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 wait to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
I was entranced by this beautifully shot dramedy about an alienated stock trader son who reacquaints himself with his Moroccan father’s legacy of popular music in Casablanca. First timer Avishay Benazra, playing son Michael, has a fascinating face, and meets quite the array of quirky characters as he gradually decides to reunite his father’s group. Chief among them are a pair of vaudevillian rabbis and an often mindless, motormouth cab driver played with comic aplomb by Aziz Dadas. Their Jewish-Muslim rapport is one of the many gifts of this film, along with its sensitive exploration of that unhappy chapter in Moroccan-Jewish history when Jews fled the country during an anti-Semitic backlash in the wake of the Yom Kippur War.
*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