The UK Jewish Film Festival is an opportunity to learn from and appreciate the different perspectives of Jewish – and non-Jewish – experience through a diverse line-up of films
Films have a role in teaching us about the world. The best movies are the ones which deliver a message, tell a story and have a purpose; they truly can change and shape our perspectives. As such, film festivals and screenings are great events not to be missed as they present an opportunity to learn and unlearn through a series of images masterfully put together to speak on specific issues. We cannot mention movies without mentioning film festivals. Neither can we talk about film festivals without pointing out the UK Jewish Film Festival.
For those who have never heard about the Jewish Film Festival, a great way to start is to visit their excellent and richly documented website where it is possible to find answers to almost all questions one might have.
The major motive of its founder and executive director, Judith Ironside, ‘an ideas person’, has been the ambition of promoting tolerance and understanding. The UK Jewish Film Festival, which currently has screenings in Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds and London, is rooted in the tradition which gave birth to the 1997 Brighton Film Festival. Today Jewish Film Festivals are also held in Las Vegas, Zagreb, Amsterdam and San Francisco, and Jewish films are celebrated at a universal level.
The festival is now celebrating its 16th anniversary and will showcase more than 70 movies from 1 to 18 November 2012. The films are divided into eight categories: Galas (buzzes), Become (identities), Conflict (stories of-), Embrace (on the human condition), Icons (heroes), Reminisce (time travel), Roots (the word says it all), and Schtik (Jewish humour).
If I had to choose must-see movies, I would identify six films which, in my opinion, have the potential to bring the two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict together:
Finally, I choose to conclude by quoting Mark Twain: “Truth is stranger than fiction but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” There is a fine line between truth (non-fiction) and fiction in films. The UK Jewish Film Festival blurs that fine line and promises to at least raise thought-provoking questions, if not construct a new understanding and a better, more informed perspective on many issues, particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the films I have listed.
Image from: http://ukjewishfilm.org/festival-2012
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