San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Monday, Jul 26, 2021 at 12:00pm to Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021 at 8:07pm


The 41st festival will feature over 50 films and events available for streaming over 10 days and across the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

12:00pm: Not Going Quietly - Take Action Spotlight
Ady Barkan and his wife Rachael always said they were the luckiest people they knew. A rising star in political organizing and new father, Ady had his whole life in front of him. But four months after his son Carl is born, 32-year old Ady is diagnosed with ALS, a deadly disease that will ultimately paralyze his entire body. Despairing at the loss of decades of happiness with his family, Ady decides to return to his roots as an activist. Traveling to protest a bill that will cut into the healthcare programs he needs to survive, Ady chances to meet a powerful senator on an airplane. The conversation is captured on video, goes viral, and catapults him into the public eye. Capitalizing on the power of his new platform, Ady launches the Be A Hero campaign to fight for healthcare justice. With a diverse group of activists he barnstorms across the country in a wheelchair-accessible RV, building a people-powered movement. As Ady's natural voice fades, his influence grows, transforming him into one of the most powerful activists in America. But as he learns to wield his newfound power, he must also learn to adapt as a father and husband. As Ady nears the end of his life, he seeks to form a lasting bond with Carl, while also creating a better world for him to inherit. NOT GOING QUIETLY is a powerful and emotional documentary that you will never forget. 2021 SXSW Audience Award for Documentary Feature and Special Jury Recognition for Humanity in Social Action.

Director(s) - Nicholas Bruckman
Running Time - 97

4:00pm: Those Who Heard & Those Who Saw
In 1940, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees to the United Kingdom were arrested and interned by the new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. During the roundup, 2,000 men who had fled Germany and Austria during the rise of fascism were herded onto prison ships bound for Canada where they would spend years in an extensive network of large-scale internment camps in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. Their arrival was marked with the threat of violence: During their first night at the camp in Québec City, one mentally ill refugee was shot by guards. Shortly after, the refugees were marched into a camp in Trois-Rivières surrounded by Nazi prisoners of war. When hundreds of refugees in Sherbrooke refused to work under inhumane conditions, guards trained machine guns on them. “Those Who Heard & Those Who Saw” excavates a forgotten episode in Canadian memory-an orphaned story that resonates with the contemporary politics of migration. These remarkable experiences are narrated by the refugees themselves in never-before released tapes that were recorded in the late 1970s by Eric Koch, who was, himself, a former internee. The refugees’ longest lasting wounds were not the ones borne on their skin. Their personal encounters with desperation, their powerlessness in the face of the Canadian state, and the feeling of having lost years of their lives for no reason haunted many of the refugees for decades after their release. Recipient of a 2020 JFI Completion Grant. The small city of Sherbrooke, Québec housed one of the largest internment camps, and today is the home to newly-arrived Syrian refugees like Muhammed Al Jabir and his family. They live quiet lives in the shadow of personal trauma. With eloquence and poise, he describes being severely wounded by Syrian troops, the death of his brother, and his family’s escape. He reflects on the loss of his home and the challenges of starting anew in a strange place. As the film tarries between past and present, the question is not “are these experiences the same”, but rather: “how does one illuminate the other?”

Director(s) - Nate Lavey
Running Time - 96

7:00pm: Marek Edelman... and There was Love in the Ghetto
In this film, he answers that very question: Good and beauty did exist in the hell of the ghetto. And there was love, too. Marek Edelman, activist, surgeon, and former commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, is interviewed by director Jolanta Dylewska about a seldom-discussed part of life leading up to the Holocaust: love. Sharing stories from his memoir And There Was Love in the Ghetto, Edelman ruminates on the redemptive nature of passion, romance and lust in one of history's darkest hours. Eminent filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, recipient of this year's Freedom of Expression Award, lends her writing talents to the sensuous reenactments directed by another legendary filmmaker, Andrzej Wajda, A captivating look into the lives of men and women, still hoping, dreaming and clinging to one another as the world burns around them.

Director(s) - Jolanta Dylewska
Running Time - 80

7:00pm: In Our Synagogue

Director(s) - Ivan Orlenko
Running Time - 20

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