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2016-02-12 digital edition

TODAY in the Jewish World:

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


February 12, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T


Stories of love, heroics & pot-laced challah

The Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year anniversary with a selection of films that allows viewers to be a fly on the wall of each film’s subjects. From a mother caring for her mentally challenged daughter to a trio of siblings seeking to learn about their newly-learned heritage without driving each other mad, these films reflect the many lenses through which Jewish life is seen.

Produced by the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties, the festival organizers chose international projects from different genres to add a spirit of global diversity.

The 11 films will be shown March 2-9 at venues in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor.

The line-up for the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival


After his wife’s passing, Zev Guttman (played by Christopher Plummer) is spurred on by his friend and fellow Auschwitz survivor Max (Martin Landau) to track down the man responsible for ordering their families to death. Zev must escape their shared nursing home to travel cross country in search of the former commander, subsisting on his need for vengeance but burdened by his age and failing memory. Directed my Oscarnominated Atom Egoyan.

• March 2 – Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall, 7 p.m.

* * *

To Life:

Jonas is running away from his present when he finds Ruth trying to end hers. Helping the aging cabaret singer recovery from an attempted suicide, Jonas eventually admits his failing health is due to an incurable diagnosis. Ruth shares with him her tale of a doomed love and the two of them lean on each other while finding a reason to come back to life.

• March 3 – Villagio Cinemas –11778 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, 11 a.m.

• March 7 – Palm Harbor 10 – 37912 US Hwy 19. N., Palm Harbor, 6:30 p.m.

* * *

Bulgarian Rhaspsody:

In summer of 1943, the Jews of Greater Bulgaria are confined to the laws of Germany. Moni and Giogio are life-long friends who meet and subsequently fall in love with Shelly, a Grecian Jew who moves to their city. Plagued by the upheaval of their relationships, as well as the outside world, throws their lives into chaos.

• March 3 – Villagio Cinemas – 7 p.m.

• March 5 – Muvico Sundial 19 – 151 2nd Avenue N., St. Petersburg, 7 p.m.

* * *

Wedding Doll:

Hagit, suffering mild mental damage from a childhood brain injury, loses herself in creating wedding dresses from the leftover materials she finds at the toilet paper factory where she and her mother work. Her single mother and caretaker, Sarah, sees this and fears that her daughter hasn’t the capacity to separate real life from fantasy, especially the burgeoning relationship Hagit forms with the factory owner’s son. When the factory threatens to close, mother and daughter try to navigate the road that lies ahead.

• March 3 – Villagio Cinemas – Noon

• March 6 – Muvico Sundial 19 – 4 p.m.

* * *


In this dramedy, widowed baker Nat Dayan is suffering a rash of bad luck and is desperate to save his business. With his sons unwilling to contribute to the family bakery and facing constant threats by Sam Cotton, a conniving businessman, Nat decides to hire a young refugee from Darfur, Ayyash, who has problems of his own. While he is working for Nat, he is also selling pot to help his mother get back on her feet. One fortuitous day, Ayyash drops his stash into the dough and suddenly, challah is flying off of the shelves. While avoiding intense drug dealers and heady advances from the bakery landlady, Nat and Ayyash develop an unlikely friendship.

• March 5 – Muvico Sundial 19 – 9 p.m.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine:

Celebrity chef-restaurateur Michael Solomonov travels through Israel to find his culinary heritage. Tasting dishes from street bazaars to five-star restaurants, Solomonov examines the country and its people by putting its food on display. Through interviews with chefs and home cooks alike, Solomonov discovers a history that is not only rich in flavor, but rich in conflict.

• March 4 – Villagio Cinemas – 10:30 a.m.

Israeli Cuisine nosh buffet will be offered in the lobby following the film. $8 ticket pre-purchase is required.

* * *

Once in a Lifetime:

Based on a true story, Anne Gueguen is a history teacher with 20 years of experience, though it is no match for her apathetic students. In an effort to ignite their curiosity and passion, she enters them into a national championship with the theme of child victims of the Holocaust. The inner-city teens initially resist, until they hear the story from an actual Holocaust survivor.

• March 3 – Villagio Cinemas – 3 p.m.

• March 4 – Villagio Cinemas – 4 p.m.

* * *

Rabin in his Own Words:

An autobiographical interview given by the man himself, Rabin, combines home movies, archival footage and private letters to narrate the story of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 20 years after his passing. The film follows him from his childhood as a son of a labor leader, before the state of Israel existed up until his life was cut short by an assassin’s pistol.

*March 9 – C.W. Bill Young Hall, #206, Palm Drive, USF, Tampa – 7 p.m.

* * *

Rock in the Red Zone:

The Israeli city of Sderot became a transient camp first for Arab immigrants in the 1950s, then for the Ethiopians in the 1980s. In 2005, after Ariel Sharon’s initiative to disengage from Gaza, the city was left vulnerable to constant close-range bombings, destroying buildings and ripping apart any hope of a normal way of life. The youth of the city found solace in rock music, turning bomb shelters into music clubs and infusing Western chords with Hebrew lyrics. After a three-week stay while she documented the music scene in Sderot, filmmaker Laura Bialas moved there to be a part of it and share their story.

*March 3 – Villagio Cinemas – 4:30 p.m.

Secrets of War:

Best friends Tuur and Lambert, both 12, are nearly oblivious to dangers surrounding them in 1943. As the political tide turns, the boys’ families take sides, Lambert’s family aligns with the Nazi party and Turr’s joins a small resistance movement. The boys become fully at odds when they compete for the affections of the mysterious Maartje, and the three of their lives are changed forever. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

*March 4 – Villagio Cinemas – 3:30 p.m.

* * *

The Kind Words:

Three Jerusalem siblings, Dorona, a soured restaurateur, and her brothers Nethnel, an Orthodox father, and Shai, a bisexual bar owner, discover the man they had thought was their biological father was not, after the passing of their mother. They travel to their mother’s native Algiers in search of answers and try to reconnect with their family, their religion, their ethnicity and themselves along the way.

*March 3 – Villagio Cinemas – 6 p.m.

*March 6 – Muvico Sundial 19 – 6:30 p.m.

Visit or call (813) 264- 9000 for information on tickets and more about the movies.

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