At age 98, director Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother passed away, leaving him the task of clearing out the Tel Aviv flat that she and her husband shared for decades after immigrating from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sifting through a mountain of photos, letters, files, and objects, Goldfinger undertook the complex process of making sense of the accumulated ephemera of a lifetime.
Andrew Marc Caplan, 2014-15 Cahnman Senior Scholar at CJH, will present his groundbreaking research on Jewish modernity in conjunction with a screening of Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron.
An Unknown Country is an independent film that tells the story of European Jews who were able to reach the shores of Ecuador in the 1930s. Featuring first hand accounts and archival material, the film opens a window on the exiles’ perilous escape and difficult adjustment as they remade their lives in an unknown land. With an introductory Lecture by Dr. Leo Spitzer.
Commissar was created by Aleksandr Askoldov in 1967, but was banned by Soviet censors for 20 years, due to the film’s sympathetic depiction of Jews. Commissar is a heartbreaking story of a Jewish family in a backwater Ukrainian shtetl ravaged by war and pogroms.
A Letter to Mother (1939) is one of the last Yiddish films made in Poland before the Nazi invasion. The plot centers around the story of a mother’s persistent efforts to support her family, while her husband moves to America.
La Grande Illusion (The Grand Illusion) is a 1937 French war film directed by Jean Renoir. The story concerns class relationships among a small group of French officers who are prisoners of war during WWI and plotting an escape.
This 1940 Warner Brothers film directed by William Keighley is based upon the actual exploits of New York City’s 69th infantry Regiment during WWI.
This film series commemorates the start of the Great War, a time when violence once again disrupted peaceful life around the world. Four classic international films reflect a range of Jewish experiences in the East and the West.
The second of two films screened in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of nationwide Jewish deportations in Hungary, There Was Once… documents the contemporary struggles of a Hungarian high school teacher who sparks controversy by uncovering the Jewish past of her small town, Kalocsa.
Acclaimed director Péter Forgács explores the unique circumstances of the Holocaust in southern Hungary in his intimate film Free Fall, told through the home videos of a Jewish family in the 1940s. Forgács will introduce the film and join us for a post-screening discussion and reception.