Sundance

Sundance Film Festival
Jewishy Filmmakers
“An American Soldier,” Director and Screenwriter: Edet Belzberg
Uncle Sam wants you! A compelling exploration of army recruitment in the United States told through the story of Louisiana Sergeant, First Class Clay Usie, one of the most successful recruiters in the history of the U.S. Army. World Premiere

“American Teen,” Director and Screenwriter: Nanette Burstein
This irreverent cinema verité chronicles four seniors at an Indiana high school and yields a surprising snapshot of Midwestern life. World Premiere

“American Son,” Director: Neil Abramson; Screenwriter: Eric Schmid
Before being deployed for active duty, a young Marine takes a four-day Thanksgiving leave to return home to Bakersfield, California. There he meets a young woman, tries to connect with old friends, and confronts his volatile home life. Cast: Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz, Matt O’Leary, Jay Hernandez, Tom Sizemore, Chi McBride.World Premiere

“The Wackness,” Director and Screenwriter: Jonathan Levine
During a sweltering New York summer, a troubled teenage drug dealer trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug-addled psychiatrist, and in the process falls for the doctor’s daughter. Cast: Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Olivia Thirlby, Mary Kate Olsen, Method Man. World Premiere

Jewishy Themes at Sundance
“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” Director: Marina Zenovich; Screenwriters: Marina Zenovich, Joe Bini, P.G. Morgan
This film examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary director Roman Polanski’s sudden flight from the United States. World Premiere
nb: Polanski’s mother died at Auschwitz, his father survived Mauthausen death camp, and roman survived by hiding with a catholic farmer

“Slingshot Hip Hop,” Director: Jackie Reem Salloum
The voice of a new generation rocks and rhymes as Palestinian rappers form alternative voices of resistance within the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. World Premiere

“The Mysteries of Pittsburgh,” Director and Screenwriter: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Based on Michael Chabon’s novel, the film chronicles the defining summer of a recent college graduate who crosses his gangster father and explores love, sexuality, and the enigmas surrounding his life and his city. Cast: Jon Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Sienna Miller, Mena Suvari, Nick Nolte. World Premiere

“Recycle” / Jordan, Director and Screenwriter: Al Massad
A Jordanian family man living in the hometown of Muslim leader Al-Zarqawi struggles to support his family and define his identity in a tense political climate. World Premiere

“Strangers” / Israel, Directors and Screenwriters: Erez Tadmor, Guy Nattiv
An Israeli man and a Palestinian woman meet serendipitously during the carefree atmosphere of the World Cup finals in Germany, drawing them out of the stark reality of their lives and into a passionate affair. Cast: Liron Levo, Lubna Azabal, Dominique Lollia, Patrick Albenque, Abdallah el Akal, Roger Dumas. International Premiere

“Under The Bombs” (Sous Les Bombes) / Lebanon, Director: Philippe Aractingi; Screenwriters: Philippe Aractingi, Michel Leviant
In the wake of Israel’s 2006 bombardment of Lebanon, a determined woman finds her way into the country convincing a taxi cab driver to take a risky journey through the scarred region in search of her sister and her son. Cast: Nada Abou Farhat, Georges Khabbaz, Bshara Atallah, and Rawia Elchab. North American Premiere

“The Wave” (Die Welle) / Germany, Director: Dennis Gansel; Screenwriters: Dennis Gansel and Peter Thorwarth
A high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own. Cast: Juergen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich, Christiane Paul. World Premiere

14 days until Sundance! For those of you who care… hat tip to Larry Mark from jewishfilm.com who put this list together for Jewlicious.

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

14 Comments

  • Polanski’s mother (who died at Auschwitz) was Catholic. But you guys can take credit for him– as long as we can claim Polanski’s great cohort, Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the scores to several Polanski films, including Rosemary’s Baby and Knife In The Water.

  • Holy Crap! A German version of The Wave!

    Strength through community!

    Strength through discipline!

    Strength through action!

  • Hairy situation for those of us who don’t quite buy the Jewish mother thing. His mother was born to a Jewish father and raised Catholic but gassed in the gas chamber as a Jew.

  • To the Nazis, one was detemined Jewish if you had a Jewish ancestor up to six generations back. Girls’ schoolbooks on home economics featured a chapter on how important it is to have an “Aryan” husband to not mix with “inferior blood” as well as a foldable chart with a blank family tree on it that you were supposed to fill out with your prospective husband’s family info to see whether there’d been any Jewish person in his family line.

  • I suppose it raises questions of who’s to be defined as Jewish, and perhaps who’s defined as a Holocaust victim. I thought about the latter recently when reading about the late Karlheinz Stockhausen’s (Catholic) mother, who was gassed as part of the euthanasia campaign against the mentally ill.

  • Most Jews, I believe, consider the mentally ill who were killed systematically in WWII by the Nazis Holocaust victims. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC views them as victims and lists 11 million victims of the Nazis and not just the 6 million Jews.

    However, Polanski’s mom was killed because she was half Jewish…I would think she identified with her Jewish side before she was killed.

  • Non-Jews that refused to divorce their Jewish spouses could fall victim to the Euthanasia programme (which took part in two phases; the first one taking part before and pathing the technical capabilities for the mass murders of Jews) or could also be sent to the death camps on claims of being actually Jewish, co-laboration with Jews, offences to Aryan bloodlines etc.

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