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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 5, 1996
The Eighth Annual Jewish Film Festival kicks off tonight at 7: 30 with the first of its five Jewish-interest films at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts.The film, which will be repeated at 7: 30 p.m. March 14, is "All That Really Matters," directed by Robert Glinski. Yaphet Kotto, from "Homicide," will be at tonight's screening to meet viewers.The film is part of what might be called the literature of ordeal, the account of a family's immense suffering between the years 1939 and 1945. Sound familiar?
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2011
"The Yankles" sounds like a ribald, adult hybrid of "The Bad News Bears" and "The Chosen. " The opening-night film of the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, it features "a washed-up former pro player" who is "sentenced to mandatory community service for a drunken-driving conviction" and "finds redemption by coaching an upstart Orthodox Jewish baseball team. " Jews and sports have long been a source of ethnic comedy. Jon Stewart exploits this supposed mismatch every baseball season on "The Daily Show.
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By Michael Sragow | April 6, 2003
Thirteen years ago, director Constantin Costa-Gavras (Z) made Music Box, a superb courtroom thriller about a first-generation American lawyer (Jessica Lange) defending her father against charges that he committed atrocities in Hungary, as an Arrow Cross Nazi - a "Special Section" policeman. It was partly about the cynicism of older generations who hate to be reminded of the Holocaust and partly about the ignorance of younger generations who don't know the first thing about it. The director again prods audiences out of their complacency about genocide with Amen.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2010
Watching "Eichmann" on Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival will remind viewers of the power movies can get from timing and circumstance. It's not a crackerjack film, but it's a strong conversation-starter. (Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin will be the guest speaker.) It centers on an Israeli police interrogator, Capt. Avner Less, who relentlessly questioned Adolph Eichmann, a prime engineer of Hitler's Final Solution, from May 29, 1960 (shortly after Eichmann's capture in a Buenos Aires suburb)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 1, 2005
The eager way a glittery-eyed kid at a South London synagogue tries to lure our cricket-loving hero to a study group by saying they'll be talking about sex; the moment his German-Jewish mother blurts out her bond with her new Jamaican neighbors because she, too, is an immigrant. These casual revelations from Wondrous Oblivion, tomorrow's kick-off presentation of Baltimore's Jewish Film Festival, epitomize the off-hand humor and insight to be gained from intimate depictions of a subculture - one of this festival's specialties.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 1, 2004
Baltimore's annual Jewish Film Festival may seem small, but it's become quite the player over its 16-year history. Tonight through April 25, nine films - all Baltimore premieres - will be screened at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills. All have Jewish themes or are the work of Jewish filmmakers. Most will likely never be shown on the big screen in these parts again. And many, made on a small budget and without big-time promotional campaigns, are counting on festivals like this to spread the good word, paving the way for a theatrical run or increasing interest in a DVD release.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 13, 1998
Don't let the name fool you. The Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will appeal to filmgoers of any religious affiliation."
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 6, 2007
Live and Become, a word-of-mouth hit dramatizing the plight of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, has packed houses in college towns and enjoyed four- or five-month runs in upscale communities such as West Newton, Mass. Today it finds the Baltimore home that you'd expect for any French/Israeli/Italian/Belgian co-production: the city artplex, the Charles Theatre. But a chosen few Baltimoreans got the first look at it a year ago at the William & Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival.
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By Michael Sragow | April 1, 2003
Nine days ago, Nowhere in Africa won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Tonight it's the attraction at the William and Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival. Writer-director Caroline Link's adaptation of Stefanie Zweig's autobiographical novel is exotic - in a good way. Even when the countryside is arid, Link imbues with an enigmatic luster this tale of German Jews who ship out to Africa to escape the Third Reich. The British-controlled Kenya of this movie, a magnificent land with a proud, mystical people, is never too easy to know - it forces Europeans to face themselves and forge new destinies.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | April 3, 2009
Poor Nelly. She's 13, hopelessly in love with the prince of Luxembourg and desperately in need of a good jump shot. What's a girl to do? In Anna Justice's delightful Max Minsky and Me, Sunday's offering in the 21st annual Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, the answer is clear: get someone to teach her how to play basketball, so she can get on her school team and make it to the big tournament in Luxembourg, where the hunky 16-year-old prince, a big-time hoops...
