CJFF Films & Schedule

Once in a lifetimeSunday, November 1 - 7:00 pm, Columbus Jewish Community Center

Once In A Lifetime

Directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, Narrative, 2014, 105 minutes, France, French with English subtitles

Based on the true story of Anne Gueguen, a dedicated high school history teacher in a French public school, who changed the lives of her most troubled students through Holocaust education.

Gueguen is determined to give the best education possible to her under-privileged inner-city students.  Frustrated, but undaunted, she challenges her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment by entering them in France’s annual competition on the theme of “children and adolescent victims of Nazi concentration camps.”  Hoping to break through her students’ apathy, Gueguen uses lessons from the Holocaust to overcome differences and show the devastation caused by ignorance and hatred.  The project is initially met with extreme resistance until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the class’s attitude dramatically.  These once rebellious teens soon begin to see one another in a whole new light.  Once In A Lifetime demonstrates the enduring impact of the Holocaust in transforming future generations.


Presented in partnership with Jewish Family Services

Tickets: $35


Howard BowlsMonday, November 2 – 7:00 pm, Jewish Community Center

Band of Bowlers

This is a story about a bowling league, the I. M. Harris B’nai B’rith Bowling Association. The league was formed almost 85 years ago and is one of the oldest leagues in Columbus, OH. It’s a story about the bowlers in this league. A diverse group of men, from a countless number of occupations, 17 to 85 years of age, some of whom have bowled together in this league continuously for more than 55 years. A “band of bowlers,” who come together every Sunday morning in a kindred brotherhood for some entertaining, competitive recreational liberation from the regular activities in their lives. This is a glimpse into some of those humorous, irreverent, impassioned, touching and spontaneous moments.

Dessert reception to follow.

Tickets: $5


AboveBeyondTuesday, November 3 – 7:00 pm, Jewish Community Center

Above and Beyond

Directed by Roberta Grossman, Documentary, 2014, 87 minutes, USA, English

In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. This ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride. Above and Beyond is their story. The first major feature-length documentary about the foreign airmen in the ’48 War, Above and Beyond brings together new interviews as well as stunning aerial footage to present a fascinating, little-known tale filled with heart, heroism and high-flying chutzpah.trailer

Screening will be followed by discussion with Producer Nancy Spielberg.   Dessert reception to follow.

Presented in partnership with Capital Post 122, Jewish War Veterans of the US, Beth Jacob Congregation and Torat Emet Synagogue

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.


A borrowed identityWednesday, November 4 – 7:00 pm, Drexel Theater

A Borrowed Identity

Directed by Eran Riklis, Drama, 104 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English Subtitles

Gifted Eyad, a Palestinian Israeli boy, is given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem.  As he desperately tries to fit in with his Jewish schoolmates and within Israeli society, Eyad develops a friendship with another outsider, Jonathan  a boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, and gradually becomes part of the home Jonathan shares with his mother, Edna.  After falling in love with Naomi, a Jewish girl, he leaves school when their relationship is uncovered, and he discovers that he will have to sacrifice his identity in order to be accepted.  Faced with a choice, Eyad will have to make a decision that will change his life forever.trailer

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.


Look at us now motherSunday, November 8 – 11:30 am, Drexel Theater

Look At Us Now, Mother

Directed by Gayle Kirschenbaum, Documentary, 2015, 84 minutes, USA, English

LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is an unflinching look at the complex bond between Mildred Kirschenbaum and her daughter, Gayle. After the success of Gayle Kirschenbaum’s short My Nose, where she documents her mother’s efforts to encourage her daughter to have a nose job,  Kirschenbaum sets out to explain the roots of their relationship and how it could be salvaged before “time runs out.”  What emerges is a uniquely cinematic, courageous and intimate family study with both humor and pathos in the midst of conflicts and affections that bind mother and daughter.  Using home movie footage, interviews with family members and recorded therapy sessions, Kirschenenbaum tells the story of two women who want nothing more than to understand each other.


