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French Films at the 31st Annual New York Jewish Film Festival


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Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street, NYC
New York, US 10023

January 12-25, 2022 | In Person and Online


The Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center present the 31st annual New York Jewish Film Festival (NYJFF) in person and virtually from January 12 through 25, 2022. Among the oldest and most influential Jewish film festivals worldwide, NYJFF presents the finest documentary, narrative, and short films from around the world that explore the Jewish experience.

The 2022 edition of NYJFF will feature both in-person screenings at the Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, NYC, and virtual offerings. The NYJFF line-up showcases 33 wide-ranging and exciting features and shorts (24 features and 9 shorts), including French films and coproductions.


CLOSING FILMRose (US Premiere)
Aurélie Saada, France, 2021, 102 min. French with English subtitles
Actress and screenwriter Aurélie Saada makes her directorial debut with this life-affirming reminder that it’s never too late to seek fulfillment. The joys of celebrating the birthday of the Goldberg family patriarch give way to sorrow as his sudden death leaves his devoted wife Rose (screen legend Françoise Fabian, who played the title role in Éric Rohmer’s 1969 classic My Night at Maud’s) uncertain of how to navigate life as a widow approaching 80. Her family offers little solace, but gradually Rose begins to advocate for her wishes and pursue her desires, rejecting the societal pressure to “act her age” and fade into benign oblivion. Similar in concept to Sebastián Lelio’s crowd-pleasing Gloria, but with its own cultural specificity and a careercrowning turn from Fabian, Rose took home the Variety Piazza Grande Award at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival.
Wednesday, January 19, 1:00pm & 7:00pm


The Death of Cinema and My Father Too (NY Premiere)
Dani Rosenberg, Israel/France, 2020, 105 min. Hebrew with English subtitles
Erstwhile documentarian Dani Rosenberg makes his feature debut as solo director with a project he calls “a fiction film that crashes into the walls of reality.” Previously awarded a grant to shoot a political drama, Rosenberg had planned to cast his own father in the leading role, but the older man’s cancer halted the production. After his father’s death, Rosenberg returned to the material with a meta-narrative about a filmmaker (Roni Kuban as a version of Dani) directing his ailing father (played by esteemed producer Marek Rozenbaum) in an against-the-clock film shoot that incorporates footage of the real Rosenberg Sr. A playful statement on cinema’s power to freeze a moment but not stop the flow of time, The Death of Cinema and My Father Too won the award for Best Israeli Feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and finds the director’s mother Ina playing the parent of his alter ego.
Thursday, January 13 (virtual)


The End of Love (NYC Premiere)
Keren Ben Rafael, France/Israel, 2019, 90 min. French and Hebrew with English subtitles

Julie and Yuval (Judith Chemla and Arieh Worthalter), a couple living in Paris with their new baby, are parted when Yuval is forced to return to Israel to renew his visa. Thousands of miles removed, with Yuval detained by red tape, they must rely on technology to maintain their connection. Director Keren Ben Rafael’s second feature was made before the COVID-19 pandemic, yet uncannily foreshadows what would soon become a near-universal condition: dependence on screens to sustain relationships over vast distances and prolonged separations. Judith Chemla, the star of NYJFF 2020’s My Polish Honeymoon, brings her deep expressiveness to this engaging and poignant film. Ben Rafael’s screenplay, co-written with Élise Benroubi, captures the bewildering sensation of mediated intimacy, depicting how virtual interactions, seemingly preferable to none at all, can escalate feelings of paranoia and estrangement, erode privacy, and pose as grave a threat to love as time and distance apart.
Friday, January 14 (virtual)


From Where They Stood (NY Premiere)
Christophe Cognet, France/Germany, 2021, 110 min. French, German, and Polish with English subtitles

Nonfiction veteran Christophe Cognet contributes a vital account of the risks undertaken to create a visual record of the Holocaust. From Where They Stood details the heroic efforts of prisoners at Dachau, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and elsewhere to photograph the realities of their existence, and to smuggle their pictures out of the camps in the fervent hope that the world would bear witness. After establishing his mise-en-scène, Cognet zooms in to consider the individuals who took the photos—their methods and motives—and the figures populating their images, rescuing them from historical anonymity and endowing them with human dimensions. The winner of a documentary prize at the 2021 Jerusalem Film Festival, From Where They Stood was screened in France under the title À pas aveugles, meaning “blindly”—a cogent reminder of the speed and precision necessary for the photographers to snap their shots without fatal exposure.
Friday, January 14 (virtual)


The Lost Film of Nuremberg (US Premiere)
Jean-Christophe Klotz, France/Germany, 2021, 52 min. French and German with English subtitles

Adapted from Sandra Schulberg’s monograph Filmmakers for the Prosecution, The Lost Film of Nuremberg retraces the hunt for film evidence that could convict the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trial. The searchers were two sons of Hollywood—brothers Budd and Stuart Schulberg—serving under the command of OSS film chief John Ford. The motion pictures they presented in the courtroom became part of the official record and shape our understanding of the Holocaust to this day. Seventy-five years after the trial, French journalist and filmmaker Jean-Christophe Klotz returns to the German salt mines where films lay burning, uncovers never-before-seen footage, and interviews key figures to unravel why the resulting film about the trial—Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today by Stuart Schulberg—was intentionally buried by the U.S. Department of War. Klotz’s riveting film also fills in the gaps of how these groundbreaking materials were sourced and poses still-pertinent questions about documentarians’ obligations to posterity.
Preceded by A Kaddish for Selim Jane Wells, USA, 2021, 15 min. English World Premiere.
Thursday, January 13, 1:00pm & 7:00pm


The Will to See (NY Premiere)
Bernard-Henri Lévy and Marc Roussel, France, 2021, 92 min. French and English with English subtitles

Prolific French writer, activist, and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has been described by The New York Times as “an intellectual adventurer who brings publicity to unfashionable political causes.” He’s written over 30 books and at times attracted controversy for his outspoken opinions. His latest project, this eye-opening essay film, which also provides an intellectual history of Levy’s thinking from his time with author and statesman André Malraux some 50 years ago, grew out of his expedition on behalf of several international newspapers to places where human suffering predominates. Whether due to prolonged war, terrorism, or state-sponsored genocide, Lévy’s destinations are not only beset with misfortune but also largely overlooked by the apparatuses capable of effecting change. Journeying from the overcrowded and unsanitary refugee camp in Lesbos that burned to the ground in September 2020 to Mogadishu, Somalia, “a ghost town abandoned to the warlords,” to Nigeria, where Christians are massacred with impunity, Lévy turns a spotlight on locations the world cannot afford to keep ignoring.
Sunday, January 16, 4:00pm

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