AJFF What to Watch in December


In-depth character portrayals are the theme of this month's picks including several featuring award-winning performances. 

In Theatres

A Hidden Life
Written and directed by Terrence Malick, this drama depicts the real-life story of Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector during World War II, who faced the threat of execution for refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War II.

Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler stars in this drama as a charismatic New York City jeweler who makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Along the way, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.

Video on Demand

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Full of eye-opening surprises, the documentary goes behind the public persona of a deeply misunderstood Hollywood starlet to reveal the thwarted ambitions of a brilliant inventor. Hedy Lamarr narrates her trailblazing story through never-before-heard audio recordings, augmented by interviews with surviving family, friends and luminaries. Screened at the 2018 AJFF.

Man on the Moon
Jim Carrey received critical acclaim for his performance as the late Jewish American entertainer Andy Kaufman, winning a Golden Globe for this 1999 biographical comedy-drama. The film, directed by Miloš Forman, also features Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, and Paul Giamatti. The documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond was released in 2017 and followed Carrey's performance as Kaufman in the film, a performance he maintained during much of the film's production.

The Pawnbroker 
This 1964 American drama based on the novel of the same name and directed by Sidney Lumet, stars Rod Steiger and focuses on former professor Sol Nazerman (Steiger), a survivor of a German concentration camp who now runs a pawn shop in East Harlem.The film was the first produced entirely in the United States to deal with the Holocaust from the viewpoint of a survivor. In 2008, the fllm was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  

Blu-Ray & DVD

Raise the Roof
In this film, which had its world premiere at the 2015 AJFF, artists Rick and Laura Brown inspire an international team to reconstruct one of the magnificent wooden synagogues of Poland, the last of which were destroyed by Nazis during World War II. As over 300 students and artisans work, they discover a little-known period of history when Jews and Poles worked side-by-side to create a stunning, mysterious, and profoundly meaningful building.

Shalom Bollywood
A former pick for both AJFF's annual festival and AJFF Connects, this documentary celebrates the unique cross-section of cultures that informed the development of Indian cinema. Interviews plus rare archival footage and retro-style music and animation, revive the all-singing, all-dancing cheeky feel of a Bollywood production.

Where's My Roy Cohn
Considered one of the most controversial and influential American men of the 20th Century, Roy Cohn was a ruthless and unscrupulous lawyer and political power broker whose 28-year career ranged from acting as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist-hunting subcommittee to shaping the career of a young Queens real estate developer named Donald Trump. The film's name is reported to be a quote from President Donald Trump, as he discussed Attourney General Jeff Sessions's recusal from the Mueller Investigation.