Raanana Cinema Club

Monthly screening of acclaimed documentary films - 20:00 at Yad Lebanim, Raanana.
Tickets: NIS 60; ESRAcards NIS 50. Reservations in advance from ESRA 09-748 2957.


You can see a list of all the films shown at the ESRA Raanana Cinema Club by clicking on the red highlight, or on the link below.


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ESRA's Cinema Club in Raanana re-opened in February 2015, honoring Audrey Goodman ז''ל  who conceived and ran the program for 10 years.


Ellen Kronitz is ESRA's volunteer coordinator for the Cinema Club. If anyone has any suggestions or requests for films please contact her at: ejkejs@smile.co.il.


2018 Season

Wednesday 3 January

"WHO’S GONNA LOVE ME NOW?" 

Directed by Barak Heymann

Saar is a gay man from a religious family in Israel. After being kicked out of his ‎conservative kibbutz because of his sexual orientation, Saar flees to London ‎where he enjoys a gay lifestyle denied to him in Israel.

Saar finds himself torn between the two worlds and must make a decision: should ‎he return to Israel and embrace his family once more, or stay in London and live ‎in exile forever. Saar and the rest of the London Gay Men's Chorus provide a ‎glorious soundtrack for this tender, honest and intimate film. ‎

Shot over several years, this documentary is about the power of forgiveness and ‎the power that home has, no matter how far we go.‎


2017 season

Wednesday 22 November

"PARTNER WITH THE ENEMY" 
a complex ‎story suffused with vibrant color and strong characters.
Directed and Produced by Duki Dror and Chen Shelach

In the midst of the ever-fraught Israeli-Palestinian political landscape, two women, one Israeli and one Palestinian, attempt the seemingly impossible: to build a business together.

The Israeli business partner, Anat Shelach, will speak after the film.‎
Wednesday 25 October 2017

"WEEK 23"  -
a gentle, compassionate film made by director Ohad Milstein. In her 23rd week, his wife Rahel learns that one of the fetuses died ‎in utero, with a high chance that the surviving fetus will be ‎born with severe brain damage. . They recommend to terminate the pregnancy.‎ This presents the couple with a critical dilemma. Should they really end the pregnancy ‎by aborting the surviving fetus?‎

The Director of the Film, Ohad Milstein, spoke after the film.‎


Tuesday 12 September 2017

Operation Wedding    Directed By   Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov      
Produced by Sasha Klein, Guntis Trekteris, Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov

Leningrad, 1970. A group of young Jewish dissidents plots to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. Caught by the KGB a few steps from boarding, they were sentenced to years in the gulag and two were sentenced to death; they never got on a plane. 45 years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov reveals the compelling story of her parents, leaders of the group, "heroes" in the West but "terrorists" in Russia, even today.


Wednesday 12 July 2017   -   HAUTE CUISINE GOES KOSHER      Directed by Noemi Schory

Jerusalem was the site for a gathering of 13 of the world's greatest chefs who toiled for two ‎days to prepare a 12-course feast for the senses. ‎The celebration was for Jerusalem's 3000th birthday and yes-there was a catch. Everything ‎had to be kosher!

The documentary follows the fun as each chef, including New Orleans' Paul Prudhomme (who ‎created an entirely new dish for the event), prepared for the big moment when 350 lucky ‎guests would arrive for dinner. ‎

Director Noemi Schory spoke after the screening


June 2017 -  "Handa Handa 4"‎   Directed by ‎David Ofek & Neta Shoshani

Ronen and Orit have been together for almost three years. Both of them come from ‎highly respected Bukhari families. Ronen is the star of Handa Handa theater troupe, a ‎hit among the Bukhari community in Israel and around the world.