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | January 8, 2010
Director Radu Miahaileanu's 2005 "Live and Become" ("Va, vis et deviens"), a drama that begins in a Sudanese refugee camp sheltering Ethiopians displaced by civil war and famine in 1984, will be the kick-off feature Saturday of this year's Columbia Jewish Film Series. The story follows a young boy, named Schlomo, who is air-lifted from Sudan to Israel, where he is adopted by a liberal Jewish family - and finds that assimilation into this new culture is harder than he thought. Complicating matters: he is not the Falasha, or Ethiopian Jew, that his adoptive family believes.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | April 3, 2009
Poor Nelly. She's 13, hopelessly in love with the prince of Luxembourg and desperately in need of a good jump shot. What's a girl to do? In Anna Justice's delightful Max Minsky and Me, Sunday's offering in the 21st annual Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, the answer is clear: get someone to teach her how to play basketball, so she can get on her school team and make it to the big tournament in Luxembourg, where the hunky 16-year-old prince, a big-time hoops...
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | May 16, 2008
The 2008 Baltimore Jewish Film Festival wraps Sunday with Joel Katz's Strange Fruit (2002), a look at the song of the same name made famous by Billie Holiday's hauntingly evocative 1939 recording and subsequent performances. The movie will be presented by filmmaker Ivy Meeropol, whose grandfather, Bronx, N.Y., schoolteacher Abel Meeropol, wrote the song after seeing a photograph of a Southern lynching. Showtime is 3 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. Admission: $9. Information: balti morejff.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | May 2, 2008
A series of films marking the 40th anniversary of the "Catonsville Nine," a group of Catholic anti-war activists who were tried and found guilty of destroying draft files during the Vietnam conflict, will be part of a commemoration this week in the Baltimore area. Constantine's Sword, a documentary centering on author and former priest James Carroll's controversial take on Christianity and oppression, will be shown at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Mount St. Joseph High School, 4403 Frederick Ave. Admission is free, but donations are requested.
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By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,Special to The Sun | March 27, 2008
Founder Claudine Davison said the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival began in 1988 with three films and "a lot of apprehension and anxiety." So the fact that organizers are preparing to show 10 films to several thousand viewers for the 20th anniversary season Tuesday through May 18 "is a very, very good feeling," she said. "The proof is in it lasting so long." The festival, now named for the William and Irene Weinberg Family and sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore and the Senator Theatre, has moved from its early home at the Baltimore Museum of Art to the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills.
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April 12, 2007
COMEDY MASTERS OF IMPROV There's no telling what to expect when comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood get in front of an audience. The whole auditorium's a stage to these masters of improv, who hit the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Saturday for the first time since their sellout 2005 show. Both comedians have done time on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and have performed with such venerable comedy troupes as Second City and Theatersports. You might also recognize them from appearances on The Drew Carey Show.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 31, 2000
"Soleil" ("Sun"), Roger Hanin's evocative film about the coming of age of a young French boy in Algeria during World War II, will kick off the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival tomorrow at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts. The film stars a radiant Sophia Loren as a mother trying to raise her five children in safety while her husband (Phillipe Noiret) works for the French resistance. The film, which begins at 8: 45 p.m., will be the centerpiece of a post-screening discussion led by Loyola College French professor Andre-Pierre Colombat.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | April 6, 2007
Live and Become, a word-of-mouth hit dramatizing the plight of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, has packed houses in college towns and enjoyed four- or five-month runs in upscale communities such as West Newton, Mass. Today it finds the Baltimore home that you'd expect for any French/Israeli/Italian/Belgian co-production: the city artplex, the Charles Theatre. But a chosen few Baltimoreans got the first look at it a year ago at the William & Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival.
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