The Catcher Was a Spy (USA, 2018)
Sponsored in Loving Memory of Joanie Finn
This spellbinding, suspenseful thriller brings to life the incredible true story of Moe Berg, the professional baseball player who became a World War II spy. Jewish, Princeton-educated, multilingual and catcher for the Boston Red Sox, the enigmatic Berg was enlisted in 1944 by the US government’s wartime intelligence agency to assassinate the Nazis’ chief nuclear scientist before he enabled the Germans to develop an atomic bomb. Trading in his catcher’s mitt for a trench coat, Berg must rely on his formidable intellect in a high-stakes game of cat & mouse — with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. (98 minutes)
With special guest speaker Gordon Edes, award-winning sportswriter and Boston Red Sox historian.
Shoelaces (Israel, 2018)
In this award-winning Israeli film, surly Reuven reluctantly takes in his exuberant adult son with special needs, Gadi, after his ex-wife’s untimely death. As Gadi becomes accustomed to life with his father, Reuven’s newfound obligations and budding affection for his son turn his world upside down, and he vows to make up for his past shortcomings before it is too late. Thoughtful, poignant, and unexpectedly funny, Shoelaces explores the complex dynamics of adult parent-child relationships through the delicate lens of its charismatic hero. (90 minutes, subtitles)
Special guests, Jo Ann Simons, CEO of Northeast Arc, will speak at the April 29 screening and Julie Rainer Cummings, member of the Northeast Arc Board of Directors, will speak at the May 2 screening.
Who Will Write Our History
Generously sponsored by Congregation Ahabat Sholom
In November 1940, mere days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders resolved to fight back. This clandestine group, known as Oyneg Shabes, vowed to defeat the Nazi propaganda machine not with guns, but with pen and paper. Written, produced and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, Who Will Write Our History fuses the Oyneg Shabes writings with new interviews, rarely seen archival footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Warsaw Ghetto, where we become eyewitnesses to the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. (95 minutes, subtitles)
Special guests from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Salem State University, Stephenie Young will speak at the April 29 screening and Dan Eshet at the May 2 screening.
Chasing Portraits (USA, 2018)
Generously sponsored by Izzi and Howie Abrams
In this deeply intimate and engaging documentary, director Elizabeth Rynecki sets out to find the remaining work of her great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, a prolific impressionistic painter who captured scenes of pre-war Jewish life in Poland. Spanning four generations, this film is a moving narrative that depicts the richness of one man’s vision, the devastation of war, and the impact art has on its viewers and owners. Most importantly, the filmmaker unflinchingly chronicles the emotional power of her great-grandfather’s art on his family, and her unexpected personal path to closure and healing. (77 minutes)
Special guest, Dr. Lauren Fogle, Visiting Professor of History at UMass Lowell, will speak at the April 30 showing.
An Israeli Love Story (Israel, 2018)
Based on a true story and set in 1947, An Israeli Love Story explores the relationship between an aspiring actress and a kibbutznik who’s also a member of the Palmach, an elite fighting force. 18-year-old Margalit, who loves theater and dreams of becoming an actress, meets Eli from Kibbutz Beit Keshet, and her world is never the same. Margalit is determined to get close to Eli and make him fall for her, but Eli has a girlfriend and is preoccupied with preparations for the dramatic events that will spark the birth of the state of Israel. Slowly, his barriers melt, and they set a date for their wedding. All is going smoothly — until Israel’s harsh reality steps in. (93 minutes, subtitles)
Special guest, Tom Cheatham, CFO of the JCCNS will speak at both screenings.
Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel
(USA/Israel/Japan/South Korea, 2018)
A stirring story of sports and patriotism, Heading Home charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing in the World Baseball Classic. The line-up includes several Jewish-American Major League players, most with a tenuous relationship to Judaism. Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv, where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul, where they debunk their “has-been” reputations. With their Mensch on a Bench mascot by their side, the team discovers pride in representing Israel on the world stage. (91 minutes)
Special guest Neal Hoffman, creator of Mensch on a Bench, and former Marblehead resident, will speak at the May 5 screening.
A Bag of Marbles (France, 2017)
Generously sponsored by Bryna and Arthur Epstein
This is the true story of two young Jewish brothers in German-occupied France who, relying only on their mind-boggling resources of mischievousness, courage and ingenuity, are able to fend for themselves as they fight to outlive the enemy invasion and bring their family back together. Always just one false move away from tragedy, these tenacious children survive as they make their precarious way through France, hoping to reunite with their family. (110 minutes, subtitles)
In conjunction with Temple Emanu-El Movie Night.
Working Woman (Israel, 2018)
Orna, the mother of three young children with a husband struggling to start his own restaurant, returns to the workplace, landing a job with her former army superior, Benny, who is now a successful real estate developer. As Orna embraces her new position and tries to balance its demands with her home life, she begins to experience escalating sexual harassment from her boss. Her rapid rise through the ranks and her increasing financial success seem to parallel a pattern of predatory behavior, which ultimately brings her career and marital relationship to the brink of disaster. (93 minutes, subtitles)
Special guest, Shulamit Reinharz, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Sociology at Brandeis University will speak at the May 1 screening.
Winter Hunt (Germany, 2018)
Generously sponsored by Linda and John Smidt
In this contemporary psychological thriller, a young woman on a personal mission of vigilante justice goes to extremes as she seeks reprisal against a suspected ex-Nazi. Feigning a car accident, Lena begs for help to gain entrance to the home of a former Auschwitz guard accused of war crimes. Lena’s efforts to extract a confession at gunpoint result in a twisted game, as the three characters enter a standoff fraught with moral complexities and shocking revelations. (75 minutes, subtitles)
Leona (Spain, 2018)
An intimate and moving film, Leona portrays a young, non-conformist Jewish artist from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her traditional, observant family and a forbidden love. Ripe with drama and interpersonal conflicts, she negotiates the labyrinth of familial pressure and religious precedent, as she realizes there are no easy choices to be made. (95 minutes, subtitles)
This film is meant for mature audiences.
Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal (Canada, 2018)
Generously sponsored by Rhonda and John Gilberg
Struggling with their own proverbial “YidLife Crisis,” two Montrealers on the cusp of middle age return to their home-town to discover their own mixed-up heritage in this story of Jewish Montreal. Chewdaism follows Jamie and Eli as they discover the roots of their city’s Jewish community by noshing their way through a series of classical Jewish eateries. The duo tells the story of their community over the last 100 years and shares tales and meals with various colorful guests along the way. (62 minutes)
Special guest, Alon Munzer, owner of Mamaleh’s Delicatessen of Cambridge will speak at both showings.
Sustainable Nation (USA/Israel, 2018)
Generously sponsored by Sharon and Howard Rich
This is a FREE community event in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, in partnership with CJP’s Torah Hub
Sustainable Nation follows three Israelis who are doing their part to bring sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet, where one in 10 people lacks access to safe drinking water. The work of this visionary trio highlights the nexus between food, energy and water and underscores how solving these enormous challenges can help free women, and the world, from life threatening poverty, illness and lack of opportunity. (60 minutes, subtitles)
With special guest speaker Avi Jorisch, entrepreneur, Middle East expert, and author of Thou Shalt Innovate
Prosecuting Evil (USA, 2018)
Generously sponsored by Sondra and Herb Kupersmith
This gripping documentary tells the captivating story of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. After witnessing the horror of the Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ferencz, at age 27, was asked to be lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case — the biggest murder trial in history that led to the conviction of Nazi officials. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. At age 99, his fight for justice for victims of atrocity crimes continues today. (83 minutes)