AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in October


From the big screen to the small, we have some ideas about what to watch this month. Among our recommendations is a film featuring the true story of scholar Deborah Lipstadt, several classics you should re-visit, and the sequel to a beloved animated film.

In Theatres

Based on the acclaimed book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, the film recounts Emory College of Arts and Sciences’ and frequent AJFF guest, Deborah Lipstadt’s, as played by Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, played by Timothy Spall, who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton, played by Tom Wilkinson, to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.

The Great Dictator
For just one night this Charlie Chaplin classic returns to theatres at Midtown Art Cinema on October 18. The 1940 political satire comedy-drama film was written, directed, produced, scored by and starred Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other films. In it, Chaplin shines as both a ruthless fascist dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber. Though the film became Chaplin's most commercially successful film, he later stated in his 1964 autobiography that he could not have made the film if he had known about the true extent of the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps at the time.


Ferris Bueller's Day Off
In the now classic 1986 film and John Hughes' love letter to his adopted hometown of Chicago, Matthew Broderick takes center stage as the coolest guy you'd ever hope to know, Ferris Bueller. There are few scenes that haven't become hyper-quotable and the film also features memorable moments from Jennifer Grey pre-Dirty Dancing and Ben Stein, probably most well-known for the quote referenced above.

Gentleman's Agreement
This 1947 drama film is about a journalist, played by Gregory Peck, who poses as a Jew to research an exposé on antisemitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, Connecticut. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, it wound up winning three for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Celeste Holm and Best Director for Elia Kazan. 

DVD & Blu-Ray

Café Society
Café Society is the latest film written and directed by Woody Allen. The romantic comedy-drama recently opened at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, which brings the writer-director's current total with the festival to his 14th film to screen out of competition at the festival, and the third to open it. His latest stars Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, and Jesse Eisenberg as Allen's latest surrogate as a version of Allen himself.

Finding Dory
Jewish actor Albert Brooks has long personified, in the majority of his film roles, the anxious Everyman, which translated seamlessly into his portrayal of the loveable clownfish, Marlin, in Finding Nemo. In this sequel, he returns to help Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, the hopelessly forgetful fish as she sets out to reunite with her mother, voiced by Diane Keaton and father, voiced by Jewish actor Eugene Levy. See more about Pixar and the Jewish connection here.