New Waves in an Ancient City: The Jerusalem Film Festival!

 New Waves In An Ancient City

Cinema is a global language that transcends cultural boundaries, just as Jerusalem is a global city that inspires millions of people around the world, from different communities and backgrounds. So what better place to have a film festival –and what better place to open the festival  than overlooking  the Old City Walls?

The 34th Jerusalem Film Festival, which, like so many other highlights of Jerusalem’s cultural calendar, receives support from the Jerusalem Foundation, opened on July 13th with “Redoubtable”, the saga of Jean-Luc Godard’s romance with his second wife, Anne Wiazemsky. The film, told through Anne’s eyes, offers a comic account of romantic and political chaos, with strong performances by Stacy Martin and Louis Garrel. The opening featured director Michel Hazanavicius, as well as the leading actor Louis Garrel, whose speech made references to Israeli director Amos Gitai, drawing a warm round of applause from the audience. The film itself had plenty of homages to Jean-Luc Godard and the French New Wave, in everything from camera angles to use of nudity.

However, for those who believe that the French New Wave is as obsolete as Godard claimed during his Maoist fervor, the festival has many other types of film on offer. Here are some highlights:

This diverse series of free screenings brings movies to different Jerusalem neighborhoods, via mobile vans, with a focus on contemporary Israeli cinema.

Outdoor Screenings in the City Center
The entire city center, from the Jaffa Gate through the Muslala Terrace and Beit Alliance, both located only steps away from Mahane Yehuda, will become an outdoor movies hub with this series of free screenings.

Documentary Cinema: The Female Gaze
This conference at Hansen House focuses on the female gaze in Israeli documentary cinema.

Bombshell: The Heddy Lamar Story
Did you know that this famous Jewish actress was also a technology enthusiast who helped fight the Nazis?

Der Dybbuk
The original Yiddish horror film will be screened alongside live orchestra accompaniment at Beit Hansen, a former lepers’ hospital, for a chilling effect.

Gaza Surf Club
This inspiring film shows how the sport of surf can give hope to children in difficult circumstances.

How far will one man go to fight for custody of his child? This is the dilemma facing Menashe, a man trying to leave the ultra-Orthodox world.

The Venerable W.
A religious leader incites violence in his name, in this disturbing documentary.

An Israeli war widow must face the prospect of life after love, in this Israeli classic that has been restored by the Cinematheque’s Achives, which has undertaken a massive restoration and digitization project for the largest collection of Israeli and Jewish film footage.

Ana, Mon Amour
Can Ana and Toma, two young lovers, make their romance last despite all the odds?

What happens when Holocaust survivors try to return home? This haunting Hungarian film explores a harrowing story.

The Great Eagle
This documentary examines the role of Maimonides in Jewish culture, from the Middle Ages through the present day.

West of the Jordan River
Amos Gitai’s latest documentary takes a fresh look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.