My Best Enemy Kicks Off Film Fest This Sunday

My Best Enemy will grip you to your seat and surprise you with its exciting combination of suspense, betrayal, and romance. Kicking off the Eighth Annual Columbus Jewish Film Festival, the film will appeal to just about everyone.

“Something for everyone” seems to be the theme of the entire festival, with films that address a broad range of subject matter through a variety of genres. Running November 4-18, this year’s festival brings a compelling lineup featuring 12 films that represent the very best in contemporary Jewish filmmaking from all over the world.

The 2012 festival is bigger than ever, as Festival Co-chairs have added two more films, two extra days, and more opportunities to interact with the filmmakers. Carole Genshaft, Columbus Jewish Film Festival Co-chair, said, “We are looking forward to a wonderful two weeks of great feature films and documentaries, fascinating speakers, and fun-filled receptions. These films and events are sure to delight film-lovers throughout the city.”

Jewish Film Festival Co-chair Linda Katz said, “Our films are all so wonderful this year that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have. It’s our opening night feature, My Best Enemy, and it’s filled with suspense, comedy, drama, and more. I encourage everyone to get tickets to this one quickly, as space is limited, and everyone will be talking about this movie.”

The Columbus Museum of Art will host the November 4 opening night celebration that features My Best Enemy, a WWII-era caper packed with thrills and twists galore. My Best Enemy premiered to critical acclaim at the Berlin International Film Festival and uses absurdist humor to tackle the serious subject matter of Nazis and war-torn Europe. A champagne and dessert reception will follow the 7 p.m. screening.

But if you’re more in the mood for intriguing, thought-provoking stories based on current events, “Doc Sunday” at the Drexel Theater on November 11 is sure to satisfy. Three hauntingly introspective documentaries are featured: Standing Silent, An Article of Hope, and The Flat.

Standing Silent examines what happens when a journalist refuses to remain silent and exposes a sexual abuse scandal within his own Jewish community. In the wake of recent revelations of abuse inside sacred institutions, the film is timely in addressing the importance of acknowledging that our communities may not be as pristine as we imagined.

The Flat shows how a family recovers from the discovery of their grandmother’s hidden Nazi propaganda and a concealed relationship with a Nazi officer. An Article of Hope chronicles the journey of Israel’s first astronaut. Audience members can discuss the films with their creators during Q&A sessions following both Standing Silent and An Article of Hope.

Another festival highlight is the November 13 Drexel presentation of A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, the story of a girl trying to overcome hatred toward her Palestinian neighbors. French-Israeli teenager Tal inserts a message in a bottle which reaches her “Gazaman” neighbor, Naim. Never able to meet, the pair are constricted not only by their limited communication but by the confinement of their lives. Taking on the Arab-Israeli conflict with refreshing optimism, the film ends with both Tal and her penpal finding a path to freedom.

“Schmmmovie: Schmooze, Munch & Movie” on November 15 is sure to please those looking for fun. Schmooze and munch over cocktails and appetizers at Barrel 44 Whiskey Bar in Bexley, then see The Day I Saw Your Heart at the Drexel. Starring Melanie Laurent from Inglourious Basterds, the film is a comedic look at the tensions of father-daughter relationships.

Even more whimsy is promised by a closing night celebration on November 18 that includes a double feature, Q&A session, and Israeli dinner. David will be screened at the JCC, directly followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director, Joel Fendelman. Hava Nagila (The Movie) will end the night by taking a look at the history and origins of the melody, Hava Nagila.

Films will be shown at three different venues: the Drexel Theater, the JCC, and the Columbus Museum of Art. Buy a Reel Pass for $110 to get into all films and events, or purchase tickets individually; $8 for JCC members, seniors and students, $10 for non-members. Outside of the Reel Pass, events with meals cost extra. For more information, tickets, and a complete listing of the festival’s many great films and events, visit the film festival web page or call (614) 559-6212.