Israel’s 60th Birthday

Nashville film festival honors Israel’s 60th by Dave
October 24, 2008, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Israel | Tags: , , , , ,

It appears Nashville is set to celebrate 60 years since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  Or as Benny Morris, in the haaretz, puts it, they’ll celebrate the rape, massacre and transfer of the Palestinian population.  As for Beaufort, I find it interesting that the film is sympathetic to Israeli soldiers withdrawing from their illegal military occupation of Lebanon that lasted 20 years.  It says a lot about a person when they mourn justice.

The eighth annual Nashville Jewish Film Festival, which begins Saturday and continues through Oct. 30 at the Belcourt Theatre, will have a special theme this year. They’ll be showing all Israeli films in honor of Israel’s 60th birthday.

“We’re trying to strike a balance with historical, contemporary and slice-of-life films that give audiences a diverse look at Israel,” Laurie Eskind, the festival’s co-chair, said. “We’ve tried to grow the festival each year as much as possible, and make it for the general community while still presenting some of the very best films possible that also spotlight different aspects of Jewish history and culture.”

Prime examples of top films on this year’s festival include Saturday’s opening work Strangers, directed by Erez Tadmor. Its storyline focuses on a love affair between an Israeli man and Palestinian woman during the 2006 World Cup finals and co-stars Liron Levo and Lubna Azabal.

Strangers was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and is in English, Hebrew, French and Arabic with English subtitles. The screening begins at 8 p.m.

Sunday begins with a special screening of The Little Traitor, which captured the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at this year’s Palm Beach International Film Festival.

The movie follows an 11-year-old anxious for the British to leave Palestine in 1947.But he’s seized one evening after being out after curfew by a British officer. These two develop an unusual bond, which becomes the central focus of the movie that co-stars Ido Port and Alfred Molina, along with Theodore Bikel.

It was directed by Lynn Roth and is in English and Hebrew with English subtitles. The 9 a.m. special screening is for area religious school students and teachers in grades 8-12 and is free.

The Sunday night headline attraction is Beaufort, which earned both the Best Director award for Joseph Cedar at last year’s Berlin Film Festival and was also an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film.

It covers the final days of an Israeli army unit’s withdrawal in 2000 from a bunker inside a 12th century fortress close to the border with Lebanon. The 22-year-old commander of Beaufort, Liraz Liberti, must make some critical decisions, and his actions may result in his troops destroying everything that they fought so hard to gain. It’s based on a true story, is in Hebrew with English subtitles, and co-stars Eli Eltonyo, Itay Tiran, Ohad Knoller and Oshri Cohen.

A kickoff event precedes the opening film with a cocktail supper at Cabana Restaurant, 1819 21st Ave. S.

“We wanted to have an event kind of off the site to get the festival started,” Eskind said. “Cabana is close enough to the festival that it won’t pose any problems for people later, and they’ve also been very helpful with us in setting up the event. I think it’s a great chance for people to get together and really get in the mood for the event.”

Tickets to the dinner are $65 for individuals and $120 for couples, with the 8 p.m. film included as part of the package.

The Oct. 30 finale will be held at the Sunset Grill, 2001 Belcourt Ave. at 9 p.m. and feature jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn soloist Michael Fair and Friends. Tickets are $18 (the event only) or $25 (also includes the night’s films).

“There was such good response to having a jazz event last year that we decided to continue it and make this a nice way to conclude the festival,” Eskind said.

“We’re not as extensive or held over as many nights as some of the bigger events like the ones in New York or San Francisco,” Eskind concluded. “But I feel we’ve found our niche in the fall and we have a very good working relationship with the Belcourt Theatre…We have a concentrated festival that brings some top films to town, offers them at a reasonable price and has films that the entire family can attend.”

Although tickets cannot be ordered online, there will be dedicated spots at the Belcourt where fans can purchase tickets for individual films.

A complete schedule of all films and activities is available online at

What: The Eighth Annual Nashville Jewish Film Festival
When: Oct. 25-30
Where: The Belcourt Theatre, 2102 Belcourt Ave.
Cost: $8 for individual films, $5 for students, seniors over 65, groups of 10
Info: 352-7620


1 Comment so far
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I hope this event is well and truly ‘crunched’ by the financial collapse.

Comment by mary

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