AJFF Playback Documentaries Week Ten Results

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 20th anniversary season continues online with an interactive film contest. We invite you, our loyal audience, to cast a vote for your favorite films from our festival vault, and help determine which will claim the title of “2020 AJFF Playback Winner" in the categories of short, documentary, and narrative.

Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz vs. Above and Beyond


Prosecuting Evil:
The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz

Dir: Barry Avrich • Canada • 2018 • 83 mins • English, with subtitles

This riveting and affecting anthem to a human rights pioneer profiles the diminutive, unsung hero who put mass-murdering Nazis on trial at Nuremberg. Born in Transylvania before his family fled to the US, Ferencz grew up in a tough New York City neighborhood, persevering as a gifted law student, then enlisting in the Army in WWII. At 27, he was thrust upon the world stage as Chief Prosecutor in the historic Nuremberg Trials, history's biggest murder case. His crusade for a new justice system based on tolerance and compassion led to the formation of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With a vivid memory and tenacious personality, the vital nonagenarian and last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, reflects on his life and career in his own powerful words. Featured at the 2019 AJFF.


Above and Beyond
Dir: Roberta Grossman • USA • 2014 • 87 mins • English, Hebrew, with subtitles

A ragtag band of volunteer airmen mobilizes in the skies above Israel to fight for the fledgling nation's survival in this true story of gallantry and war-time escapades. Barely home from WWII combat, these ace pilots – mostly Jewish-Americans – found themselves compelled to do battle yet again, this time against Arab invaders in defense of an ill-equipped Jewish state. At risk of losing their citizenship and their lives, they smuggled out surplus planes and ammunition, training in secret as they made preparations to rescue Israel from certain annihilation. Relying on a small squadron of rickety aircraft, a handful of young foreign pilots turned the tide of Israel's War of Independence and laid the foundation for the Israeli Air Force. With pluck, humor and chutzpah, these now-aging wingmen colorfully recount their remarkable mission. Featured at the 2015 AJFF.

Crime After Crime vs. Rene and I: From Auschwitz to America


Crime After Crime
Dir: Yoav Potash • USA • 2010 • 87 mins • English

Rookie lawyers battle to free an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence in Crime After Crime, a riveting California case that made national headlines. Debbie Peagler was imprisoned in connection with the murder of a man who abused her and her daughters. The story takes an unexpected turn when a pair of attorneys with no background in criminal law volunteers to take her case, exposing judicial misconduct that could result in Peagler's release. Attorney Joshua Safran, an Orthodox Jew, draws inspiration from religious tradition, while his partner, Nadia Costa brings enduring stamina as an ultra-marathon runner. Crime After Crime raises a banner on behalf of battered women and Jewish values of social justice. Featured at the 2011 AJFF.


Rene and I: From Auschwitz to America
Dir: Gina Angelone • USA • 2004 • 72 mins • English

In this gripping true story, Irene Hizme and her twin brother, Rene Slotkin are sent to Auschwitz at barely 6 years old, among the 3,000 twins subjected to Josef Mengele's experiments in his quest to create a Master Aryan race. But in most cases, Mengele murdered the twins he studied, so that he could autopsy them together. Only 160 twins survived Auschwitz. After the war, a stunning set of coincidences led to a bittersweet reunion for Irene and Rene. A chance encounter with an American rabbi, a Life Magazine photographer, President Truman and even a Jewish mobster forever changed the course of their lives. More than just a record of one of the Holocaust's darkest chapters, Rene and I is about love and courage, demons and saviors, and how rare individuals are able to rise above inhumane circumstances. Featured at the 2005 AJFF.

See the Results on Who Gets to Advance to the Next Round