Thought I’d share this piece I wrote for the day job about the festival with my dear Yo readers. Even if you can’t attend, there’s an interview with director Roberta Grossman that I’m particularly proud of. Her historic and hilarious look at Judaism’s most famous tune has inspired much dancing around the Yenta table — and with the Big Bar Mitzvah coming up, we need the practice.
Oh, you mean you don’t know about Grossman’s awesome film Hava Nagila: The Movie? Let’s rectify that shanda immediately:
Now, go read my article (but only if you feel like it):
The thing that you need to know about Jewish film festivals is that they’re not all about the Holocaust.
True, the mass murder of six million Jewish people under Hitler’s evil hand has given rise to a seemingly endless slew of acclaimed yet heartrending films: Au Revoir Les Enfants, Schindler’s List and last year’s Sarah’s Key only scratch the surface. It’s been less than a century since WWII, and while the world’s Holocaust survivors reach the end of their blessedly long lives, new stories of tragedy and bravery continue to emerge.
But the Jewish story is much bigger than the 20th-century horror of Eastern Europe, and the films it inspires reach beyond its lens. Global themes of identity, celebration and meddlesome in–laws work their way into the canon and can be pondered at the Savannah Jewish Film Festival, taking place Jan. 24–Feb. 2 at the Jewish Educational Alliance.