WJFF CLASSICS

In honor of the Washington Jewish Film Festival’s milestone 25th Anniversary, we shine a light on the rich repertory history of Jewish Cinema. Some of the films in our WJFF Classics program are culled from past Festival favorites; others are highlighted for their exceptional contribution to our understanding of the Jewish and Israeli experience over the past century.

2-or-3-Things-I-Know-About-Him-Website

2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HIM

Dir. Malte Ludin
(85min, Germany, 20005) Documentary

The filmmaker breaks 60 years of silence and repression, investigating his father’s dark deeds as the Third Reich’s ambassador to Slovakia.

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American-Matchmaker-website

AMERICAN MATCHMAKER

Dir. Edgar G. Ulmer
(87min, USA, 1940) Narrative

Leo Fuchs, known on Second Avenue as “the Yiddish Fred Astaire,” plays an elegant and eligible bachelor who can never seem to close the marriage deal.

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BreakingHomeTies-website

BREAKING HOME TIES

Dir. Frank N. Seltzer and George K. Rowlands
(78min, USA, 1922) Narrative

Thinking he has killed his friend Paul in a jealous rage, David Bergmann flees pre-revolutionary Russia for New York. While there, he becomes a successful lawyer and woos smart, independent Rose, the boss’ daughter. With live original score!

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Divided-We-Fall-website

DIVIDED WE FALL

Dir. Jan Hrebejk
(117min, Czech Republic, 2000) Narrative

Set in a small Czech town under German occupation, Jan Hrebejk’s Oscar nominated film explores “not only the banality of evil, but also the banality of goodness, and the ridiculousness, as well as the tragedy, of their collision.”

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DerGolem-website

GOLEM

Dir. Carl Boese and Paul Wegener
(91min, USA, 1920) Narrative

Grammy-nominated Gary Lucas presents one of his most beloved original scores: the 1920 German silent horror-fantasy expressionist film Golem, the tale of a 16th century rabbi who made a man out of clay to save the Jewish community of Prague from annihilation.

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Hester-Street-website

HESTER STREET

Dir. Joan Micklin Silver
(90min, USA, 1975) Narrative

A traditional Jewish woman (Carol Kane) who arrives with her son to America in the 1890s, only to discover that her cheating husband has assimilated and resents his wife’s old-fashioned ways.

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It-Always-Rains-on-Sunday-website

IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY

Dir. Robert Hamer
(92min, UK, 1947) Narrative

With an atmosphere redolent of pre-war French “poetic realism,” this recently rediscovered film is a Brueghelian slice of post-war British life: a feckless trio of thieves try to unload a truckload of hot roller skates; a music store owner chases one shiksa too many; and a pipe smoking inspector wiles away the day.

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lastmetro-website

THE LAST METRO

Dir. François Truffaut
(131min, France, 1980) Narrative

Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study.

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Lost-Embrace-website

LOST EMBRACE

Dir. Daniel Burman
(100min, Argentina, 2004) Narrative

Ariel, a young man in his twenties, is our guide through a community mostly made up of Jewish business owners struggling to stay afloat in a Buenos Aires shopping mall. Fed up with the grind, he seeks Polish citizenship so he can become “European.”

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Sallah-Shabati-website

SALLAH SHABATI

Dir. Ephraim Kishon
(110min, Israel, 1964) Documentary

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sallah Shabati – one of the most outrageous, beloved, and enduring artifacts of Israeli Cinema – with a presentation of a newly restored print. This hilarious portrayal of immigrants in Israel was the first Israeli film to be nominated for an Oscar.

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Trilogy-of-Love website

THE TRILOGY OF LOVE

Dir. Laurence Attali
(75min, Senegal/France, 1999-2002) Documentary and Narrative

Laurence Attali’s three-part ode to Senegal, spirituality, and the nature of love. We offer an extremely rare screening of the full work: Even The Wind (1999), Baobob (2000) and The Unshod Man (2002).

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