Alessandro Gassmann, son of Vittorio Gassmann, in Thou shalt Not Hate. Gassmann says that by adding the second “n” to his last name he is taking back his Jewish heritage and making it public.
By Fran Brumlik
2020 was a year of challenges and how to hold a Jewish Film Festival was one of our big ones. But we are happy to say that we succeeded beyond wildest expectations! NJFF 2021 will present itself as a hybrid festival with 10 virtual films and five live ones at the Belcourt, Gordon JCC and the Bellevue AMC.
Learning from last years’ experience, Claire Garrison is on board as a technical consultant who will help us all negotiate the ins and outs of watching virtually. 2021 will be a varied and exciting season with comedies, dramas and documentaries. Here are just a few.
Narrative films include:
MY NAME IS SARA, about a teen ager who saves herself during the Nazi invasion by hiding in plain sight in a Ukrainian farm
THOU SHALT NOT HATE is a story about a Jewish Italian doctor who chooses not to help an accident victim when he sees a swastika tattooed on his chest, and the ensuing guilt the doctor feels and how he tries to atone. The film features Alessandro Gassmann.
KISS ME KOSHER, a romantic comedy asks whether an Israeli and a German woman will be able find a way to find to happiness and a long lasting relationship despite their families.
TANGO SHALOM, Lainie Kazan and Renee Taylor join the cast of a funny film that follows a Chassidic rabbi as he tries to enter a tango contest to raise money for his Yeshiva.
SOROS, which adds insight into the life of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who now is one of the worlds leading philanthropists even though his name alone causes controversy in some circles.
BULLY.COWARD.VICTIM: The Roy Cohn Story is produced by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s’ granddaughter Ivy Meerepol, and tells of how Cohn prosecuted and may have controverted evidence to send the Rosenberg’s’ to the gas chamber.
And there is SHTETLERS, following 9 former residents of Ukrainian shtetls which survived the Holocaust and the life they led in what is not Fiddler on the Roof.
There are many more movies that we think you will be interested in. Check the NJFF website (nashvillejff.org) for more information and for sponsorship opportunities.