 1933 Berlin. But when her father, a well-known Jewish journalist, suddenly vanishes, and the family is secretly hurried out of Germany, Anna begins to understand life will never be the same. What follows is a courageous adventure full of fear and uncertainty, as Anna and her family navigate unfamiliar lands, and cope with the challenges of being refugees. Anna has to leave everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and to face a new life full of challenges and privations abroad. Oscar-winning filmmaker Caroline Link directs this adaptation of Judith Kerr’s semiautobiographical bestselling children’s novel.
Starts NOV 21 @ 7PM | link available for 48hrs
When world-famous conductor Eduard Sporck (Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann) accepts the job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, he is quickly drawn into a tempest of sheer unsolvable problems. Having grown up in a state of war, suppression or the constant risk of terrorist attacks, the young musicians from both sides are far from able to form a team. Lined up behind the two best violinists – the emancipated Palestinian Layla and the handsome Israeli Ron – they form two parties who deeply mistrust each other, on and off-stage alike. Will Sporck succeed and make the young people forget their hatred, at least for the three weeks until the concert? With the first glimmer of hope, however, the political opponents of the orchestra show them how strong they are… Loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Academy-Award nominated director Dror Zahavi (“Alexander Penn”, “Everything for my Father”) directs this gripping drama as a constantly growing ‘crescendo’, rising the tension and conflicts until the last frame. Lead actor Peter Simonischek (“Toni Erdmann”) stars next to a highly convincing selection of up-and-coming actors like Daniel Donskoy (“Victoria”) and Sabrina Amali (“4 Blocks”). A remarkable theatrical movie and contribution to the world-wide efforts towards understanding, humanity, and peace.
☆ Zoom Film Talk Back with the Writer of Crescendo | NOV 22 | 5:00 pm