PITTSFIELD, Mass.–The Berkshire Jewish Film Festival (BJFF), has announced its 35th season. Eighteen films from around the world will examine Jewish life through the lens of history, politics, humor and culture and will be available online starting July 5. The festival runs through August. Talkbacks related to the films will be announced,” said Judy Seaman, artistic director. Films are shown on Mondays at 4 and 8 p.m.
The festival opens on July 5 at 4 p.m. with “A Crime on the Bayou,” a documentary of an African American man who bravely challenged the most powerful white supremacist of 1960s Louisiana with the help of his Jewish attorney. At 8 p.m. in “Mr. Jones” a Welsh journalist, Gareth Jones, risks his life to expose the truth about the devastating famine in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
“Schocken: On the Edge of Consensus” will be shown at 4 p.m. on July 12. Salman Schocken, the king of department stores in Germany before WWII, possessed a collection of rare books, founded a modern Jewish publishing house, and later owned the Israeli Haaretz newspaper. The 8 p.m. film is “Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is.” The third generation artist has spent his life stretching the boundaries of classical music.
On July 19, the documentary “Soros,” attempts to demystify the controversial financier and one of the world’s richest philanthropists. At 8 p.m. a dramatic comedy, “Shalom Taiwan”
follows the misadventures of Rabbi Aaron as he tries to raise funds to pay a loan by embarking on a journey to Taiwan.
“Magic Men” at 4 p.m. July 26 follows an Israeli magician and his son who make a sentimental journey through Greece to reclaim the past. “’Til Kingdom Come” at 8 p.m. is a look at the unlikely alliance between America’s Evangelical Christians and the State of Israel and the power and peril of using prophecy as a political tool.
In “The Invisible Line: America’s Nazi Experiment” at 4 p.m. on Aug. 2, a high school teaching experiment to explain how Hitler brainwashed the Germans spirals out of control. “Tango Shalom” at 8 p.m. follows Moshe Yehuda, a Chasidic rabbi who enters a televised Tango competition to save his yeshiva from bankruptcy.
On Aug. 9 at 4 p.m. there will be 5 short films: “Cinema Rex,” “Mum’s Hairpins,” “ Eddy’s World,” “Empty Spaces, “A Father’s Kaddish” and “200 Meters” will be featured at 8 p.m. It depicts a 200-kilometer odyssey as a Palestinian father embarks on perilous journey to reach his hospitalized son in a drama about the human toll of oppression.
The final programs on Aug. 16 begin at 4 p.m. with “Comrade Dov,” which relates the tale of a unique politician who refuses to give up as reality deals him one blow after another. At 8 p.m. “Winter Journey” narrative non-fiction, starring Bruno Ganz in his last film, is based on conversations American radio host Martin Goldsmith had with his father about his experiences during WWII.
Information and the online box office may be found at https://berkshirejewishfilmfestival.org/ Tickets are $10 for individual films. Season passes are $118. According to organizers, additional donations are appreciated and may be sent to Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Rd., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201.
The festival opens July 5 at 4 pm with A Crime on the Bayou, a documentary of an African American man who bravely challenged the most powerful white supremacist in 1960’s Louisiana with the help of his Jewish attorney. At 8 pm in Mr. Jones a Welsh journalist, Gareth Jones, risks his life to expose the truth about the devastating famine in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s.
Schocken: On the Edge of Consensus will be shown at 4pm on July 12. Salman Schocken, the King of department stores in Germany before WWII possessed a unique collection of rare books, founded a modern Jewish publishing house, and later owned the Haaretz newspaper. The 8 pm film is Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is. This third generation artist has spent his life stretching the boundaries of classical music.
All proceeds are directed to support children at the Knesset Israel Hebrew School. BJFF would not be possible without the generous support of the Wolfson Family Foundation, John
Bergman Charitable Trust, MountainOne, Spitz-Tuchman Charitable Trust, Greylock Federal Credit Union Berkshire Bank and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.