Bernard Mendelman: 2018 Israeli Film Festival being held over five consecutive Saturday nights

In The 90 Minute War, screening on January 27, a hilarious solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is proposed: a soccer match.

On January 20, I attended the opening of Between Worlds, the first of the five films chosen by the Jewish Public Library’s (JPL) for its 11th annual Israeli Film Festival. The screenings of these recent Israeli movies – all Montreal premieres, with English subtitles – are being held at the Dollar Cinema in Décarie Square on five consecutive Saturday nights starting at 8 pm.

JPL programming director Roxana Brauns stated, “The festival started in response to a growing demand in the community to see Israeli films that are off the main distribution channels, and to fill a void left by the departure of the Montreal Jewish Film Festival.”

Between Worlds is a moving, sobering film. Bina, a religious woman from Jerusalem, arrives panic-stricken at the hospital after her 25-year old son was severely injured in a stabbing attack. This is the first time she sees him since he became secular and lost contact with his family. At the hospital, Bina meets 24-year old Amal. While she tries to revive her son, the two despondent women bond with one another. However, Amal is hiding a secret from Bina. While waiting for her son’s revival, they will learn about truth, faith, understanding, acceptance, and love that can and maybe should replace fear of the unknown.

The rest of the film schedule follows:

January 27: The 90 Minute War

After 70 years of failed attempts to secure peace, a hilarious solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is proposed: a soccer match. The winner gets to stay and the loser leaves the country. Organizing the high-stakes match is not without its own complications: Where will the match be held? Who will the referees be? Can Arab-Israelis play on the Israeli soccer team?

February 3: Beyond The Mountain and Hills

This profound and problematic film forces audiences to question their own complicity in the dysfunctionality of Israeli society.

February 10: Saving Neta

This film tells the stories of four women whose lives change after their brief encounter with a man called Neta. Humour, drama, love and hope— a powerful and moving portrait of family relationships and parenthood in modern life.

February 17: The Settlers

This film goes to the heart of the problem by telling the story of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. From the partition of Palestine in 1947 to the Oslo Accords in 1993, not to mention the Six-Day War, which triggered the settlement of thousands of nationals in these territories, as well as the oil crisis and the Intifada of 1987.

Admission per movie: $10 for JPL members and students, $15 for non-members. To obtain tickets phone 514-345-6416.

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