According to the ‎strict Bukhari tradition couples must marry after a brief acquaintance. But Ronen and ‎Orit rebel against their families and refuse to get married. Even making every effort to ‎protect Orit’s “honor” is not enough for her parents, who demand they either marry or ‎break up. Their love is trapped between tradition and modernity‏

Director David Ofek will speak after the screening

 


May 2017 -   "Dimona Twist"     Directed by Michal Aviad

Synopsis:
Seven women arrive in Israel by ship in the 1950s and 1960s and are sent straight to Dimona, a town recently established in the desert. They now open up and share their life stories that have never before been told from their perspectives. What happened during the first fifteen years to the girls and women who arrived with their families from North Africa and Poland and found themselves building a town in the middle of the desert? They talk about the pain of leaving their homes behind, about poverty and the difficulties of adjusting in their new homeland, and about their determined attempts to create rich and meaningful lives.

In the film Dimona Twist, which mixes between conversations with the protagonists and private and public archives, they recount the struggles they took part in and the insights they gained, with humor, sorrow and dignity.

Director Michal Aviad spoke after the screening
 



March 2017 -  "Tour De Finaly"  Directed by Micha Shagrir

Synopsis:  Grenoble, France, late-1943. Dr. Fritz and Annie Finaly handed over their children – two-and-a-half year old Robert and eighteen-month-old Gerald – into the guardianship of a neighbor. In February 1944, Fritz and Annie were arrested by Gestapo agents and never seen again. Records show they were killed in Auschwitz.

The film “Tour de Finaly” recounts the journey of Robert and Gad Finaly - now adult
s with children and grandchildren of their own – to the geographical milestones of their childhood. The film winds between France, Israel, Italy and Austria, incorporating rare archival footage.

Dr Robert Finaly spoke after the screening

 


February 2017 -   "Ameer Got His Gun"

Produced by Saar Yogev, Directed by Naomi Levari, Written by Naomi Levari & Saar Yogev

Ameer is about to enlist in the army. As opposed to the majority of eighteen-‎year-old boys in Israel, for whom army service is mandatory, Ameer is exempt ‎from military service under the assumption that his enlistment may endanger ‎Israel’s security. That is because Ameer is a Muslim Arab.‎
All alone, he sets out on a journey of civic and self-definition, while carefully ‎navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies.‎
Ameer, an eternal optimist, wishes to be both a proud Arab and an ‎enthusiastic Israeli, while his only enemy is reality.‎

One of the writers, Naomi or Saar, will speak with us after the screening


January 2017 -   "TINGHIR - JERUSALEM: ECHOES FROM THE MELLAH"

Documentary Moroccan-born Muslim filmmaker Kamal Hachkar explores the 2000-year-old Mellah (Jewish quarter) in his family’s village of Tinghir, Morocco, and follows the trail of the town’s once substantial Jewish population to its émigrés and descendants in Israel. In the film, he weaves back and forth between his city’s old Jewish quarter and Israel, where he meets Sephardic Jews who still hold tight to their Moroccan identity.

A fascinating, inquisitive, and deeply humanist work that presents the true story of a long term collaboration between Jews and Muslims that eventually fell apart. As Hachkar tries to understand exactly what happened, he simultaneously seeks a better way forward.
Director Kamal Hachkar spoke after the screening

slideshow teaser: 
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Raanana Cinema Club - List of Films


 


2016 season


December 2016     ‎'Open Heart'       Directed by Gad Aisen

Ami Shinfeld was a young boy from an ultra-Orthodox family in Bnei Brak who managed to fulfill his dream and become a top cardiac surgeon at Sheba Hospital. A few years ago, when the town of Sderot came under missile fire, Dr. Shinfeld decided to help its residents. Since then, he’s volunteered as a community doctor, helping his patients receive public care on par with private medicine.



