2015 Holocaust Film Series Announced

By February 10, 2015 Events
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In recognition of an overwhelmingly positive response to its inaugural season, the Holocaust Film Series, presented by Jewish International Film Festival, returns to Melbourne and Sydney from 12 to 25 March.

Despite the title of this series, the journey we invite audiences to embark upon is not grim, but one of courage, fascination and admiration for the people who have lived through some of modern history’s most challenging events. For it is only by facing the past and learning from their experiences, that we can continue to develop and appreciate the gift of life, whilst striving to banish the racial prejudice that still continues to motivate so many crimes.

The 2015 Holocaust Film Series is therefore proud to present 35 utterly compelling feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world, all of which will be screening for the very first time in Australia, with no guarantee of repeat viewings. The eclectic range of stories showcased will enthrall, inform and give pause for reflection.

While some may think the cinematic potential of the Holocaust has been exhausted over the past 70 years, nothing could be further from the truth. Tales of incredible human resilience continue to emerge, and we are honoured to showcase a vital selection of stories that illuminate a period of history that produced the very best and worst of mankind, with repercussions that still echo.

Highlights include:

Forbidden Films

Germany / 2014 / Documentary / 94 min

Over one thousand feature films were made in Germany’s Third Reich. According to experts, some 100 of these were blatant propaganda. More than 40 remain nearly 70 years after the end of the Nazi regime. This is their story.

Farewell Herr Schwartz

Germany, Israel / 2013 / Documentary / 96 Min

Michla and her brother Feiv’ke were inseparable before the Holocaust. Upon learning of Feiv’ke’s death, Michla moves, in grief, to the new state of Israel. The filmmaker—Michla’s granddaughter—investigates what really happened to her grandmother’s beloved brother.
*Winner Best Documentary – Haifa IFF.

To Life

France / 2013 / Feature /104 min

To Life is French director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s polished follow-up feature film to his documentary Irene and Her Sisters. Zilbermann relates the story of three young Jewish women who were deported to Auschwitz and finally reconnect with each other 15 years later, during a warm summer in Berck plage.

Secrets of War

Netherlands / 2014 / Feature / 95 min

In 1943, two young best friends in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands find their bond put to the supreme test in this bittersweet ode to lost innocence.

Lessons of Survival: Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal

Belgium / 2014 / Documentary / 57 min

This documentary depicts a series of intimate and friendly conversations with legendary Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who shares his insights into the psychology, philosophy and sociology of the Holocaust. Finnish director Inna Rogatchi will be in attendance 11-17 March

Radical Evil

Germany, Austria / 2014 / Documentary / 92 min

Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) directs Radical Evil, a documentary asking why ordinary people become mass murderers.

Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent

USA / 2014 / Documentary / 50 min

This film traces the life of Joachim Prinz, an outspoken rabbi who lived through the Nazi regime to become a significant American civil rights activist.

My Mother and Other Catastrophes—A live play reading

Australia / 2015 / Play Reading / 80 min

A darkly comic story of four generations of Melbourne Jewish women, the matriarch of whom—Gitl Silverstein—is 116 years old, a survivor and dominating scold, undiminished by suffering and hopeless dysfunctional progeny. Directed by AFI award winning filmmaker Rivka Hartman. *Melbourne Only

Weapons of the Spirit: New 25th Anniversary Edition

USA, France/1985-2015/ Documentary/ 90 min

During World War II, in and around one village in Nazi-occupied France, five thousand Jews were sheltered by five thousand Christians. This story of a huge collaborative effort to save innocent lives is inspiring and uplifting, celebrating the goodness of the human spirit in the darkest of times.

A Blind Hero—The Love of Otto Weidt

Germany / 2014 / Feature/ 90 min

This film tells of the “unsung Schindler” Otto Weidt, a factory owner who hid his mostly Jewish and blind employees from the Nazis. A fervent anti-Nazist, Weidt used his cunning to save dozens of Jewish souls and protect the life of his Jewish love.

TICKETS ON SALE FROM 12 FEBRUARY 2015

Visit the official website at: http://www.jiff.com.au/hfs