Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival 2017
Jan. 19, 21, and 22, 2017
Hemmingson Center, Gonzaga University
702 E. Desmet Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
Once in a Lifetime (NR; some strong language)
In French (English subtitles) – 105 mins.
Winner, Best Narrative Feature, St. Louis International Film Festival 2015
A dedicated history teacher at a French high school, Anne Gueguen, is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Frustrated by their apathy but undaunted, Anne tests her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. The project is initially met with extreme resistance, until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the students’ attitudes dramatically. Watch the trailer.
Saturday, Jan. 21, 7 p.m.
Transit (NR; one scene of mild violence)
In Hebrew, Filipino/Tagalog (English subtitles), and English – 93 mins.
Philippines’ official entry for Best Foreign-language Film category, 86th Academy Awards
Transit explores the stories of Filipinos in Tel Aviv under the threat of a law deporting the children of migrant workers. Janet, a domestic worker on an expired visa, struggles to hide her half-Israeli daughter, Yael, a rebellious teenager. Most endangered in the situation is Janet’s 4-year-old nephew, whom Janet and Yael watch over because his father works out of town as a caregiver. Transit examines what it means to be a family and what it means to be a stranger, within one’s home and in a foreign land. Watch the trailer.
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2 p.m.
The Kind Words (NR; brief nudity)
In French and Hebrew (English subtitles) – 118 mins.
12 Ophir (Israeli Academy Award) nominations
This quirky and wry comedy-drama follows three Jewish Israeli siblings – Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai – who, in the wake of their mother’s death, discover a long-hidden truth about who their parents really were. The revelation sends them on a road trip from Israel across France filled with unpredictable adventures and encounters. The sixth feature from writer-director Shemi Zarhin explores an unraveling family secret and the bittersweet journey of self-discovery that follows. Watch the trailer.