November 2016  "THE JERUSALEM BOXING CLUB"   Written and directed by Helen Yanovsky

For four years, the camera followed life at a Boxing Club located in a bomb shelter in a residential ‎parking lot in Jerusalem. The Club serves a mixture of people, weaving a tapestry of life in ‎Jerusalem. ‎
The movie follows four of the young boxers and club manager Gershon Luxemburg as he ‎pushes them to push themselves, and teaches the importance of always treating opponents with ‎respect. Slowly, personal stories unfold, revealing the complexities of life that Gershon and his ‎protégés have to confront. ‎
A story about growing up, loneliness and intimacy, heartache and hope, and above all, about ‎finding help where it's least expected.‎
The director, Helen Yanovsky, spoke after the film



July‎ 2016 -  "‎7 Days in St. Petersburg"   Written and directed by Reuven Brodsky

Liza hasn’t seen her son Leonid, a deserter from the army, in twelve years. Now she is flying to Russia to bring him back to Israel. Her seven days there are critical. Time is limited. Nothing is trivial. And yet, during this short visit, she manages to bridge the emotional gulf that has opened between them, and awakes in Leonid a longing for his family, for Israel. What he refuses to accept is the price that he must pay for returning: a year and a half in military prison. This price seems especially high since just before his mother comes to get him, Leonid meets Natasha, a pretty hairdresser.
The director, Reuven Brodsky, spoke after the film.‎


April ‎2016 - 'CLEMENTINE' directed by Tal Haim Yoffe

Clementine is an intensely personal and fascinating documentary.  Tal and Ravit are ‎expecting their first child; Tal's grandmother is dying of cancer.  These two bookends – ‎birth and death – motivate the filmmaker to search out his family stories, so that he can ‎preserve them for their unborn daughter.  Intertwining the personal and national ‎narratives, and using lots of family photos and much archival footage, he tells the story ‎of his and his wife, back a few gernerations to grandparents and great-grandparents, ‎linking their stories to the history of the Zionist enterprise in Israel. ‎
Director, Tal Haim Yoffe, spoke after the film



March 2016     LOOK AT US NOW MOTHER!‎    A film by Gayle Kirschenbaum

Some years ago, Gayle made a short funny film called My Nose about her mother’s ‎relentless campaign to get her to have a nose job. The reaction was overwhelming from ‎audiences and the media. ‎
Audiences wanted to know how she handled her highly critical mother. After screenings ‎audience members shared their stories. Unexpectedly, she found herself teaching people ‎how she did it by using my “Seven Healing Tools” on how to transform abusive ‎relationships. She soon realized, as a filmmaker who has a huge archive of footage and ‎funny and smart mother who was agreeable, that it was her mission to tell her whole ‎story. The film follows the transformation of her relationship with her mother, traveling across ‎continents and over time.‎

Dr. Batya Ludman, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, spoke after the film.‎


February 2016 - TWILIGHT OF A LIFE - a Belgian/Israeli-produced documentary - won the Best Israeli Film Award at ‎DocAviv International Film Festival - a wonderful story of love, hope, old age, motherhood, ‎care, and above all, the beauty of life.‎
Director, Sylvain Biegeleisen, spoke after the film.‎
Doctors tell Biegeleisen that his 94-year-old mother has just a few weeks to live so he goes to ‎Belgium to spend some time with her. “But my mother decided that the time to pass away has ‎not yet come,” narrates Biegeleisen. With only a camera as a witness between him and his ‎mother, filming with great love around his mother’s bed, the director decides to provide a ‎testimony that proves that old age can be approached without fear, but with humor and ‎fondness.‎
A film full of humor, joy and optimism, even as it dwells on the imminent farewell, “Twilight of a ‎Life” doesn’t only give hope to older people, but to everybody who watches it.‎


The Polgar Variant               Written & directed by: Yossi Aviram.                     December 2015
Sofi Polgar, one of the sisters, spoke after the film
The extraordinary story of three Hungarian-Jewish sisters who were raised in ‎Communist Budapest of the 1970s to be chess masters. Their father, driven by his ‎educational vision, determined their destiny before they were even born. He ‎believed that “geniuses are made, not born,” and he set out to prove it. No ‎kindergarten, no school…. Three girls, isolated from the normal world of kids, ‎studied and practiced chess – with surprising and remarkable results.‎

'MOM IS NOT CRAZY'  Director/producer Mordechai Vardi spoke after the film.    October 2015
Suffering from borderline personality disorder, Amira Raanan was constantly in danger, yet her decision to go public with her illness may have saved her life. The film which began as a therapeutic tool for Amira, became more than that. It can be a catalyst that causes viewers to rethink their ideas about mental illness, and help promote inclusiveness for people who are challenged by their psychological disabilities.

