Beginning tonight, Wednesday, January 14, and running through Thursday, January 29, the 24th edition of the New York Jewish Film Festival will unspool at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. A co-presentation of The Jewish Museum and the Film Society, this year’s festival will feature more than 30 new and retrospective feature films, as well as shorts and special programs, of which eleven are nonfiction, noted below:
A number of the festival’s docs explore film history, including David Cairns’ NATAN (pictured), a playful investigation into the Romanian Jew who led the legendary Pathé studios but has been long forgotten; Felix Moeller’s FORBIDDEN FILMS, an exploration of the most controversial of the films produced in Nazi Germany; and Hilla Medalia’s THE GO-GO BOYS: THE INSIDE STORY OF CANNON FILMS, about the team of Golan and Globus, the B-movie kings of the 1980s.
Other portraits of creative individuals may be found in Guy Natanel and Annie Sulzberger’s THE KING OF NERAC, about painter David Breuer Weil; Asaf Galay and Shaul Betser’s opening night film, THE MUSES OF ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER (pictured), which seeks to explore the Nobel Prize winning author through the women in his life; William Gazecki’s THE OUTRAGEOUS SOPHIE TUCKER, on the Russian Jew who became the Queen of Vaudeville; and the special 25th anniversary screening of Jennie Livingston’s seminal PARIS IS BURNING.
NYJFF’s remaining nonfiction features explore history: Roberta Grossman’s ABOVE AND BEYOND looks at the secret American history of the Israeli air force; Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky’s THE ZIONIST IDEA unpacks the controversial ideology for the modern era; Dieter Reifarth’s THE TUGENDHAT HOUSE reveals the decades of history behind a Czech building originally inhabited by a Jewish family in 1930; and Yossi Aviram’s THE POLGÁR VARIANT (pictured) tells the tale of three Hungarian sisters raised to think only about chess.