A missing chapter of American Jewry comes to light in this fascinating chronicle of the Virginia home of one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence, stands as a complex symbol of the paradox of Democracy. Built and tended by slaves, the palatial plantation was a presidential retreat, retirement home, and final resting place. Sold due to mounting debts, Uriah Phillips Levy became its unlikely caretaker. Levy, a Jewish naval officer and fervent believer in Jeffersonian ideals restored and saved it from ruin. The story behind this national treasure confronts the stain of ongoing racism and anti-semitism that remain part of the national narrative.
Directed by Steven Pressman, Documentary, USA, 2021, 70 min, English
Norway, November 1941. Hundreds of Jewish men, women and children are rounded up and forced onto a ship headed for Oslo, the first stop in their journey to Auschwitz. Based on Norwegian journalist Marte Michelet’s controversial book, What Did the Resistance Know?, Betrayed tells the true story of the Braude family, an ordinary Norwegian family whose fate is sealed based on the fact that they are Jewish. Despite a national narrative denying that Norway had any knowledge of the fate of its Jewish citizens, it turns out that it was not the Germans who rounded up the Jews of Norway. It was the Norwegian police, supported by citizens who turned a blind eye.
Directed by Elrik Svensson, Narrative, Norway, 2021, 120 min, Norwegian, English subtitles
From the director and co-writer team of Fauda, comes Israel’s latest hard-boiled crime drama based on a true story. It is also Israel’s highest-rated TV series since 2015. Alon, a successful police officer leave his high-flying career in Tel Aviv to return to his home town of Nahariya. Away from the sunny beach, the town’s residents live in constant fear of a local gangland boss who controls the town. In order to restore order, Alon must engage with the crime kingpin on his own terms, forcing him to compromise his own moral code. A cautionary tale where the lines between right and wrong become increasingly blurred.
Directed by Rotem Shamir & Dan Sachar, Israel, 2021, Hebrew with English subtitles
A cranky Israeli nursing home resident gets a new lease on life as a cannabis dealer. Newly retired and recently widowed, Dov feels imprisoned in his luxurious gated community. Low on money and friends, he hatches a plot to buy back his old cottage by selling marijuana to fellow seniors. As his business takes off, it is not long before his distribution runs afoul of the police and local mafia. This surefire comedy, crowd-pleaser speaks to one man’s later life redemption.
Directed by Assaf Abiri & Matan Guggenheim, Narrative, Israel, 2020, 90 minutes, Hebrew with English subtitles