SEVENTH ART FILMS
These are some of the most successful films in our library that would provide enriching viewing experiences for your community.
Body and Soul: An American Bridge explores the history of the most recorded song in jazz. Combining enlightening commentary with performances by John Coltrane, Dianne Schurr, Louis Armstrong and the New Cotton Club Orchestra, and more, this documentary uncovers the collaborations and conflicts between African Americans and Jews that lie within the roots of jazz – the music of America.
50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus follows the incredible journey of one couple navigating the realities of a 1939 Nazi policy that allowed Jews to leave Germany, but saw few countries granting them asylum. Yet in Philadelphia, a Jewish lawyer named Gilbert Kraus and his elegant wife Eleanor took on the daring task of getting 50 Jewish children out of Germany and into the United States. This tense and compelling story, narrated by Alan Alda, is brought to life by private journals and a trove of previously unseen home movies.
There Are Jews Here is an insightful, important documentary that travels to places in America in which once-thriving Jewish communities have since dwindled to just a few, following what those communities are now doing to keep their congregations active. It has played at festivals across the US and even sold out all its screenings at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Read press releases from Tablet and The Forward!
A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt is the dramatic telling of the true, but little-known story of the love, bravery, and sacrifice of Otto Weidt. An Oscar Schindler-like figure, Otto saved the lives of all of the blind and deaf employees at his brush factory. The film also brings to life his tragic love of Alice Licht and his desperate journey to save her and her family from the gas chamber, despite being almost completely blind himself.
Breakfast at Ina’s is a compelling documentary about Chicago legend Ina Pinkney, locally known as the “Breakfast Queen.” Ina has been feeding Chicagoans for the past 33 years – most recently, from her beloved breakfast nook in the West Loop. She’s a community leader, a pioneer, a television personality, but most importantly, she’s the rare sort of person who’s found a way to transform her passion into a joy that extends to an entire city, and beyond.
The Sturgeon Queens is an examination of the immigrant experience in the United States and the delicious food that results from people adapting the flavors of the old country for a new home.
Four generations of a Jewish immigrant family created Russ and Daughters, a Lower East Side lox and herring emporium that survives and thrives to this day. Produced to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the store, this documentary features an extensive interview with two of the original daughters for whom the store was named, now 100 and 92 years old, and interviews with prominent enthusiasts of the store, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy looks at the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical and many of the songs that comprise “The American Songbook.” The film showcases the work of some of the nation’s preeminent creators of musical theater, including Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, and many more.
Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown questions why American critics and tastemakers have long viewed Jerry Lewis as nothing more than a clown, while their counterparts in France and Europe have recognized him as a true auteur. Is he just a brash, anything-for-a-yuk buffoon? Or is he a creative genius? Who is the man behind the clown? Lauded by esteemed film critic Leonard Maltin as a “first-rate documentary” at the Telluride Film Festival, this film finds answers in never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with Martin Scorsese, Sean Hayes, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, and most importantly, the man himself, Jerry Lewis.
The Last Blintz chronicles the closing of the The Cafe Edison, otherwise known as The Polish Tea Room. This documentary is not just a story about another famous show business haunt shutting its doors, but also one about a multi-generational, big-hearted, mom-and-pop family business cultivated by the American Dream. It’s about the heart, soul, authenticity and distinctiveness of cities that are unfortunately ripped away for impersonal, cookie-cutter, corporate chains. It’s too late for The Cafe Edison… but, looking to the future, THE LAST BLINTZ is an impassioned plea for progress that honors the past, preserving the heart and culture of our great cities before there’s nothing left.
Time to Say Goodbye is a coming-of-age comedy about a boy at a particularly challenging moment in his life. As he becomes a teenager, he must also juggle personal conflicts driven by his relationship with his parents, who are struggling in their own ways with life, and his attempt to square religion with his feelings for the opposite sex. It is a laugh-out-loud tale of a young man navigating the awkwardness of growing up.
The Law is a riveting drama based on the inspiring true story of Simone Veil. Born in France in the 1920s, she studied politics at Paris’s prestigious Sciences Po until she and her family were deported to concentration camps during World War II. Veil survived both Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen to lead the fight for women’s rights for decades. As Chirac’s Minister of Health, she advocated for a woman’s right to choose, leading to important, but controversial legislation in 1974.
Please follow up if you would like to know more about any of these titles. We are always happy to send a digital screener if you would like to preview a film. Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon!