Denver Jewish Film Festival presents the best and brightest cinematic moments from newly-released Israeli and Jewish cinema. With more than two dozen captivating screenings, the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center will once again use the power of cinema to entertain, challenge, and educate our diverse audiences of theater lovers.
The DJFF affords movie-goers the opportunity to see Jewish films that are not readily available in theaters and to regularly enjoy post-film “talk backs” that allow our patrons the opportunity to unpack the various scintillating yet often challenging themes that surface as part of the DJFF viewing experience. The high quality of the films and the Jewish themes seem to create a greater sense of community and lift the human experience in a way no other medium does.
11:00 am: Why the Jews? preceded by Keh-hee-lah and 100 Faces
The stunning accomplishments of the Jews raise a question no film has dared ask before:
This film will be preceded by the short films, 100 Faces and Keh-hee-lah
How do they do it?
Some of the world’s most prominent thinkers tackle a mystery shrouded in ignorance and prejudice. They tear back the curtain on a taboo and draw a startling link between a people’s achievements and the darkest hours in its history.
Director: John Curtin
1:15pm: King Bibi
Twenty years before the spectacle of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu already understood the political benefits of a toxic relationship with the media, and direct communication with the public.
King Bibi explores Netanyahu’s rise to power, relying solely on archival footage of his media performances over the years: from his days as a popular guest expert on American TV, through his public confession of adultery, and his mastery of the art of social media. From one studio to another, “Bibi” evolved from Israel’s great political hope, to a controversial figure whom some perceive as Israel’s savior, and others – as a cynical politician who will stop at nothing to retain his power.
Post-screening talk back led by DU professor Jonathan Sciarcon!
Director: Dan Shadur
The story of a complicated relationship between an aging father, Reuben, and his special-needs son, Gadi, whom he abandoned while he was a child.
When his mother passes away, 35 year-old Gadi is taken to live with his father, and they begin navigating their newfound relationship. When Reuben’s kidneys start failing, Gadi wants to donate one of his own kidneys. The transplant committee objects to the procedure, claiming that Rueben, acting as Gadi’s sole legal guardian, does not have the right to authorize such an invasive procedure. But Gadi feels he finally has the chance to do something meaningful, and he fights to save his father.
Through the film’s portrayal of a relationship full of love, rejection and co-dependency, it manages to shed some light and question the importance of human life, human connection and if life is even possible without either one.
Director: Jacob Goldwasser
5:30pm: Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People
Joseph Pulitzer began as a penniless Jewish immigrant from Hungary and grew into one of America’s most admired and feared media figures.
Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People tells the rare story of the man behind the prize, who spoke of “fake news” and the importance of freedom of the press over a century ago. His New York newspaper The World spoke to an unprecedented number of readers with powerful journalistic ideals and an artistry and game-changing originality. Pulitzer eventually came to challenge a popular president, fighting for the freedom of the press as essential to our American democracy.
In this landmark film by acclaimed director Oren Rudavsky, Adam Driver is the narrator while Liev Schreiber, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rachel Brosnahan voice key roles; together, they bring to life this virtually unknown American icon.
Director: Oren Rudavsky
7:45pm: Tel Aviv on Fire
Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian man, becomes a writer on a popular soap opera after a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier.
His creative career is on the rise – until the soldier and the show’s financial backers disagree about how the show should end, and Salam is caught in the middle.
Post-screening talk back led by JEWISHcolorado Israeli Emissary Itai Divinsky!
Director: Sameh Zoabi
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