On Saturday, March 16th, the annual Jewish Federation-supported Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia kicks off its new season: a full month of captivating Israeli stories, which run the gamut from documentary to drama. In The Unorthodox, for example, viewers meet an upset father whose anger inspires a new Israeli political party for the Sephardim. Echo follows a husband as he spirals out of control when he realizes his wife is a complete stranger. And that’s just on opening weekend.
For 23 years, the Israeli Film Festival has introduced Greater Philadelphians to the nuances of Israeli life and culture — and this year is no different. Throughout five documentaries, viewers will solve a decade-old mystery about what really happened during a terrorist attack on a restaurant in Tel Aviv, dive into the double life of a grandfather who survived the Holocaust, unearth the complicated history of “development towns,” peek into the lasting legacy of a family falafel business, and meet the IDF’s first-ever Jewish Orthodox combat navigator as she climbs mountains in Nepal.
“We want to expose the audience to everything that Israel has to offer,” says Mindy Chriqui, Founder and Artistic Director of the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia. “We don’t shy away from anything. We try to present a balanced picture and we don’t let politics get in the way,” she continues. “All we want is to make people think, by showing the best Israeli films of the year.”
The Festival closes on April 7th with The Other Story, a spiraling tale of a family drama that ensues as one woman chooses a life of orthodoxy and another chooses to free herself of those same restrictions. For the Israeli Film Festival’s full schedule, descriptions of all eleven films, and to purchase tickets click here.