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Triad Jewish Film Festival rolls again in Greensboro

by Mark Burger

The 14th Annual Triad Jewish Film Festival (TJFF) will again bring an eclectic selection of acclaimed feature films to area audiences when it opens Saturday, Feb. 7.

There will, however, be a special preview presentation this Thursday of Brothers (2008), a drama about the conflicts that arise between two brothers, one of whom lives on a kibbutz in Israel and the other an esteemed lawyer who travels from the United States to Jerusalem to defend the rights of a group of Torah students. This film, in Hebrew with English subtitles, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at Beth David Synagogue, 804 Winview Dr., Greensboro.

The TJFF has also added a family component to this year’s festival, with a special “TJFF Kids’ Classic” screening of the 1986 animated feature An American Tail at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8 at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, 2134 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro.

The film explores the immigration experience through the eyes of young Fievel Mousekewitz, a Russian- Jewish mouse who has come to America in the late 19 th century. Directed by Don Bluth under the auspices of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, the film features the voices of Phillip Glasser (as Fievel), Christopher Plummer, Nehemiah Persoff, Dom DeLuise and Madeline Kahn, and earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Song (“Somewhere Out There”). An American Tail also spawned a sequel and a subsequent animated TV series.

The remaining films in the festival will be screened at the Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro. These include the opening night film 24 Days (2014), an award-winning dramatization of the circumstances surrounding the abduction of Ilan Hamimi, a young Parisian Jew kidnapped by a gang of street toughs who, believing all Jews to be rich, demand an exorbitant ransom for his safe release.

Other TJFF offerings include The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, an affectionate documentary about “the Last of the Red Hot Mommas,” the incomparable Russian-Jewish immigrant who became a superstar; Closed Season, an intimate drama set against the backdrop of World War II; Kaddish for a Friend, a fact-based drama about the relationship that develops in Berlin between a Palestinian teenager and the elderly Jewish man whose house he has vandalized; the award-winning documentary The Green Prince, which examines the life of Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who becomes an agent for the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency; and director Pepe Danquart’s award-winning Run Boy Run, based on Uri Orlev’s best-seller, which explores the Holocaust and World War II as seen through the eyes of a teenager who escapes the Warsaw Ghetto.

The festival’s mission is to bring people together from diverse backgrounds that share both a love for film and an interest in the spectrum of Jewish culture both here and abroad.

Admission to each film is $10.

Admission to An American Tail is $5. A “Reel Deal” pass, which includes tickets for all festival films, is $63. For a complete schedule of screenings and events, or for more information, call the Greensboro Jewish Federation at 336.852.5433, or visit the official TJFF website: mytjff.com/.

GEEKSBORO HOSTS KUROSAWA CLASSIC

In addition to hosting An American Tail at the Triad Jewish Film Festival, the Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema will launch the grand opening of its “Arthouse Revival” film series on Friday, Feb. 6 with special 30th-anniversary screening of Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 epic Ran (in Japanese with English subtitles), which stars Tatsuya Nakadai as an aging warlord whose decision to divide his empire into three sections, one for each of his sons, has devastating consequences.

Based, in case you haven’t guessed, on Shakespeare’s King Lear, Ran is considered among Kurosawa’s greatest films “” and he made plenty of them “” and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Costume Design, winning the latter for Emi Wada.

Geeksboro, with the help of a grant bestowed by Arts Greensboro, has instituted this series to preserve arthouse cinema culture in the region by scheduling week-long engagements of independent, foreign and documentary features.

This event will include free wine tastings and sushi, and an introduction by Philip J. Brubaker, filmmaker, scholar and now Geeksboro’s independent films curator. !

WANNA go?

Ran will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6 at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, 2134 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Tickets are $4. For advance tickets or more information, call 336.355.7180, email movieshowjoe@gmail.com or visit the official website: geeksboro.com.

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