AJFF Music Films of Yesterday

03/16/2015

In honor of the kick-off of the 6th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, we'd like to take this opportunity to highlight AJFF films that celebrated the music. Here are just a few of the films that we have shown in past festivals and information on where you can find them (if available) to watch now!

2013

El Gusto
A must-see for world music lovers and students of Muslim-Jewish relations, El Gusto rediscovers the lost melodies of Chaabi, an infectious musical form that transcends national, social, and religious boundaries. Echoing The Buena Vista Social Club, this heartwarming film is sure to elicit tears and cheers as it weaves a mosaic of Algerian history, multiculturalism, and effervescent music. 

DVD is currently available to purchase at the film's website.

Hava Nagila (The Movie)
Encapsulating 150 years of Jewish history with humor and heart, Hava Nagila (The Movie) traces the cultural impact of the instantly recognizable Hebrew folk song that transcended its origins to become a worldwide hit. Packed with celebrity interviews and lighthearted pop culture references, and narrated by actress Rusty Schwimmer, director Roberta Grossman's immensely entertaining, upbeat, toe-tapping documentary celebrates the resilient and jubilant spirit of people, and the cross-cultural connections that can be achieved only through music

Our 2013 Opening Night film, you can see it now on Netflix or download through the iTunes store.

2014

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, shares her remarkable secrets to longevity and happiness in The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke, this uplifting story won the Oscar for the Documentary Short Subject and is available to view on Netflix. 

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love
The musical showman who scored some of the most indelible melodies of stage and screen is affectionately remembered in Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love. Interviews with Hamlisch, and a constellation of his collaborators – from Barbra Streisand and Carly Simon to Woody Allen and Lucie Arnaz – trace the creative and personal highs and lows of this consummate artist.

Available for download through the iTunes store. 

2015

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker
Oscar-nominated filmmaker William Gazecki retraces the ragsto- riches story of an unlikely starlet whose groundbreaking style ruled 20th century show business, in The Outrageous Sophie Tucker. A crowd-pleasing walk-down-memory-lane, this film celebrates a multi-talented trailblazer whose chutzpah and oversized persona defined generations of female entertainers.

It continues to be shown at film festivals around the world and is not currently available for at home viewing.

Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
Immortalizing two beloved cultural icons in an enchanting musical biography, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem is a joyous extravaganza of Jewish storytelling and song. Narrated by Emmy-winning actor Alan Alda, this documentary is full of wisdom, warmth, laughter and tears as it spills forth a fountain brimming with Yiddish heritage.

Currently making the rounds on the festival circuit, this film is not available to view at home. But stay tuned!