'Common bond': Film festival focuses 'through lens of Jewish culture' - Albuquerque Journal

‘Common bond’: Film festival focuses ‘through lens of Jewish culture’

Five – this is the number of films that will be screened as part of the fourth annual Jewish Film Festival in Albuquerque, beginning Thursday, July 20.

And each one of the films will have a universal theme.

“Since we’re featuring cinema from around the world and so forth, we want to create an in-depth cultural experience,” says Phyllis Wolf, director of arts, culture, education at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. “It’s more than just a film. We are bringing people together and giving them an experience that they won’t forget. We are trying to bring in filmmakers for a question and answer period. I think that is the trend that we are going to set.”

This year’s festival is branching out from screenings at the JCC and will screen two films at Regal High Ridge 8.

“This is definitely an upgrade for our foreign films that are subtitled,” Wolf says of the partnership with Regal. “We have digital equipment, but when you get subtitles in the films, it’s very difficult to follow. We’re pleased about being able to present the films at High Ridge.”

Wolf says the Israeli film “Women’s Balcony” and Italy’s “Let Yourself Go!” are both subtitled and will be presented at High Ridge.

A scene from the Israeli film “The Women’s Balcony,” which will open the Jewish Film Festival in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Menemsha Films)

“Women’s Balcony” tells the story of when the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control.

Toni Servillo stars in the film “Let Yourself Go!” (Courtesy of Menemsha Films)

Meanwhile, “Let Yourself Go!” tells the story of Elia, a middle-aged Jewish psychoanalyst who lives next door to – and is still secretly in love with – his ex-wife, Paola. When his physician tells him to “get up off the couch” and start exercising, he reluctantly agrees. His life changes after he encounters Claudia, a personal trainer whose upbeat attitude and offbeat lifestyle brings Elia out of his funk and awakens him to the joys of life.

Kutsher’s indoor-pool postcard. (Courtesy of Mark Kutsher)

Wolf is also looking forward to the screening of “Welcome to Kutsher’s.”

The documentary tells the story of Kutsher’s – one of the legendary Borscht Belt hotels. The property has been family-owned and family-operated for over 100 years, and it explores the full “Dirty Dancing”-era Catskills experience and how it changed American pop culture in the comedy, sports and vacation industries.

Before the film, there is New York deli nosh catered by Ruth Rosenstein’s Rhubarb & Elliot for an extra charge.

“There are a lot of residents in New Mexico who are familiar with Kutsher’s,” Wolf says. “It’s a time to reminisce.”

The documentary “Body and Soul: An American Bridge” focuses on the early performance history of the jazz standard “Body and Soul.” (Courtesy of Shoga Films)

Another documentary, “Body and Soul: An American Bridge” celebrates the cross-cultural relationships between African-Americans and American Jews. The film aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard. There will also be a live jazz quintet, wine and snacks after the screening.

And the final film, “Carvalho’s Journey,” is being presented in partnership with the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival and the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society.

The film tells the extraordinary story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho, an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, S.C., and his life as a groundbreaking photographer, artist and pioneer in American history.

“There’s a focus through the lens of the Jewish culture,” Wolf says. “The stories that we’ve picked have universal appeal. The quality of the film is a common bond. Anybody who enjoys good filmmaking will find value. With each event, we’re enhancing the film element.”

Home » Entertainment » Local Movie News » ‘Common bond’: Film festival focuses ‘through lens of Jewish culture’

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
State safety workers are investigating an 'incident' involving the ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Environment Department's Occupational Health and ... The Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is investigating an incident involving a crane at Intel's Rio Rancho plant. 
High dollar dips: 7 Albuquerque-area houses for sale with ...
ABQnews Seeker
There is nothing quite like splashing ... There is nothing quite like splashing in a pool on a hot summer's day — but those who want that luxury in their own ...
'All the World Is Sleeping' sheds light on the ...
ABQnews Seeker
"All the World is Sleeping" had ... "All the World is Sleeping" had a New Mexico premiere at the Santa Fe International Film Festival in October 2021.
'Better Call Saul' actor to be honored at the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Fabian will be on hand ... Patrick Fabian will be on hand to accept the award in Las Cruces at the 2023 LCIFF awards ceremony at the Rio Grande Theatre ...
PBS documentary looks back on protesting and its impact ...
ABQnews Seeker
American Experience's "The Movement and the ... American Experience's "The Movement and the 'Madman'" will premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1.
Albuquerque police called in the bomb squad. It turned ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police called out the bomb ... Albuquerque police called out the bomb squad when they found what they thought was a pipe bomb in a stolen vehicle Thursday afternoon. The ...
Traditional Spanish Market gets new leadership
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque-based Atrisco Heritage Foundation to take ... Albuquerque-based Atrisco Heritage Foundation to take the reins
After Denver school shooting, an outcry erupts over security
ABQnews Seeker
DENVER (AP) -- Outraged Denver students ... DENVER (AP) -- Outraged Denver students and parents demanded better school security and pushed for tighter firearm controls Thursday, a day after a 17-year-old ...
New Mexico tribe keeps title to portion of national ...
ABQnews Seeker
10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals issues ... 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals issues a split ruling in the case brought by Jemez Pueblo over lands it was seeking to reclaim in ...