Dramas dominate this month's picks that include several award-winning performances and notable biographic profiles.
Part of the 2020 UK Jewish Film Festival, the film follows a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) as they struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes. The Noah Baumbach film has been described as "somewhere between the bittersweet romantic comedy of Annie Hall and the divorce-weepie tradition of Kramer vs. Kramer."
Video on Demand
The 1968 psychological Jewish horror film was written and directed by controversial Jewish director Roman Polanski, and based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by famed Jewish author Ira Levin. In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film was Roman Polanski's first U.S. picture and was incredibly faithful to its source material. Producer William Castle speculated one of the reasons for that may have been because it was the first time Roman Polanski had ever adapted another writer's work and Polanski may have been unaware he had the freedom to improvise on the book. Veteran actress Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film.
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.
Mike Wallace is Here
This documentary, which relies solely on archival footage, is as much about the venerated Jewish former 60 Minutes reporter as it is about the evolution of broadcast journalism. The well-received film premiered recently at the Sundance Film Festival.
Blu-Ray & DVD
Tel Aviv on Fire
Featured this summer as part of AJFF Selects, this audacious, big-hearted satire follows a soap opera writer who finds himself caught in the crossfire of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Best Israeli Film winner at the Haifa International Film Festival.