AJFF What to Watch in January

01/4/2021

Former AJFF favorites, a new documentary, a political thriller, and Hollywood classics are featured in this month's picks. Film titles are linked with information on where to watch or purchase.


Video on Demand

All the President’s Men 
With a gripping screenplay by notable Jewish screenwriter William Goldman, the film is based on the true-life story of the two reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), who wouldn't give up on the story of the Watergate break-in. 

The Princess Bride
This beloved ultimate Jewish adventure showcases some of Hollywood's best Jewish talent (Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, Carol Kane and directed by Rob Reiner) wrapped up in the heartwarming tale of a grandfather reading his grandson a fairytale, which the audience also sees brought to life. 

The Producers
The 1967 black comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder and revolves around a theater producer (Mostel) and his accountant (Wilder) who, as part of a scam, have to stage the worst stage musical they can create. They eventually find Springtime for Hitler, a new twist on Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Because of this theme, the film was controversial from the start and received mixed reviews. It went on to become a cult classic with Broadway and film adaptations.

Some Kind of Heaven
First-time feature director Lance Oppenheim unveils a new look at The Villages, America’s largest retirement community – a massive, self-contained utopia located in Central Florida. This documentary shed new light on the dreams and desires of a small group of Villages residents – and one interloper – who are unable to find happiness within the community’s pre-packaged paradise. The candy-colored documentary offers a tender and surreal look at the never-ending quest for finding meaning and love in life’s final act.

The Secrets We Keep
This high-stakes drama is the latest from Israeli Academy Award-winning director Yuval Adler with his English-language debut. Taking place in post-WWII America with the story of a small town that harbors an apparent Nazi war criminal. The film stars Chris Messina, Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman. AJFF was thrilled to discuss the film with Adler for a recent In Conversation webinar.


Blu-Ray & DVD

The Keeper 
A decorated ex-Nazi paratrooper plays for redemption on the soccer field in this rousing and romantic true story. Released from a British prisoner-of-war camp, Bert Trautmann’s goalkeeping skills secure him a position on the Manchester City team, where he catches the eye of the club manager’s daughter Margaret (Freya Mavor). But his arrival also arouses the post-war ire of fans, many of them Jewish. With unexpected support from a local rabbi, Trautmann wins over his critics, famously playing the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck. Featured at the 2020 AJFF and winner of the 2020 AJFF Best Narrative Audience Award.