The Warsaw Jewish Film Festival
The 13th Annual Warsaw Jewish Film Festival will take place on 2-8 November at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and JCC Warsaw. This year’s festival is dedicated to Mike Nichols, who died last year. There will be 30 films that will compete for the Grand Prix (PLN 15,000 prize) funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and for the special prize funded by the President of Polish Television (PLN 10 000). Admission to all films is free of charge.
For 7 days, the guests of the 13th Warsaw Jewish Film Festival will have the opportunity to watch the most interesting productions from countries including Israel, Poland, the United States, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Canada, Switzerland, France, and Germany.
On Monday, 2 November, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews hosted a screening of the festival opener, Michał Szczerbic’s ‘Sprawiedliwy’ (the directorial debut of the scriptwriter of Róża, Wojciech Smarzowski) starring several Polish actors (Jan Wieczorkowski, Aleksandra Hamkało, Maja Komorowska, Beata Tyszkiewicz, and Olgierd Łukaszewicz). This moving production, featuring the Polish countryside and the radical approaches of Poles to saving Jews, is about 6-year-old Hania, who is taken in by a young married couple during the war.
On 8 November, the festival’s closing ceremony will include the screening of the Israeli film ‘Sabena Hijacking – My Version’ (directed by Rani Saar), which tells the dramatic story of the 1972 hijacking of the Belgian Sabena airplane by terrorists of the Black September Organization, an armed division of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
This year’s festival also includes Polish films that touch upon issues important to the contemporary debate on the relations between Poles and Jews: the attitude of Polish peasants towards the rescue of Jews (‘Klezmer’, 7/11 at 9:00 PM), the memory of the Kielce Pogrom (‘Amnezja’, 7/11 o 19:00), the resurrection of Jewish life in contemporary Poland (‘Powrót’, 3/11 at 6:00 PM, and ‘Wznieśmy dach’, 5/11 at 8:15 PM). Other noteworthy films include ‘Felix and Meira’ (6/11 at 6:00 PM), a love story about an eccentric artist and a Hasidic girl from an orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Montreal; the comedy drama set in France entitled ‘To Life!’ starring Julie Depardieu (7/11 at 16:45); and the documentary ‘Treblinka's Last Witness’, which tells the exceptional story of Samuel Willenberg, a sculptor, painter, and one of the rebels in Treblinka (6/11 at 4:00 PM).
The Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, sponsored in part by Kulczyk Foundation, is a regular event aimed at expanding awareness of the Jewish community in Poland and throughout the world, educate, and fight xenophobia, intolerance, and anti-Semitism.