Five fab films and two shorts coming to the Jewish Film Festival
November 2, 2018
The 20th annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival brings five special movies and two shorts to the Enzian Theater Nov. 10-12. The opening features, "Wig Shop" and "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel," will be held at the Orlando Science Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Once again, the Heritage was privileged to review the movies to give our readers a synopsis of each presentation.
"Wig Shop" (in English and Yiddish with subtitles) and "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel" (in English) Saturday, 8 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center.
First up is the short film "Wig Shop." Wow. What a shocker! The story line seems innocent enough-an Orthodox woman enters Tippy's Wigs shop and meets the owner, Tippy. From the very start, we can sense that this is more than about wigs. The 12-minute film is full of twists and left this viewer saying "whoa! What would you do?"
"Hey baddah, baddah, baddah!" If you love baseball you will love "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel." Maybe you don't love baseball but love seeing Israel? You will love this movie. If you love very handsome men, you will love this movie! Just a year and a half ago-March 2017-Israel's national baseball team participated in the World Baseball Classic. The unusual thing was that 10 American major league players were on the team. The tale begins with how the team was picked to their tour of Israel (for some it was the first time they set foot on Israeli soil), to the games in Seoul, Korea. With 200 to 1 odds, the team-often referred to as "has beens" and "wannabes"-became one of the top eight teams in the world. Center fielder Sam Fuld was proud to prove that you "can be Jewish and be an athlete." This film hits it outta the field.
"Shoelaces" (in Hebrew with subtitles), Sunday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. at the Enzian.
"Shoelaces" is a not-to-be-missed film about love and acceptance. It is the story about the relationship between Gadi, a 38-year-old man with special needs, who must stay for a short time with his father, Reuven, who abandoned him as a child. Set in present-day Israel, this light comedy shows that "every bad thing has a good side" and that love gives its all, no matter who you are. Have tissues on hand.
"I Have a Message for You" (French with subtitles) and "Winter Hunt" (German with subtitles), Sunday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m. at the Enzian.
The second short in the festival is probably the best short documentary I have ever seen. "I Have a Message for You" is set in present day Tel Aviv. With hauntingly beautiful artistic animations filling the screen, 92-year-old Holocaust survivor Klara shares the account of her and her husband's escape from death by jumping off a train bound for Auschwitz. Later, in 1962, on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, her story is completed with a message given to her by an unknown woman. "Some moments in life are so important," Klara says with tear-filled eyes.
Viewers will be gripped with the intense "Winter Hunt." Thank goodness for the documentary short that precedes it because "Winter Hunt" is kind of dark. Having someone pointing a gun at someone makes for a tense situation, you know? The movie title itself is also the title of a painting in the film that depicts a lone man in a snow-filled field in the woods. Is he a hunter? Is he the hunted? Questions that can be pointed at the characters in the movie as roles changes from attacker to attacked while the truth slowly unravels.
"Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta be Me" (in English), Monday, Nov. 12, 4:15 p.m. at the Enzian.
Kermit the Frog sang the song "It Ain't Easy Being Green," and for Sammy Davis Jr., there were times it wasn't easy being a black man in a black man's world. It wasn't the whites so much he had to fit in with, it was his own people.
To be honest, I never "saw" Davis as a black man-just a fantastically talented entertainer. And that's what he wanted to be seen as-no color just an entertainer who happened to be black and chose to become Jewish. He was Mr. Showbiz. He tapped his way into America's heart at an early age and stayed there until his death in 1990. Frank Sinatra of Rat Pack days may have done it "his way," but Davis truly was true to his own self. "Mister Bojangles, come back and dance please..."
"The Last Suit (El Ultimo Traje)" (in Spanish, Yiddish, French, German and Polish with subtitles), Monday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. at the Enzian.
How appropriate. "The Last Suit" is the last film. This is more than a story of one man searching for an old friend to whom to give a suit. It's much deeper than that. It's about learning about yourself; how loving kindness and patience can melt a cold heart; and how forgiveness can bring you home. Where's the tissue?
Ticket prices are: Mensch Pass, $90 for all five programs, first priority seating; Series Pass, $55 for all five programs, second priority seating; Individual Tickets $12; Group rates (20 or more) $1 discount on individual tickets. Tickets to the Jewish Film Festival can be purchased online at enzian.org or in person at Enzian's box office. For group inquiries, contact Veronica Jaramillo at 407-629-1088, ext. 235.
The festival is produced by Enzian and The Roth Family JCC as part of the Cultural Festival Circuit and is supported by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts Campaign and by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.