Screening will be followed by discussion with Director Gayle Kirschenbaum.

Presented in partnership with National Council of Jewish Women Columbus section

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.


the armor of lightSunday, November 8 – 2:30 pm, Drexel Theater

The Armor of Light

Directed by Abigail Disney, Documentary, 2015, 87 minutes, USA, English

Abigail Disney’s directorial debut follows the journey of Evangelical minister, Rob Schenck, who finds the courage to preach about the toll of gun violence in America.  Familiar with challenging the status quo  (he was raised Jewish but became an evangelical as a teenager), Schenck, an anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life.  He explores this question at gun show and ministers with stand-your-ground opponents.  He eventually teams with Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager murdered in Florida whose case has become a landmark in the fight against stand-your-ground laws.  It isn’t an overreach when Schenck notes parallels between increasing pro-gun extremism, rising gun violence and the Holocaust.  As his father once told him, pointing to pictures of the camps, “This is what happens when good people say nothing.”trailer

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.


East-Jerusalem-West-Jerusalem1Sunday, November 8 – 4:30 pm, Drexel Theater

East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem 

Directed by Erez Miller and Henrique Cymerman, Documentary, 2014, 80 minutes, Israel, Arabic, English and Hebrew with English subtitles.

More than a singer/songwriter, David Broza is also well known for his commitment and dedication to several humanitarian causes, predominantly, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In 1977, Broza wrote what became the anthem of the peace process, his hit song “It Will Be Good/Yihye Tov”.  His vision brings him to the heart of the conflict, a divided Jerusalem, where he and his musician friends, including Grammy-winning Steve Earle, Palestinian Israeli singer Mira Awad and Iraqi Israeli Yair Dalal, take a remarkable journey outside of the political walls.  East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem follows the artists over an eight-day period where they converge in a mash up of American, Israeli and Palestinian sounds.  They build musical bridges with Broza’s charismatic and energetic performances and his will to have a political impact by the simple act of bring together artists from opposing sides.trailer

Presented in partnership with the Leventhal Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.


lady-in-no-6Sunday, November 8 – 7:00 pm, Jewish Community Center

Lady in Number 6 

Directed by Malcolm Clarke, Documentary, 2013, 38 minutes, Canada/United States

At 109 years old, pianist and music teacher Alice Herz-Sommer lived alone in a tiny flat in central London, dutifully practicing the piano and maintaining and independent routine.  Coherent, clear-eyed and witty, her relentlessly positive outlook offered no hint of the painful losses she experienced in Nazi-occupied Prague during WWII.  Both her mother and husband were murdered in concentration camps, and Alice herself was interned at Theresienstadt where she performed in concerts with other musician prisoners.  Alice spoke with quiet grace and an astounding absence of malice, citing the importance of music and laughter, and her deeply held belief in the essential goodness of humanity.trailer

Presented in partnership with The Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Jewish Family Services


Little White LieTuesday, November 10th – 7 pm, The Wexner Center for The Arts

Little White Lie

Directed by Lacey Schwartz, Documentary, 2014, 65 minutes, USA, English

What defines our identity, our family of origin or the family that raises us?  How do we come to terms with the sins and mistakes of our parents?  Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle class household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity.  Despite the questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin, she believed her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather.  At the age of 18 and after the abrupt split of her parents, Lacey finally decides to put nagging doubts to rest, as she confronts her mother and learns the startling truth about her genesis.

Turning the camera on herself, Lacey documents her cathartic quest to understand the hidden pieces of her life; daring to reconcile her mysterious childhood and biological roots.trailer

Screening will be followed by discussion with director Lacey Schwartz. Dessert reception to follow.

Presented in partnership with The Leventhal Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, The Columbus Jewish Foundation, The Ohio State University’s Hillel, Film Studies Program and The Wexner Center for the Arts.

