Jewish Motifs Film Festival

9 November 2012 – 11 November 2012, free admission

Travelling edition of the festival has been held in Lublin since 2008. The main organiser is Warsaw’s “Jewish Motifs” Association and the local organiser – Homo Faber Association. This year, the screenings will take place in the Labirynt Gallery and in the “Kawka” Café run by Homo Faber.

In the programme there are films that can be boldly hailed as works of art – these are non-commercial, revealing movies created as a result of the quest for new ways of expression.

The screenings that will be presented in the Labirynt Gallery:


9 November (Friday):

# 17:00 Nasze dzieci / Our Children

documentary/Poland/1948/78 min

dir. Natan Gross

Holocaust survivors, Jewish children from an orphanage in Helenówek watch the performance of Dżigan and Szumacher – comedians who returned to Poland after living in the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Dżigan and Szumacher perform a theatrical play about the ghetto. The children who have undergone personal, harrowing experiences from that period and who have experienced the occupation from its worst side, strongly suffer the falsehood of presented situations. They loudly protest against the performance and cause it to be stopped… The artists are invited to the orphanage to get to know the real story of the ghetto. At first, they try to entertain children with Shalom Aleichem’s sketch Fire in Kasrylewka, but they still doubt whether they will manage to free the children from trauma and constant feeling of insecurity as well as help them break free from the horrific memories of the past…

# 18:30 Lawnswood Gardens

documentary/Poland/2011/53 min

dir. Paweł Kuczyński

Lawnswood Gardens is a film meeting with Professor Zygmunt Bauman. The film examines the relations between Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust (Nowoczesność i Zagłada) and Winter in the Morning (Zima o poranku), the diary from the Warsaw ghetto written by Professor’s wife, Janina Bauman, who died in December 2009. The story revolves around a few-day informal visit at Lawnswood Gardens road, in the Professor’s house in Leeds, Great Britain. The film also shows Janina Bauman (in archive material), Vaclav Havel, Mirosław Bałka, Anthony Bryant and Griselda Pollock, Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania, Nina Kraśko and Jerzy Wiatr. Lydia Bauman, a painter and Prefessor’s daughter is the artistic consultant of the film.

# 19:40 Ucięta dyskusja / Partly Private

documentary/Canada/2009/82 min

dir. Danae Elon

Partly Private is a witty presentation of the theme of male circumcision and the way the Western people generally feel about this rite. The author of the film examines how an ancient rite became a common medical practice in North America and in other parts of the world. The film goes beyond the arbitrary statements of what is right or wrong – it takes us into the contemporary world of alleged paganism, tribal and family heritage. The documentary constitutes a record of the author’s journey from New York and Jerusalem to Italy and Turkey.


10 November (Saturday):

# 17:00 Moja Australia / My Australia

feature film/Poland, Israel/2011/90 min

dir. Ami Drozd

Tadek, a 10-year old boy dreams about Australia, the land of kangaroos. With his older brother he is brought up without father by a busy mother. She fails to notice the fact that boys join the hooligan group. Only the group’s attack on the Jewish school and the resulting arrest of boys make her realize what is happening. The woman decides to move from Poland to… Australia. It turns out that it was Israel that was the real destination of the journey and brothers soon discover the truth about their roots.

# 18:40 Ala z elementarza / The Girl from a Reading Primer

documentary/Poland/2010/29 min

dir. Edyta Wróblewska

Alina Margolis-Edelman was – according to Marian Falski, the author of A Reading Primer (Elementarz) – the famous Ala from his book. Ala survived the horror of the ghetto and of March 68. As the only Pole among the “Doctors of the World” she went to the places of the civil war, from which doctors escaped, where no means for treating children were available. Why did she decide to experience the most terrible events? What were the costs of such a life? Was it her ghetto experiences that, similarly to her husband, Marek Edelman, made her care mainly for those with minimal chances of survival? Ala tells the story of her life enriched with fascinating tales creating an image of our times.

# 19:20 Mój tak zwany wróg / My So-Called Enemy

documentary/USA/2011/90 min

dir. Lisa Gossels

A group of Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls sets out for the United States to participate in a 10-day women’s leadership program. My So-Called Enemy tells the story of six of them. The film is a record of how an experience of knowing their “enemies” as human beings confronts with the reality of their lives in the Middle East over the next seven years. The girls grow mature and through their story we see how building relationships across borders becomes the first step towards resolving a conflict.


11 November (Sunday):

# 17:00 Między kroplami deszczu / Between the Raindrops

documentary/Poland/2009/94 min

dir. Kuba Karyś, Paulina Loszek

Between the Raindrops tells the story of Cracow Jews who survived the Holocaust. As children, Stella, Janka, Tosia, Aleksander and Janek survived the ghetto, the camps in Płaszów, Auschwitz and other concentration camps. They escaped death several times. Was it a miracle, a coincidence, God’s will or maybe only and as much as luck? These were the questions they asked themselves when they were walking in the drops of rain. They still ask them even today. The film also shows Niklas Frank – the son of Nazi governor who in occupied Cracow experienced a happy childhood. They all set out on the last journey in search of no longer existing traces and time. Perhaps, it is the most important journey of their lives.

# 18:45 Wesołych świąt / Happy Holidays

short film/Israel/2011/32 min

dir. Luca Marvanyi

Magda and Yutka, sisters who emigrated from Hungary, live in an absorption centre in Israel. On the 24th of December, Magda rejects Yutka’s request to celebrate Christmas together, as they did in their childhood. The sisters have to face their complex identity.

# 19:30 The “Socalled” Movie

documentary/Canada/2010/88 min

dir. Garry Beitel

Over 2.5 million YouTube hits for his music video You Are Never Alone helped a Montreal-based musician, filmmaker, cartoonist and magician, Josh Dolgin – aka Socalled – electrify the world of art. His extraordinary style combines surreal visuals with his own blend of hip-hop, funk and traditional Jewish music. Director Garry Beitel takes viewers on a journey inside the mind of the man hailed as “The Yiddish James Brown”, exploring his art, life and everything which makes him so fascinating.

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