Rabbi Mordechai Vardi, spiritual leader of the Raanan's community, is also the head of the Institute for Torah and Creativity at the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film & Arts in Jerusalem. Vardi’s camera followed Amira for over two years: “I wanted the viewer to enter Amira’s world and experience things from her viewpoint.”

'PROBATION TIME' - Director and script-writer, Avigail Sperber, spoke after the film.     June 2015
The painful story of a childhood with a predetermined fate, of the desire to choose between right and wrong and the inability to tell the two apart, and of the human capacity for belief, for daring, for trying in the face of an ungrateful reality that refuses to change.
Ariela, of Ethiopian descent, was adopted when she was 5 years old by the Sperber family, a warm and tightknit religious Jewish family. Of the family’s ten children, Ariela forced them to contend with difficulties they were unfamiliar with – crime, alcohol, unwanted pregnancies and prisons. Avigail, Ariela’s sister decides to document her life when she is at a crossroads. She breaks up with her female-partner and moves into a new apartment with her son Ori (3).


"Waves of Memory" - Director Gad Eisen spoke after the film.                                                      April 2015
The story of a ship code-named Rafiah, carrying close to 800 people, which sank in the waters off a barren and rocky Greek Island in 1946. It is also the story of some of the people who were on that ship on that stormy and fateful night, including the stories of two special individuals - Shlomo, now 66 years old, who was then an infant, and the Mossad operative whose ingenuity enabled him to arrange for the rescue.


"The Green Dumpster"  Director and Producer Tal Haim Yoffe spoke after the film                February 2015
The film tells the story of the director himself, who found a stash of old photographs in a dumpster.
This docu-detective film slowly unwinds a family history, beginning in Lodz, Poland, and travelling through the Siberian Gulag, a Samarkand sugar plant, a Ha’apala ship and the battlefields of the Sinai Peninsula. This tightly-paced tour-de-force vividly evokes the now extinguished lives of an anonymous – but typical – Israeli family.
The film, in an ostensibly light tone, balances the serious subjects in the film – history and memory, Holocaust and bereavement.


"SPECIAL INTERVIEW"    Writer and Director Nitzan Rozenberg spoke after the film      February 2014
Two young people with disabilities become star reporters in this uplifting documentary.


"From The Black You Make Color" Directed by Judy Maltz and Richie Sherman.    December 2013
Judy Maltz
spoke after the film.
The film, which made its Israeli premiere at the film festival in Rehovot, provides a glimpse into the lives of eight women of diverse backgrounds who either teach or study at Diana Beauty Academy, Tel Aviv’s oldest beauty school. 

"The Garden of Eden" Director and producer Ran Tal who spoke after the film.                  June 2013
The camera accompanies vacationers at Sachne through all seasons. It watches Jews, Arabs, immigrants, kibbutzniks, ultra-Orthodox and groups of tourists that all gather there, and silently examines the interaction between them.

"The Flat"    Director Arnon Goldfinger spoke to the group after the film.                          February 2013
The flat in a Tel Aviv Bauhaus building where Arnon’s grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine from Berlin in the 1930’s.  After his grandmother passed away, the family found objects, pictures, letters and documents revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past.  The film develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and even reveals some secrets that should have probably remained untold.

"804: South African Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence". Smoky Simon, Machal volunteer in the War of Independence lead a discussion after the film.                                                               January 2013
In 1948, Israel was attacked from all sides by six Arab armies. Machal volunteers from outside of Israel rushed to the country’s aid from all over the world. “804” tells the largely unknown story of how a group of South Africans played a pivotal part in the early survival of the State of Israel.

 'One Day After Peace'. Directors Miri and Erez Laufer spoke after the film                    November 2012
Can the means used to resolve the conflict in South Africa be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Robi Damelin, who experienced both conflicts firsthand, wonders. Born in South Africa during the apartheid era; later on she lost her son during his service with the Israeli army reserve.                      