Tickets:  $5 JCC members/Wexner Center members/Students; $10 non-members


Apples-from-the-Desert-Poster_2Thursday, November 12 – 6:00 pm, Drexel Theater

Apples From The Desert 

Directed by Arik Lubetsky & Matti Harari, Narrative, 2014, 87 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles.

Rebecca Abravanel is an only child, living a cloistered existence with her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Jerusalem.  Unhappy with the restrictive traditions of home and community, she secretly opens herself to the secular world by attending co-ed dance classes where she forms a relationship with a secular kibbutzim, Dooby.  Suspicious and angry in the face of Rebecca’s growing acts of rebellion, her father reacts by setting in motion a prearranged marriage to an older widow.  Rebecca’s mother is appalled, but dare not defy the man of the household.  After Rebecca runs away from home, the family conflict culminates in a moment of truth, forcing them to confront their beliefs and one another.trailer

Apples From The Dessert is an adaptation of the award winning Israeli play that poignantly explores the themes of love and reconciliation.

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members. All tickets are $12 at the door.

Enjoy a boxed dinner between the films. Dinner:  $10 Reservation deadline:  November 5th. Dinner must be prepaid. Click here to make your dinner reservation.


Ruth ( Hannelore Elsner ) und Jonas ( Max Riemelt ) schauen ihren alten FilmThursday, November 12 – 8:00 pm, Drexel Theater

To Life! 

Directed by Uwe Janson, Narrative, 2015, 86 minutes, Germany, German with English subtitles

Jonas, a young man on the run, arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth’s life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warm-hearted aging Jewish cabaret singer saw no other way out than suicide. Meanwhile Jonas, driven by a secret, is also fleeing from his love and his future. As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas form a deep bond informed by her own tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany – a love burdened by the legacy of the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth’s past and takes part in her present, his attentions and the passionate, lusty Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life. In turn, when Ruth learns Jonas is incurably ill, she helps him find the strength to tackle his fears, and to forcefully propose “L’Chaim – To Life!”trailer

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members. All tickets are $12 at the door.


IMG_2214_JULIOSunday, November 15, 5:00 pm, Jewish Community Center

God’s Slave

Directed by Joel Novoa, Narrative, 2013, 90 minutes, Argentina/Uraguay/Venezuela, Spanish with English subtitles.

Based on the actual events of a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, this tense political thriller follows Ahmed, trained since childhood as an Islamic terrorist now assigned to execute a suicide bomb at a synagogue, and David, the determined, embittered Israeli Mossad agent who will stop at nothing to prevent the attack.  But neither man is defined solely by their extremist views.  Ahmed, posing as a doctor, lives happily with his wife and young son; though David’s marriage is on the rocks, he remains devoted to his wife and daughter.  With time running out before the attack, David zeroes in on Ahmed as a suspect, his investigation culminating in violent, if unexpected, consequences.  God’s Slave explores the lives of two men embarking on parallel paths to martyrdom, blinded by hatred born of childhood trauma, and prepared to sacrifice everything for their beliefs.trailer

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members.  All tickets are $12 at the door.

Enjoy a NY Deli dinner at 6:45pm. Dinner:  $18 Reservation deadline:  November 8th. Dinner must be prepaid. Click here to make your dinner reservation.


Dough1Sunday, November 15, 8:00 pm, Jewish Community Center


Directed by John Goldschmidt, Narrative, 2014, 95 minutes, United Kingdom/Hungary, English

An endearing comedy about an unexpected interfaith friendship set in London’s East End.  Jonathan Pryce stars as Nat, an old Jewish widower who clings to his way of life and his livelihood as a kosher bakery owner.  His customers are dying off, his sons have no interest in the family business and a hostile businessman has greedy plans for the property.  When his only worker quits, Nat reluctantly hires Ayyash, a teenage refugee from Darfur who faces his own struggles in supporting his family.  Ayyash assists with the bakery’s daily chores, while selling marijuana on the side to make ends meet. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves.trailer

Dough is a warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.

Tickets:  $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-members. All tickets are $12 at the door.



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