On the eve of Oscar Day, hosted by MOT Jon Stewart (as if anyone needed the reminder), I’m about to sit down to watch MOT and inspirer of lust and unreasonable expectations in the heart of every Jewish boy Natalie Portman on Saturday Night Live. By the way, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Winona Ryder all share a face. Discuss.

But in the few minutes remaining, I thought I’d bring you news of these Jewish movies now playing in New York:

The Israeli Film Festival’s in New York City this week…and I have to vent a little about it. Every year, they send me a schedule for the festival midway through the week of the run. For instance, the Festival began on February 23, and I got my schedule today, which is March 4, for those of you keeping track. And it runs until March 9. So you see, I’ve already missed half the festival, and all of the premieres, some of which I could have reviewed here and organized outings to see…but noooo….

And although I’ve not yet seen any of the movies, I’ve heard good things about Out of Sight and the TV drama series Jerusalem Brew. Out of Sight is about a blind Math PhD student at Princeton who rushes back to Israel to investigate why her cousin Talia committed suicide. So that should be a wonderful, uplifting movie. Look for the classic signs that you’re watching a movie from Israel: soccer, mentions of war, and random glimpses of nudity with no apparent purpose. Jerusalem Brew is a tv show about a sephardic middle class Jerusalem family struggling with religon and independence. In other words, another comedy. NOT.

Mekudeshet: Sentenced to Marriage, a “groundbreaking documentary chronicling the struggle of three Israeli woman to obtain a get,” is playing at the JCC of Manhattan on March 6th at 7pm and then at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on March 22 (no URL available, contact 646-437-4202)…each showing will be followed by a presentation by Agunah activists. Screenings are sponsored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

So once you’ve broken your teeth on Brokeback Mountain or, um, constantly gardened your garden after watching Constant Gardener (I admit it, I’ve seen none of this year’s nominated films), check out a film that will connect you with your heritage. Or just rent the Corpse Bride, which I understand is based on a 16th Century mystical folk tale

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


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