Running tomorrow, July 4 through Saturday, July 13, the Jerusalem Film Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary. Long established as one of the region’s key film events, the festival annually showcases a broad range of both international and new Israeli productions. More than 40 documentary features and hybrids are included in this year’s lineup, appearing in a standalone competition as well as in various other sections of the festival. The following spotlights a few select titles:
Among the ten local titles vying for the main documentary awards are: Ilan Moskovich and Dan Bronfeld’s APOLLONIAN STORY, about a father and son, and the elaborate cave in which they live; Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani’s LIFE SENTENCES, on the different paths taken by the children of a Jewish woman and an Arab father discovered to be a terrorist; Nissim Mossek’s WILD WEST HEBRON, which finds the tables turned on a German convert to Judaism turned militant settler; Itamar Alcalay’s FOUR YEARS OF NIGHT (pictured), following a photographer as he revisits the French neo-Nazi gang he documented thirty years ago; and Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia’s ELECTRONIC HEROIN, an up-close look at the treatment for China’s Internet “addicts.”
Other Israeli titles screening include: Irit Gal’s THE FADING VALLEY, an exposé of the embattled Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley; Nurith Aviv’s ANNONCES, in which women offer their own interpretations of holy scripture; and Helen Yanovsky’s JERUSALEM BOXING CLUB (pictured), presented as a work-in-progress, about a bomb shelter turned gym that unites and inspires youth. Finally, from outside Israel in the fest’s Jewish Experience strand is Diana Groo’s REGINA, recounting the life of the first modern female rabbi, who perished at Auschwitz in 1944.