The 27th Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg (JFBB) convinces with its programme diversity. Until 22 August, various films in the festival programme entertain in very different ways. The spectrum ranges from the sensual foodie cinema OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES to the Shoa-processing musical SINGING IN THE DARK to the very grand, epically narrated cinematic art in THE PAINTED BIRD.
"Just as broad as the programme diversity of the 27th JFBB is, just as diverse are our target groups: Our programme is aimed at the classic cinema-goer as well as the lover of elite film art, at people interested in Jewish topics or those who simply want to spend a pleasant outdoor evening in the summer. In a nutshell, the JFBB is aimed at the entire public," says JFBB managing director Andreas Stein. "I am sure that everyone will find a film for their individual taste in our programme spectrum. By the way, not only in the cinema, but also online until the end of August."
Cinema for the senses succeeds Laura Gabbert with OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES (US/2020). She looks over the shoulders of the celebrity chef and foodie hero as he prepares for an event at the New York Met. If you've ever wanted to know what Versailles opulence might taste like in cake form, you can't taste it, but you can get an idea now.
The admirable Jewish-Polish world musician Belina, who travelled countless countries as a bridge builder between cultures, sang in 17 languages. With his BELINA - MUSIC FOR PEACE (DE/2021), Berlin filmmaker Marc Boettcher creates a cinematic memorial to her, which will celebrate its premiere at the JFBB in the presence of prominent companions such as Jocelyn B. Smith or Sharon Brauner, who will commemorate this unique singer together with Belina's son Michel Rodzynek and the audience.
Václav Marhoul's THE PAINTED BIRD (A, CZ, SK/2019) has already been nominated for the Golden Lion (Venice) and the European Film Award. Artfully staged in widescreen black and white, it tells the story of a resistant boy who just wants to go home. But the brutal world around him has gone off the rails. Great arthouse cinema, made for the big screen and top cast with international superstars such as Udo Kier, Harvey Keitel or Stellan Skaarsgård.
At the JFBB, the version of Max Nosseck's classic SINGING IN THE DARK (US/1956), restored by the National Center for Jewish Film, can be seen in Germany for the first time. The form, the director opted for the musical, could hardly be more unusual for the subject. The protagonist processes his Shoa traumas - mostly intoxicated with alcohol - by singing. The music allows him to turn his innermost thoughts inside out and helps him deal with repressed memories. Emotionally moving and incredibly impressive.
Israeli series are hitting the nail on the head all over the world. In the SERIAL FRESH section, the JFBB presents the potential successors to hits like FAUDA or SHTISEL.
AUTONOMIES (Yehonatan Indursky, IL/2018), JUST FOR TODAY (Nir Bergman, IL/2019) or OUR BOYS (Hagai Levi, Joseph Cedar, Tawfik Abu-Wae, IL/2019) use Israeli storytelling to bring characters to the JFBB screens that will not leave the audience untouched.
Yuval Shafferman's ON THE SPECTRUM (IL/2018), a comedy about an autistic flat-sharing community, expands the perspective of the Netflix hit ATYPICAL by looking at a not-so-normal 3-person flat-sharing community in which everyone lives in the same flat, yet each in their own world.