Jewish and Israeli Documentary Films Course

In cooperation with NFCT – the New Fund for Cinema and TV

November 13 2019 – June 10 2010

Wednesdays, once a fortnight, 4:30pm-8pm

All lectures are held in Hebrew

Price: 850 NIS

Course producer: Rivka Aderet 03-7457908 [email protected]

Course program:


Wednesday, December 11, 2019


  • Spotting Yossi – Thirteen years after his death, the great actor Yossi Banai comes to life for one final encore, with a cinematic memoir led by his own deep iconic voice. Pieced together from numerous archival sources – films, plays, radio, songs, and comedy shows – Banai directs the spotlight on to his own image. After the film, a gathering with the film makers Kobi Farag, Morris Ben-Mayor, and Shauly Melamed will be held. (Documentary/72 Min./2019/Israel/Hebrew)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

  • A Fish Tale – Johnny believes in the future of Africa. He lives in Israel, but dreams of returning with modern fish farming techniques. His wife, Thérèse, sees little hope back home. She is determined to create the best possible future for their children, whatever the price may be. When their visas expire, tensions between the two arise, leading to an inevitable clash. Emmanuelle Mayer’s directorial debut is a moving documentary portrait, pieced out of ten years of intimate footage. Emphasizing the profound gap between developing Africa and the West, the film contrasts male and female narratives and raises ideas of choice versus fate. After the film, a gathering with the director, Emmanuelle Mayer will be held. (Israel 2019 | 52 minutes | English | Hebrew, English subtitles)
  • Dos and Don’ts in documentary cinema. A lecture by filmmaker, David Fisher.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

  • Cinema Review: Jews in Arab lands in rare documentaries and private family films, from Beit Hatfutsot collections. Presenter: Rivka Aderet
  • Levantine – Israel 2019, 50 min, Hebrew, English and French, Hebrew & English subtitles. She lived in Cairo, Paris and New York, but died in an old age home in Givatayim. She was admired and beautiful, but only few knew her during her life and even less after she had passed away. She was the first to write of Levantine and Mizrachi identities, as no one before her had done. Director Rafael Balulu traces the footsteps of Levantine thinker and author Jacqueline Kahanoff and through encounters with her elderly friends in Paris and leading intellectuals in the Mizrachi discourse in Israel, he not only draws a portrait of this impressive thinker, but also discovers the fate of Levantine identity in Israel as a cultural option for pride and honor. The 14th film of the “Hebrews” project. After the film, a gathering with the director, Rafael Balulu will be held.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Comrade Dov – “Goddamned communist”. “Internal enemy”. “Privileged Tel Aviv Ashkenazi”. It seems Dov Khenin has been called almost everything during his 13-year tenure as Member of Knesset for the Jewish-Arab party ‘Hadash’.
For years, director Barak Heymann has been following this leading legislator, creating a film that examines the open wounds of contemporary Israeli society: from the forced removal of the residents of Givat Amal to turbulent meetings of the Knesset’s Finance Committee, and down to the violent events at Umm al-Hiran.
Comrade Dov is a surprising, thought-provoking portrait of a unique politician, who refuses to give up even as reality deals him one cruel blow after another. After the film, a meeting with Dov Khenin and with the director Barak Heymann will be held. (Israel 2019, 75 min, Hebrew and Arabic, Hebrew & English subtitles)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Golda – Shortly before her passing, Golda Meir was interviewed for Israeli television. After shooting ended, the cameras kept rolling, recording an intimate talk with the first and only woman to ever rule Israel. As she lit one cigarette after the other, Golda spoke freely, pleading her case for her term as Prime Minister – five turbulent years that secured her place in history, albeit at a high personal cost.
Based on these never-before seen materials, testimonies of supporters and opponents and rare archival footage, GOLDA tells the story of Meir’s dramatic premiership – from her surprising rise to power and iconic international stature as “queen of the Jewish people”, to her tragic and lonely demise. After the film, a meeting with the director, Udi Nir, will be held. (Israel / Germany 2019, 88 min, Hebrew, Hebrew & English subtitles)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

  • Various films from Beit Hatfutsot collections. Presented by Rivka Aderet.
  • Kosher Beach – It’s only a half-hour drive from Bnei-Brak, a closed Orthodox city, to Tel Aviv’s shore. But for the women going there, it’s light-years away. “The Kosher Beach” is a gated and secluded 100 meter-long strip of beach with dedicated days for women and men to bathe separately, only a wooden fence separates between the freedom of the gay beach and them. The “Brave Bunch”, a secret female orthodox sisterhood, arrives at what is a source of quiet sanity for them and they consider it a safe haven away from social and family problems: their own private and free heaven. Here they can be themselves, take a deep ocean breath and open their hearts to the sea, until the day the Rabbi’s try to close the beach. What will the girls do? Will they give in or fight? After the film, a meeting with the director, Karin Kainer will be held. (Israel / United States 2019, 62 min, Hebrew, English and Yiddish, Hebrew & English subtitles)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

