One of the highlights of every annual Program Guide is Professor Matthew Bernstein’s* must-see films list. He painstakingly reviews a slew of films in each year's lineup, and 2016 has him as enthusiastic as ever.
We'll be featuring his picks, one-by-one, leading up to the festival's Opening Night on January 26. Of course, if you can't wair to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
Jewish Israeli folk-rock singer-songwriter David Broza, and his long-time friend Palestinian filmmaker and musician Issa Frej, stand at the start of this documentary observing a Jerusalem Day celebration, in which different religious populations vehemently claim the Old City for themselves. Over just eight days and nights in an East Jerusalem studio, they team up on a new album with the participation of American composer Steve Earle; Palestinian rapper Muhammed Mughrabi (who brings Broza to his Shuafat refugee camp to perform for school kids); unjustly controversial Palestinian superstar singer Mira Arward; and most movingly, the Jerusalem Youth Chorus comprised of Arab and Jewish teens. The music is wonderful, and the interviews with Broza and his collaborators truly set this documentary apart, as it explores the meaning and connective power of music.
*Dr. Matthew Bernstein is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Film and Media Studies and department chair at Emory University.
Previous Must See Films of 2016