“The Law in These Parts”     Director  Ra'anan Alexandrowicz spoke after the film              May 2012
Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values?  Since the1967 War, the military imposed thousands of orders and laws in Gaza and the West Bank, established military courts, and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the world. The movie explores this little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years.  

“Torn”    Director and Producer, Ronit Kertsner spoke after the film.                              March 2012
Can one be a Catholic priest and an Observant Jew at the same time? Twelve years after he was ordained as a Polish Catholic priest, Romuald Waszkinel discovers that he was born to Jewish parents, and that his name was Jacob Weksler.    

"Here I learned to Love" written, produced and directed by Avi Angel, based on the book by Izhak Weinberg. Avi and Izhak spoke after the film.                                                                                     February 2012
Two brothers, three mothers - a saga shrouded in fog for almost six decades - the unique narrative of a voyage tracing the roots of a shadowy past. All remained hidden - even from close family and friends. Now Itzik and Avner journey into that past, seeking their true identity to piece together the incredible story of their survival.

“Dolphin Boy” with writer, director and producer Yonaton Nir.                                            January 2012
Morad - a teenager from an Arab village in the North of Israel disconnects himself from humans following a violent attack that he experienced.  This documentary about the devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul, and about the healing powers of nature and of love, was filmed over the course of  four years. 

“The Champagne Spy” - with Director and Writer, Nadav Schirman.                               December 2011
Oded breaks a long silence and journeys into his father's real and covert identities as a Mossad secret agent, (aka Wolfgang Lotz - ex Nazi millionaire and horse breeder) revealing the heavy price paid by his family, trapped in the shadows of espionage.        

"Life In Stills” - Best Israeli Film, DocAviv Film Festival 2011.                                     November 2011    
Miriam Weissenstein at age 96, and her grandson, Ben, join forces to save The Photo House, her late husband’s life’s work, and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments.      

'Strangers No More'   directed and produced by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon.     May and September 2011
won an Oscar in 2011 for Best Documentary Short Subject. The tale of children from 48 different countries who attend the Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv.                  

'Precious Life'  with Director, Shlomi Eldar.     February 2011

'A Film Unfinished' Yael Hersonski's powerful documentary with its penetrating look at another (unfinished)  Nazi produced propaganda film about the Warsaw Ghetto.                                                      January 2011

'Tackling Peace' - written and directed by Jewish filmmaker Marc Radomsky.                    April 2010
Young men from different sides of a political war set aside a lifetime of prejudice and hostility to compete as a team in the Australian Football League’s International Cup. Few of the aspirant players had ever heard of the game and none imagined befriending teammates from across the political divide.
Dr. Harvey Belik, and his son, Yonatan, lead the discussion after the film.

'Ajami' (with English sub-titles)  written and directed by Scandar Copti (a Palestinian born and raised in Ajami) and Yaron Shani (a Jewish Israeli), explores five different stories set in the impoverished Christian/Muslim Arab neighborhood of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The characters, played by non-professional actors, lend the story the feel of a documentary, each speaking their own, and a mixture of both languages, Arabic and Hebrew.    March 2010

'Lone Samaritan' - as a tiny sect constantly in danger of extinction, the Samaritans have very harsh rules about assimilation. After four sisters left the community, one by one, the family became subject to terrible physical and mental harassment by sect members. The film follows the youngest daughter, Sophie, a TV personality, on a journey to her family's open wounds, in an attempt to understand who was the real victim of their shattered home. Barak Heymann, director, lead the discussion after the film.                                                          February 2010

'Voices from El-Sayed' - a film about a Bedouin village in the Negev Desert, home to the largest community of deaf people in the world. Here deafness is seen not as a disability but as a natural part of life. Oded Adomi Leshem, director, will lead the discussion after the film.                                                           January 2010

'Ida's Dance Club'  - Once a year in Ida's club, a ballroom dancing competition takes place. All the competitors are way past retirement age, but that doesn’t stop them from dancing and singing, to falling in love and being disappointed. The competition participants hardly know one another outside the club walls, but their lives, full of problems, are gradually revealed to us. Dalit Kimor, director, writer and producer lead the discussion. January 2010