  • Return to Zion (1920-1921) – the story of the 3rd Aliya was recorded in the 100 years old film by Yaacov Ben Dov, founder of Hebrew cinema. The film included footage of crucial events in the history of Zionism, such as the arrest of Zeev Jabotinsky and comrades in Acre, the arrival of the British High Commissioner, the city of Tel Aviv, pioneers, to name just a few. After the film, a meeting with Hilli Gross.
  • Intimate Strangers – thoughts on the encounter between recorder and subject in documentary films. Lecture by Dr. Shmulik Duvdevani

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Gathering Fragments – We grew up in Jerusalem during the British Mandate, lived through the 1948 War, bombings, and hardships. Some of us recall these times as an adventure; others were scarred for life. Will the confrontation with the past allow us to obtain closure? The film includes rare archival footage and personal keepsakes. After the film, a meeting with the directors, Ruth (Farkas) Geva and Leorah (Farkas) Kroyanker will be held. (Israel 2018, 104 minutes, Hebrew, Hebrew subtitles)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

  • Phantom Chairs – In a luxurious furniture store in the small town of Weimar, human beings are trying out Bauhaus chairs. In-between customers, signs of life re-emerge from the past. After the film, a meeting with the director, Maya Klar will be held. (Israel / Germany 2019, 26 min, German, Hebrew & English subtitles)
  • We, People of Siemensstadt – Three characters produce a portrait of the Siemens workers’ neighborhood in Berlin, which became an open museum of the International Style buildings. A lonely worker who yearns for the good old Siemens days, a Jewish single mother who lives in a building from the Nazi regime, and a girl from a family of Ghanaian immigrants who lives in Hans Scharoun’s original apartment. Their stories of detachment reveal the transformation of the German working-class family within the Utopian habitat for which it was created. After the film, a meeting with the director, Ofir Feldman will be held. (Student/Documentary / 26 Min./2019/Israel. Germany/Hebrew, English, Dutch, German, Hausa)
  • Biba – This is the story of Biba Israeli, a Yom Kippur War widow who lives in Kfar Yehoshua in the Jezreel Valley. Her husband Uzi’s family was twice stricken by grief. This is a personal, human story, narrated by Biba and those close to her, providing a frank, unembellished look at pain and mourning. A newly-restored copy of David Perlov’s film from 1977. Restoration initiated by the Jerusalem Cinematheque — Israel Film Archive, Israeli Film Service, The Perlov Family. After the film, a meeting with Yael Perlov will be held. (Israel 1977/2019 | 57 minutes | Hebrew | Hebrew, English subtitles)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Diary of a Nazi – the Story of Wilm Hosenfeld. In the local school of Thalau, a small German town, a group of residents demanded to commemorate the Nazi officer Wilm Hosenfeld, who used to be the school principal before the war. Hosenfeld is known as the officer who saved the Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman, in Polanski’s movie, “The Pianist”. Hosenfeld’s grandchildren explore his past, discover his personal diaries in which he described the atrocities of the Nazis, and find out that other people owe their life to their grandfather. After the film, a meeting with the director, Hanoch Zeevi will be held.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

  • The Albanian Code – the untold story of Albania, in which most of the population is Muslim. It is the only state in Europe that saved thousands of Jews during the Second World War. Annie Altaratz takes her daughters to Albania where she was saved as a child by the Albanians, and manage to speak with the last living witnesses and meet the family who saved her. After the film, a meeting with the director, Prof. Yael Katzir will be held.
  • The Last Fisherman in the Sea of Galilee – an intimate, spiritual encounter between a Japanese director who holds faith in the bible and the new testament, and an Israeli fisherman. The director was wondering since childhood, why did Jesus choose the Sea of Galilee’s fishermen of all men as his first disciples. After the film, a meeting with the director, Taishi Tanaka will be held.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

  • Since Nadav – It’s been three years since Nadav was killed, and the Raymond family from Shadmot Dvora struggles to function after the loss. And then his mother, 49 old Yuval, decides she is going to have another child. After the film, a meeting with the directors, Inbal Sprinzak and Noam Pinchas will be held.
  • Bird’s Flight – Tzipporah longs to stretch her wings and fly but knows that without solid ground to return to, she will be lost.
    Caught between two seemingly incompatible worlds, the stable orthodox Judaic lifestyle that she lives and the soaring thrill of Aerial Acrobatics, she feels incomplete in either place and struggles to find her true identity. How will she achieve balance? What part of herself must she sacrifice? After the film, a meeting with the director, Tal Kushner will be held.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Little Things – The film follows Yudale, a religious youth from the settlements, as he experiences a crisis of faith. As he receives a camera from Michal, a Tel Aviv director who teaches him how to film,
Yehuda documents his life on the line between the settlement Tko’a and Tel Aviv: his final conversations with his dying father—Rabbi Menachem Fruman– their joint study, and saying goodbye to him. When his father dies, Yehuda chooses to take off his kippah. During the year of mourning, he continues to document his life outside the religious world: exploring Tel Aviv, talking to Michal, and his new perspective on his family and their way of life. Elisheva, a newly observant Jew orphaned from her mother, comes into his life as a soul mate exactly at the moment when he loses hope of finding his way. After the film, a meeting with the film makers, Michal Aronzon and Adi Bar Yossef, and Yehuda Fruman, will be held.


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