“The Name My Mother Gave Me” – Eli Tal El                               November 2009

“No. 4 Street of our Lady” – Judy Maltz                                             July 2009

“The Beetle” – Yishai Orian                                                                February  2009
 

“Yoel, Israel & Pashkavils” – Aharon Goldfinger                                   February 2009

“Waltz with Bashir”  - a dramatic depiction of a man's involvement with the Israeli Army in the first Lebanon War Ari Folman                                                                                               February 2009

“The Tree of Life” – The history of the Jews in Italy is beautifully inter-woven into the director’s personal and moving story. Hava Volterra, writer and director                                                 December 2008

“Three Times Divorced” – the true story of Khitam, a Gaza-born Palestinian woman, who was married off in an arranged match to an Israeli Palestinian. This is the powerful story of an illegal resident fighting to gain citizenship and to reunite with her children. Ibtisam Maraana, writer and director                               December 2008

“Waves of Freedom” – a documentary made by British-Israeli film maker Alan Rosenthal which recounts how 27 Americans, most of them Jewish, ferried 1,500 Holocaust refugees from Europe to Palestine in 1947. Murray Greenfield, Harold Katz, 2 of the volunteers                                                                November 2008

“The Journey of Vaan Nguyen” – a powerful documentary film about the Vietnamese "boat people". The story is a parable on identity and the tragedy of refugees.
Duki Dror, director and producer                                                                                   July 2008

“Eye Witness – 60 Years” – distinguished photographer David Rubinger, travels back in time to the places and people he photographed since the establishment of the State of Israel. Micha Shagrir, veteran producer and director                                                                                                                       June 2008

“Sisai” – An emotional and unforgettable documentary following the extraordinary journey to Ethiopia of the director's brother, Sisai, to find the birth father whom he has never known. Ethiopian/Israeli director David Gavro March 2008
 

“Contemporary Israeli Films” – clips from Souvenirs and Miss Entebbe Udi Ben Saadya, writer, director & lecturer January 2008

“West Bank Story” – Ari Sandel's musical parody about hope and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The film's musical director, composer Yuval Ron, discussed the film and played the oud, a middle-Eastern lute November 2007

“Shadya” – tells the story of an Israeli Muslim girl, a world Karate champion, who strives to succeed on her own terms, while remaining committed to her life in her community. Director/producer Danny Hakim June 2007

“First Lesson in Peace” – Director, Yoram Honig March 2007

“The Children’s House” – About the childhood memories of kibbutz born artists. Director, Tami Feingold February 2007

“The Film Class” – a documentary about the Bedouin in the Negev. Director, Uri Rosenwaks December 2006 

“Tied Hands” – the story of a homosexual dancer and the complicated relationship with his mother. Director, Dan Wolman                                                              January 2007

“Paper Clips”                  November 2006

“Nadia’s Friends” – the story of Nadia, an Arab Muslim and Chanoch, a religious Jew and their class reunion. Chanoch Zeevi, writer and director October 2006

“Paper Clips” – powerful film set in rural Tennessee about a Holocaust education project collecting 6 million paper clips. Avril Shulman June 2006

“100 Children”- Oshra Schwartz April 2006

“Out for Love – Be Back Shortly” - a film by Dan Katzir on the struggle to find love and privacy amidst the reality of daily terror and hate. Yael Katzir February 2006

“Columbia – The Tragic Loss” – following the journey of Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon Dr. Yoav Yair, colleague of Ilan Ramon January 2006

“Shivah for my Mother” – dealing with the stages of the family's mourning process Yael Katzir, director December 2005

“Two States of Mind” - the story of an Israeli and a Palestinian working together.
Shira Richter, director November 2005

“39 Pounds of Love” – Hila Manor July 2005

“Watermarks”- a documentary film of the women swimmers of Hakoah Vienna, directed by Yaron Zilberman. Hanni Lux, one of the swimmers now living in Israel. March 2005

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